Monday, July 18, 2011

in a wrapper

Well, it arrived today. The packet of 23 prints. The Black and White print exchange has a variety of mediums, including etching, stone lithograph, vinylcut, silkscreen, mezzotint, aquatint, linocut and woodcut. DOUBLE CLICK ON IMAGES TO SEE ENLARGED
Here,  sandwiched
between
two slabs
of foam core,
are the efforts of twenty-three
individuals












from Russia,
France, Australia,
Canada, and the
United States.
It is exciting!!!

I talked with some
of the participants
via email, have
added their
comments in
this post, with
my own added
emphasis in
CAPITAL
LETTERS.

The first print,   
Celtic Dreams by Sui Conrad, of the United States, fills my nose with smells and memories that transport me back to etching class. It is 1978.

                        
I am in Michael Nuschawg's intaglio class. He has his students take black vine ash powder and linseed oil, and mash them together on a glass-
surface table. Some thing like a metal putty knife in my hand mashes it, reminds me of mixing oil and flour in the kitchen. The end result is a round ball of ink you can hold in your hand. From that one takes a portion and mixes more linseed oil with it, and this you use for your etching ink in class. The fragrance of linseed oil is memorable....



As it turns out Conrad grinds her own ink for her photo-
gravures. She prefers using a dark sepia tone. Her image size is 5 1/8" high by 7 6/8" wide.

The print is intaglio or an etching, and not a relief print. The metal etching plate will usually emboss the paper it is printed on, because the paper is first wetted, then blotted dry, then run through the squeeze of a press. (see closeup above. Note the artist's signature along the bottom edge of the print)

"As a general rule I work mainly with copper but have also used steel for some works. For this particular piece I printed on Rives BFK (paper) with Charbonnel Ink."

"I have been working with imagery from Scotland since the early 90's," says Conrad, who grew up in south-eastern Minnesota. "As for why I do print exchanges," writes Conrad, "one of the reasons is for FOR EXPOSURE as they have LED TO OTHER EXHIBITIONS but I also do them to stay and GAIN CONTACT with other print makers from AROUND THE WORLD."


















The smallest print in this exchange is a linocut by Irina Tretyakova of Russia (above). Her image size is 3 1/4" high by 2 1/4" wide. Her work shows up often in print exchanges.

















Black Venus by Jean-Marc Couffin, of Marseilles, France. The image measures 4" high by 4" wide and is based on the Milo Venus sculpture. The tiny track pattern running across the figure's back was done with a roulette tool. Couffin used a drypoint needle to enhance the lines. The Reina paper is a 250 gram cotton paper from Spain, which he buys from JOOPSTOOP.fr.

Couffin says being part of this print exchange is definitely about GETTING HIS WORK SEEN and CONNECTING with fellow print makers.
"I am an architect and a father, so there is no time for being in a group especially in Marseille." In his city he says everybody works in their own atelier without sharing anything.  StilI, there are pockets of inspiration for him. "I discovered lately a french canadian printmaker doing some impressive mezzotint. His name is Guy Langevin. I started myself with Mezzo' a little bit ago, and was deeply impressed by it. Mostly I do traditional line etching. I love the Russian, Czech and Polish school of etching. For example. check out this one: http://www.tyukanov.com/"



"I do printing from a zinc plate, with an etching bite in FeCl, with some oil inks on cotton paper (minimum of 180 grams)," says Couffin. At his website there are photos of his 200 year old Ledeuil printing press as well as his atelier, click HERE. He adds, "Over the next couple days I will be at a printmaking market in Cotignac."   The market is 85 km from his home in Marseilles, about a one hour drive.














Lorraine Imwold created above print. The image measures 3" high by 5" wide. Ms. Imwold hails from Maryland, United States. Her Etsy shop is at http://www.etsy.com/people/limwold

The largest print in this lot is the Pale Rider by Kjelshus Collins, United States (below, see closeups. Double click on images to see larger). It measures 9" high by 11 3/4" wide. It is not linocut, nor woodcut. It is vinylcut. Collins says the vinyl is smooth and takes "a fine detail. I used Arches (paper) as it takes the ink really well. That particular ink, Akua Color, dries by absorption."
"I really
like
bicycles,
I used
to race
when I
was
younger
so I
wanted
to do a
bike
but not
a typical bike. Something more whimsical so I combined animal elements to make the bike, and put a scary cartoon Frenchmen as the rider. To me it seemed so chaotic, so I threw in a chaos card for the spokes."


"I like print exchanges because they are FUN. I make art for exhibitions and fundraisers constantly, but exchanges ARE PERSONAL, like PEN PALS or TRADING COMIC BOOKS, the hobby side of it. Of course, it is also a good way to get EXPOSURE and a great way to BUILD UP MY ART COLLECTION. The printmakers who I admire from art history include: Albrecht Durer, Franz Masareel, and Leonard Baskin. For contemporary, I like the group known as the Outlaw Printmakers.















You can reach Collins HERE and on Facebook. 















Winter Sky by Philippa Jones (below). The image measures 4.75" high by 7" wide. Upon closer examination one can see etched lines and tone in spots. This is an aquatint. Similiar to an intaglio, powdered resin is melted onto a metal plate and etched in acid to create its amazing appearance.

Ms. Jones is a British artist who lives in Newfoundland, Canada. More of her etchings and interactive designs can be viewed at http://www.philippajones.com/p/etchings.html You can email her HERE


























This bold black and white linocut by Achim Nicklis measures by 5 3/4" high by 4" wide. His print is inspired by a poem on the fridge of his late partner.
"I hold you in my hand
a fragment of the universe.
slowly you show me your secrets
while I find peace."

Nicklis prefers working with a material called softcut. "I like to use it, because it doesn't let me print fine lines. Instead, I have to use areas and spaces rather than thin markings to describe my subject."

In regard to paper Nicklis says, "I use sumi sketch paper. It absorbs ink well and produces the dull completely black appearance I am after.  The absorbency is important since I don't have a press and my right shoulder is thankful if the paper is willing."

 "I had done some cuts in high school. I had a great art teacher.  But all was dormant until two years ago when I took a four-hour class with an inspiring printmaker.  And I have done them ever since."
"Prints are a wonderful thing to create. The design, the carving, the printing.  I like all processes and enjoy the craft, the  movement of the hands when carving, the inking of the plate, the rubbing of the paper. It is a very sensuous experience, a little like giving birth with each pull. The produced images fascinate me with their flatness and their inherent abstraction.  And the provocation to try new things and go new places."
The Seattle-based print maker has taken part in two baren forum exchanges. His work can be seen HERE. And two other print exchanges HERE and HERE. He does not have a website for his prints. Of exchanges Nicklis admits: "It is such a GREAT EXPERIENCE, and it BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER."














  
Moss Creek
by Karl Marxhausen,
Missouri,
United States.

The image
measures
6" high by 4"
wide. This
linocut is printed on
American Masters
paper, 250 grams.
The scene is local, along
Route 10, on the way to Norborne.


With the theme being black and white this exchange covers a multitude of expressions. The work by Christopher Clark is nuanced. At first glance it seems the print is smack in the middle of this black paper. But along the upper margins one can see first-hand a diamond pattern that crisscrosses the entire image. Subtle. Defined. Exquisite. (see closeups below)

















Things Are Looking Up by Christopher Clark is a silkscreen print. It measures 7" high by 7" wide. Clark lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You can view more of his silkscreen images at http://www.chrismclark.com




















Phuket Buddah by George Gilmour, Sydney, Australia .  This woodcut is done on a plywood plate. Notice the wood grain pattern. The image measures 5 1/2" high by 4 3/4" wide. It printed on Gyorukyu paper, which, according to Melbourne Etching Supplies, is smooth on one side and slightly textured on the other. It is lightweight and recommended for hand-burnished relief prints. This is what Gilmour has done. He uses an oil based ink.



Riverbank by Elizabeth Burton, of Queens-
land, Australia

The image measures 5 1/2" high by 7 1/2" wide. Much of Burton's work revolves around the river and water. A reflection of the coastal region of Northern New South Wales, where she grew up. Today she lives on the east coast of Australia. The print is a linocut she did last year, which she had intended to be part of a three plate print. These days she has been experimenting with reduction lino prints. She admires the early Australian work of Margaret Preston and the master of the reductive method Ian Phillips.

Margaret Preston believed that original art should be accessible by all people not just the very wealthy, so she tried through the medium of print to reach the masses. Burton has found that the printmaking community  generally are very friendly and GENEROUS in being WILLING TO SHARE their original works with others. Print exchanges are a GREAT WAY TO SEE THE WORK OF OTHER ARTISTS and to see what they are up to.

Says Burton, "What is nicer than having a lovely parcel of little artworks delivered in the post?  I have a series of folios with exchanged prints. Some print groups do exchanges to MARK SPECIFIC DATES or EVENTS. Some on a yearly basis as A WAY OF KEEPING IN TOUCH. Greendoor Print Studio in the UK organises a yearly exchange for example. Estampe Belgium organises exchanges about every two or three years. The last one was called "Factor 10 - print size 10cm x 10cm for the 10-10-2010."

In regard to the paper she used Burton writes, "My daughter Alex and I printed our work together and used Stonehenge 250gsm for our prints.  I would normally use Magnani Incisione but as we had to ship to the USA (50 prints) I decided to use this paper as it is a little lighter."

In regard to pricing of prints she adds, " I don't think there is a formula. I would like to think they are priced so that they are affordable, but with a price that reflects the skills and reputation of the artist.  Within my local printmaking group, exhibition prices range from say $50 to around $500 depending on the size of the work and reputation of the artist.  As an established painter, you must price your prints according to your obvious skill."

You can reach Elizabeth Burton HERE - her website - http://www.elizabethburton.com.au/















Tree of Light by Alexandra Burton, Queensland, Australia. The image measures 6" high by 7" wide.


video
Click on short video to see print.




Babylon by Mark Evans, Wisconsin, United States. It measures 7 1/4" high by 4 1/4" wide.

Rather than use one piece of linoleum, this work is composed of many separate pieces cut with a jig saw, inked by themselves, and printed together. Evans finds it very direct and positive. He buys linoleum in 24 by 18 inch sheets and also by the roll to save on money. He admits the material is inexpensive and easier for him to cut than wood.

Print exchanges energize this artist. "The idea of getting small original works from around the country and world is a KICK. Also IT GETS ME WORKING MORE. THINKING more. SEEING more. When I 
move through my days, through the world around here, and I am creating, I seem to feel there is MORE POSSIBILITY. "

About the subject Evans writes, "It's been a stressful winter and spring in Wisconsin as we battle a power grabbing tea party governor, so I surrounded the figure with  hieroglyphic signs and symbols representing the media pressing in on us."

Evans enjoys working with variables.
"I actually cut a preliminary block with the top of the head cut off and did not like the way it looked. I then cut a grid behind the figure and did a test print. Then I added some symbols, more test prints, more symbols, more tests. Then I cut the test print figure out, added the top of its head back, cut off a larger piece of lino, placed the figure on, drew around it, measured the grid, and re-cut it. It probably took me two nights of actual cutting. Then I hang it up and live with it for a few days. The printing of the edition was done on a Sunday night in about 2 hours."

When it comes to the choice of paper for print exchanges Evans says not to sweat it.
" If an artist - especially a novice who is not selling much work - can afford to buy $4-5 sheets of Arches paper, more power to them. But Micheal said that the paper used for his exchanges does not need to be high end so I took his advice. Actually the paper I used was off a roll of paper I bought in the 90's while back in school. I think it was called Archival Poster. My advisor suggested it because I was completely broke and needed to get work done. Someday I would like to try some lighter papers like mulberry and the japanese paper, like Hosho or something."

"I'm not really a follower of specific print makers at this time. As far as artists I admire: Richard Diebenkorn, Saul Steinberg, Wayne Thiebaud, Anselm Kiefer." Artist and blogger Evans is eager to share his experiments. You can find more of everything at http://papawheelie.wordpress.com/category/printing/





A linocut print by Amanda Sterling, Washington, United States. It measures 4 1/2" high by 2 3/4"wide. You can reach her HERE.





Self Portrait by Doug Dammerall, Bainbridge Island, United States. It measures 7" high by 5" wide. The linocut is printed on Fabriano Academia paper. Dammerall says he did it as a demo for his students at North Kitsap High School. He ran it through an etching press which embossed it slightly.

Regarding the print exchange, Dammerall says: "One of my buddies INVITED ME TO JOIN. It's kind of a cool idea and a nice way to COLLECT ORIGINAL WORK which is always more satisfying than "a mass-produced lithograph." I also really enjoyed the diverse personal vision. I'm saving the work in a portfolio to share with my students."

His paintings reflect his appreciation of nature. You can see his work at The Atelier Dammerall and HERE.




Baz by Rigel Stuhmiller, California, United States. This block print measures 7 7/8" high by 6 3/8" wide.

This her second print exchange, Stuhmiller found creating a full edition both a challenge and much harder than she thought it would be.
The Bay area illustrator enjoys SEEING SO MANY new and DIFFERENT STYLES. Block printing expertise comes from trial and error. Says Stuhmiller, "I still have much to learn, which is why these exchanges are so great. They are a really GOOD OPPORTUNITY TO TRY SOMETHING NEW."
She has switched from Speedball oil ink to Daniel Smith water soluable oils, since they clean up without toxic chemicals and she Iikes the consistency of the ink. The exchanges give her the chance to create some art just for the pleasure of making it, without having to worry about its marketability.

Says Stuhmiller, "Almost always, I'm making artwork with a specific type of customer in mind. A lot of my customers are looking for art for their kitchens or gifts for other people's kitchens, and my vegetable prints are the most popular.  My dog and cat cards are probably second most popular, because people love their pets. Pricing prints is a perennial problem for me, as it depends on what people are willing to pay.  And that depends on who you're approaching, their perception of your value as an artist, and how much they like the print.  Finding an audience who will pay a reasonable rate for your work is not easy."

She speaks highly of Etsy. "The best part about it is that it is very cheap and relatively easy to set up a store (as opposed to building one yourself or hiring someone to do it).  They charge 20 cents to list an item, and take a small percentage (2 or 3 percent, something like that) when you sell.  There are no fees other than that, which is great.  You can put up a store and it can just sit there for months without incurring any fees.  Etsy customers seem to be nice and are looking for A UNIQUE HANDMADE PRODUCT with some nice customer service, which is good for small sellers like us."

Stuhmiller makes it clear that there is work involved and business will not fall in your lap. With so many vendors vying for a sale, it is important to connect with the customer. Promoting your site is your job. You can not make a living off walk-in traffic. She goes on, "If there's an article written about me in a major blog, I'll get a flood of orders.  Otherwise, with no promotion, I'll get maybe 1 order a week.  Around Christmas it picks up a lot, and for about 5 weeks before Christmas I'll be pretty swamped with orders."

She advocates Paypal as a solid means of payment. "It is terrific. I love it. 99% of my customers have no problem using it, and the very few who don't want to use it can send me a check in the mail.  It's a great solution for small sellers.  At one point, I had a merchant account to accept credit cards, and found that unless I was selling thousands a month I found the fees just took too much away from my profits."

Commercial art is the business that makes things work for her. "The one area that has worked well has been custom orders.  My most popular custom items are custom logos and custom letter-pressed wedding invitations.  Although I charge a premium for those, higher than most people on Etsy, I still get orders because they depend on my artistic skill.  I offer extremely good customer service and make sure people are happy with what they get, which helps with referrals and return business." Learn more about her business at http://www.rigelstuhmiller.com/
 

















Bedside Lamp by Hayden Hunt, California, United States. This linocut image measures 6 3/4" in diameter.

The symmetry of the circle is nicely achieved. A student at the University of Redlands, Hunt says he has found GREAT JOY IN LINOLEUM PRINT MAKING. His blog is at http://haydenhunt.wordpress.com/  You can reach him HERE.
















Soph by Sam Cikauskas, Illinois, United States. You are looking at a reductive lithograph. The image measures 5" high by 5" wide.

Cikauskas talks about his stone lithograph. "I used a reduction technique where you scratch the ink off the stone with a razor blade, instead of drawing additively with a crayon. I enjoy working reductively whether it be with relief monotypes charcoal. I think my brain works better this way then additively."

What is often the case, equipment and supplies for college art classes are the best around. Even scraps are good quality scraps. Says Cikauskas, "The paper I used (for the print) is from a scrap bin at school, where students and teachers leave their scrap rag papers, that they tore down from a big sheet. The bin is there for proofing or small prints. The scraps I found were perfect size for my little print. The paper is about $3 for a sheet, so being a broke college student, I will take free paper. The paper I used was Somerset satin. I prefer this for my lithography projects. In the bin was a mix of Rives BFK and Arches that I use for my relief or intaglio projects. I prefer the rag paper for printmaking because of its quality. It is thick and will hold up over time. I also enjoy the aesthetic of the torn edge of the paper."

It was a moment to grow in another direction. Says Cikauskas, "The dog print was SPUR OF THE MOMENT. I had already cut a lino for this exchange, but since I did a lino for the last exchange I thought I would try something different. This reduction technique came from the lithography class I was enrolled in at the time. Litho class is great. I fell in love with the process, it's like magic. The image of the dog is from a photo I took of my now ex girlfriend's dog "Sophy."

BEING INVITED TO TAKE PART, while still attending classes at Northern Illinois University, convinced Sam that a "print community" does exist. "I did these two exchanges that Mike Jones invited me to, because I have never been in one outside of school. I thought it would be a GREAT CHANCE TO SEE other ARTISTS WORK from around the country and world. Also, it was a way for me to GET MY WORK OUT THERE and SHARE with other artists. That's the idea around print making. It is like a community where we can all share our ideas and original hand made prints."

He is grateful for his schooling. "Northern Illinois University has a great printmaking program. The teachers Michael Barnes and Ashley Nason run the program and everyone is close like a family, always hanging out, making work together and trading prints."

The print makers he admires include:  Jose Posada, the Mexican political artist and, Tom Huck-Evil Prints, Martin Mazzorra/Mike Houston-Cannonball Press, Bill Fick, Cockeyed Press, Greg/Joseph-Driveby Press (they travel around in a van with a press in it and spread the word of relief printmaking around the country), and Tugboat Press. You can reach Sam Cikauskas on Facebook HERE, and read Sam's Etsy Profile HERE
 

















Hawkeye by Carol Ann Fitzgerald,  Sydney, Australia This linocut measures 6" high by 5 3/4" wide.

Fitzgerald talks about her linocut. "It is on Dutch etching paper (not sure who the maker is). I needed a paper I could soak in water and wouldn't fall apart. I soak it in a tray of water for a few minutes, pat the excess water off with a towel and print. It picks up the ink better."

"The print was MADE especially FOR THE EXCHANGE. It's from a bird I saw at the Australia Museum in Sydney. They have a lot of taxidermed birds and animals that you can go in and draw, photograph, touch etc. It's a great place to visit," says Fitzgerald.

She took part in the print exchange for EXPOSURE, to SEE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING with techniques and subject matter, and to GROW A COLLECTION OF PRINTS--hoping they grow in value.

Fitzgerald admires the Australian artist, Margaret Preston. You can explore her work at http://www.carolann.com.au/Home.html  You can reach her HERE.


















Molluscum Contaglosum by Chris Blume, Illinois, United States. It measures 4 1/4" high by 5 3/4" wide.

This linocut is printed on Rives BFK, since it is the most sturdy. But for his woodcuts he mostly carries Sommerset Satin, Arches black and white, and Peschia for lithographs as it has very smooth qualities.

Blume outlined the steps he takes when working with wood or linoleum. First, he colors the surface red. Second, he draws the image that is to be printed black. Next, he cuts away. Says Blume, "I do this procedure because it is easier for me to see the end result as I am cutting, rather than trying to guess where to cut next. I also cut the form of the linoleum after I am done cutting my image." You can follow Chris Blume on Facebook HERE.


 Late Night Jazz Club by Bronwynn Merritt, United States. This linocut measures 4" high by 6" wide. 


When Merritt uses oil based inks she likes to use a heavier paper like Arches. She learns by trying out ideas.                                   
 She says, "Once I made a series of woodcuts using litho ink on etching paper, which came out absolutely beautifully, with glossy surfaces and great crisp lines."
 There is nothing more exciting than getting her work in a mailed packet, like she did in this exchange.
 She has done a long series of linocuts based on musicians, performers and night club scenes. 
 Bronwyn admits: "I have used the exchanges to experiment. And sometimes the results don't come out the way I expected them to. This just makes me work harder at turning out better prints. It's all a part of growing." 
 She names Max Beckmann and Gustave Baumann as her influences. She thinks her style is a little closer to Art Deco.
 This is how she price her work:

"I calculate the HOURS it takes to make it and look at how large the edition is. I try to look at the TOTAL AMOUNT I will get for selling most of the edition as the price, as if it were ONE PIECE. I usually take about 20 hours to make a typical 9 by12 inch image, which includes printing an edition of 25 impressions. Selling those for $25 each will get me $625 for the few days work, but it might take MONTHS or YEARS to sell that many. I often make editions of 100 for black and whites, though I may not pull all the prints at once for storage reasons. Color impressions start at $35 each and can be as much as $100 a piece in editions of no more than 30." 
 "I probably could charge more, but at these prices I FREQUENTLY SELL OUT, and have many collectors who buy one of almost everything I produce," says Bronwyn. 
Check her work out at Print Universe http://printuniverse.ning.com/profile/BronwynMerritt

Tortoiseshell Kitten by Martha Knox, Pennsylvania, United States. This image measures 8 1/4" high by 5" wide. It is a woodcut printed a handmade Japanese printmaking paper called Kozo.

The print is based on a drawing of one of her pet cats. Knox tends to be inspired by what is immediately around her. At her household, that would be cats and babies, as she has a 21 month old daughter and she takes care of children for her "day job."

She admits she loves to COLLECT PRINTS FROM OTHER PEOPLE. "From every exchange I've done, there's always at least one piece I end up framing and hanging up in my home. And the rest go into a collection that I keep in my studio and like to look at on occasion and share with other artists and people who appreciate art."

The prints are a RESOURCE for inspiration. She shares these prints with her students when she teaches workshops and classes on printmaking. Of course, she does it for exposure. Says Knox, "I find that other print makers tend to also be collectors, and sometimes I've managed to sell a piece to someone who discovered me through an exchange, but that is not something I count on. It is just a bonus that sometimes happens."

Says Knox, "I also have done exchanges where one print from my edition ends up in a PERMANENT COLLECTION (such as the Free Library of Philadelphia and Oregon University) and that adds A LITTLE LINE TO THE RESUME, which is sort of nice."

It is up to the artist to translate what they see, and make the design work. For Knox, the fur of felines and their whiskers is worth exploring. "They make for interesting textures in 2D works of art, which is probably a big part of why I'm attracted to them visually. They are easily suggestive of other things, especially if you zoom in on them, crop them a certain way, or abstract them into simpler marks and shapes, and that gives me and my audience more to interpret in any image I create. I try to make most of the cats in my prints more aesthetically interesting than cute and cuddly."



About print makers she admires Knox says, "I really admire the woodcuts of the recently deceased Stephen Huneck, who did mostly prints of his black Labrador Sally for a series of children's books. They have a really direct, colorful, earnestness to them, very much like the best folk art (which makes sense since he was self taught.) I'm classically trained, but I'm often told that my work resembles "outsider out" or folk art, and I always take that as a compliment. I love Felix Vollotton's black and white woodcut illustrations mostly for their gorgeous patterns and shapes with elegant contours - he was truly a master in the use of pure black and white. I love Edvard Munch's woodcuts for their moving expressiveness, and I love Josef Vachal's color woodcuts for their powerful and sophisticated use of color. My favorite woodcut artists working today are Kirsten Francis and Sean Starwars."  You can read more at http://wordsonwoodcuts.blogspot.com/
You can see her work at http://marthaknox.squarespace.com/



Black and White print by Michael W. Jones, Oklahoma, United States. The image measures 7" high by 5" wide.


Oklahoma native Michael Jones loves prints and has over a hundred in his own bookplate collection. His favorite artist is a Czech artist named Karel Safar. Another favorite are woodcuts by Vachel.  He thinks exlibris prints are "like little jewels, and can hardly imagine a modern-day american artist putting this much time into a print." A few are displayed on a little website he created which he calls http://www.myexlibris.com

When Jones began to set up his own print exchanges, he reflected on what he saw others doing and went for something that suited his expectations. He sought out the kind of artists he wanted.

Jones writes, "A long time ago, we used to do this in college printmaking (class). We printed enough of each edition so everyone could have a copy. Within the past few years, I was INVITED TO PARTICIPATE in the annual exchange through the International Mezzotint Society.  That is a very high quality, "members-only" exchange.  I have participated in other exchanges on the Internet, but they are rarely as high-quality as the ones I am putting together now. When I got going, I joined a couple of online sites that specialize in printmaking, made up a set of guidelines, and posted it on the message boards to see if I could get some interest. Some of these included Graphic Chemical Supply - InkteractionPrint UniverseFacebook - and Etsy Printmakers. The first exchange only pulled out about 7 entries, and, in fact, I had to beat the bushes and coerce friends and family to participate, but it has grown. I also spent a couple of nights going through ETSY.com postings, and finding artists whose work I liked, and emailing them personally.  Many of our exchange members are etsy printmakers."

Jones recommends, "If you start one, don't underestimate the cost of packing and shipping.  And don't under estimate the huge amount of time it takes mail to and from countries like Russia. The packages I receive from Russia invariably arrive wrapped in brown paper and twine. Also, outline your deadlines, specifications, restrictions, and so on, so both you and the artists have something to refer to in case of a disagreement."
















Jones admits that he is happy when he breaks even. He makes no money for his efforts. The cost for shipping and packing materials comes out of the ten dollar entry fee that participants send to him. He makes sure the prints are packed so that they are not bent. "I know from experience that it's disappointing to receive a portfolio which has been bent and disfigured. Basically, I get the same out of these exchanges as you do. A nice portfolio of prints to add to my collection. All in all, it's SOMETHING THAT KEEPS ME INSPIRED, and helps me stay in touch with artists outside my window. Plus, it's not too much work, and gives me a little excitement at the mail box. "

Jones' print exchange is called "Lets -Trade -Prints (dot) com"
You can see the other exchanges on his site HERE. His mezzotints are HERE. Michael on Facebook NEXT. Print Exchange on Facebook BLITZ 
His original fine art is at http://www.mjonesart.com/

LAST NOTE: I am now convinced that Alfred Fowler was very excited about exchanging prints in his day!!!

For those who are curious--Fowler asked for woodcutters and engravers to send him their bookplate prints for the Seventh Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Bookplates, sponsored by his American Bookplate Society in 1921. He received 222 designs from seventy-five artists. He had a list of collectors wanting to exchange bookplates from all over the world, including Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Alabama, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachuesetts, Michigan, Missouri New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington State, and Washington, D.C. See the article in Publisher's Weekly HERE. Fowler tapped into the world wide interest for bookplates and made lasting connections with many contributors. Read more about his life HERE.

Dear Friend, please add a comment below the post. You can reach Karl Marxhausen HERE  Ask to receive my monthly newsletter. Put "NEWS LETTER" in the Subject box. Thank you.
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(courtesy of Michael W. Jones in email Tuesday, May 31, 2011, of Mark Evans in email June 17, 2011, of Martha Knox in email June 19, 2011, of Rigel Stuhmiller in email May 27, 2011 and June 24, 2011, of Sam Cikaukas in email, of Jean Marc Couffin in email June 18, 2011, of Carol Ann Fitzgerald in email June 17, 2011, Kjelshus Collins in email June 20, 2011, Chris Blume in facebook message June 26, 2011, Sui Conrad in email Tuesday, June 28, 2011, Liz Burton in email Thursday, June 30, 2011, Douglas Dammerall in email Monday, July 25, 2011, Achim Nicklis in email Friday, September 30, 2011)

3 comments:

  1. Hi Karl,

    It's nice to get background information on how the prints were created in this Exchange. I'm still studying (not printmaking this year) and it's great to learn more about the various processes.

    Carol Ann Fitzgerald

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  2. Hi Karl

    Great post, it is inspiring to read of other printmaker's journeys and inspirations and reasons why we do this thing. Thanks for your interest in my work. I hope we continue to keep in touch through print exchanges like this one set up by Micheal Jones.

    kind regards

    Liz Burton

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  3. Liz, Thanks for taking the time to read the post and leave your comment. It's all about sharing our journey with each other. No artist is alone.

    ReplyDelete