Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ursa Major and an exercise in printmaking

My last post, discussing Ursa Major (myth, constellation, and mining legend) put me in mind of a project I did recently.  Strange- to name the world's largest dragline after a bear- a wild thing.  Even more strange that Ursa Major was not a boar (male), and that original myth, when examined, is not a story of some great warrior beast- she was in danger, endangered, and was turned into a hurled grip of stars to protect her....

Anyway, I was reminded.  
Of a recent sweet sort of project, a woodcut that I did of a bear (ok, it was actually cut on Centra- easier to carve, but same essential principle).  I am not normally a printmaker, but there is something sort of antique about printmaking that I love.  I live with a printmaker- and from hanging around him and his kind, I have come to realize that printmakers can talk shop with a single-mindedness that can only be matched by musicians.  This is evidently because the equipment and tools and accouterments of printmaking are often old, and beautiful, and laden with history- easy to fetishize!  The techniques are the same as they have been for a hundred years (though a radical new generation has adopted printmaking recently, giving it a fierce and contemporary vitality that has opened up new worlds for this old art form).

.... the finished print.  something like 4 feet tall.  sorry about the watermark (which is not on the original of course.) 

We wound up printing this with a steam roller at an event that boyfriend had organized at the college- yes, the big piece of equipment used to squash asphalt into place.  It was quite good fun.

Another recent print, this one in conjunction with a project at the Poetry Center at the University of Arizona....


  1. Hi! Your work is absolutely amazing, and I was wondering if you could let me know the basic process to how you achieved this? Also, what material are you etching into? thank you :)

  2. HELLO !I com from France ! Your work is amazing... I just would like to know what kind of material do you ar using on this photo. Is is a sort of gum ??? Thank you for your answear...

  3. this is an amazing print. And I am sure it was a lot of work. Love it