Thursday, October 2, 2008

Latest Obsession...Part I

Those that know me know that I'm always off on some new adventure, learning something new to do (as if I didn't have enough on my plate)
I've been obsessed lately with printing by hand, in its many different forms. Screenprinting is holding my attention the most. I started out with stamping, or painting with a stencil, but I find those to be not quite the way to go for me. When I do something, I want it to look as close to "machine made" as possible. Okay, I know that sounds really ridiculous coming from a handcrafter. Let me explain. What I mean is, I want it to look as...oh hell...PERFECT as possible. I want to handmake it without it looking hokey. I want it to look like it came from a store, because ultimately I want it in a store. Okay, as I type this, I think I've stumbled upon my problem. I think deep down I still don't believe that handmade could be as beautiful as not-handmade. Okay, excuse me while I dodge the cyber-tomatoes that are sure to be heading in my direction.

No, I don't really believe that handmade is not as good. I think it's better. I just want handmade to be able to compete with not-handmade. If I make it for sale or personal use, I don't want it to look like I was just messing around and not taking it all I'm sayin'.

Okay, once again, I've taken a major sidebar.

Like I was saying before, I've gotten really into printing by hand. While searching for books on the subject, I came on Lena Corwin's brand new book "Printing by Hand". Finally! Someone's written on the subject in a way that I want to learn about it...with great detail. I had previously bought Lotta Jansdotter's book "Lotta Prints :How to Print with anything, from potatoes to linoleum Now, I love, love, love Lotta! For someone who's so obsessed with perfection that she sometimes can't proceed unless the stars are perfectly aligned, her work is a welcome relief. She has made me feel okay about my crooked line drawings, or not being a great drawer. Her drawings are whimsical, and almost childlike. I love the simplicity of her work.But I gotta tell ya, the book was a lot lacking. It was great as a pictorial, but she really didn't go into detail about the processes. She didn't specify what type of inks to use, or any of that. The book is good for someone new to crafting, but not for a seasoned crafter who's looking for more detail. I bought the book just because I love her work so much. I didn't preview it first...I actually pre-ordered it before it came out.
But back to Lena Corwins book. I have taken quite a few trips to B&N to look thru her book and I find that it addresses most of my questions about printing. The only way it could be better is if she actually tells me the brand of inks and paints she herself uses. But I know that's not gonna happen... I will be adding this one to my collection, but until then, I have a few more trips to B&N.
Next post will be about my plans for this medium. Stay tuned.