prints archives | Main
November 25, 2007
left: sketch, dress #12 state 2, 2007, inkjet and drawing on Rives BFK, 22 x 30 inches
right: sketch, dress #7 state 3, 2007, inkjet and drawing on Rives BFK, 22 x 30 inches
October 21, 2007
new prints: october 11, 07
I think it might be impossible for me to get good images of these. I'm going to try one more set-up and if that doesn't work I'll give up and hire the slide guy to do it.
a detail of the print above, in which you can see the grain of the wood and also the dents made in the wood by running it through the press with dresses:
This one is really lovely but all of the photos make it seem dull and fuzzy:
October 04, 2007
I'm working on getting some slides of work in progress ready for an exhibition proposal (that I have to finish today if I'm going to get it submitted at all). Over the weekend I worked on getting some of these prints "done" enough to photograph. They're impossible for me to photograph well.
All of these prints are on Tokuatsu, a pure kozo fibre paper, and are 36" high and 78" long.
This one I really like in this state, and am going to leave it alone for a while until I decide whether it's finished or not:
This one I hate. I think the dresses are too obvious, and overpower the other marks throughout the print, those subtle marks where the dresses created dents and damage on the wood blocks. Also, I really thought the red was going to be perfect but when I printed it, it was just far too strong, and I should have used transparent base in it like I normally do with all of my colours. When I get back to studio I'm going to cover the dresses up a bit, push them back in time beneath more layers:
If that doesn't work then this might end up being the first print that gets cut up and sewn into a dress.
This one's a nice example of those damage marks created on the block, and of the quilt-like quality the paper gets from repeated foldings:
September 29, 2007
This morning I printed one layer on each of the eight large prints on Tokuatsu, plus a second layer on at least three (maybe four, I forget). My goal by Monday is to have two of these looking finished enough that I can photograph them for some exhibition proposals I have to put together later in the week. After that I came home and got a significant amount of sewing done on five new dresses, which I'll need in order to finish the two big prints (printing the dresses on the paper) and also for my trip home this week for Thanksgiving, so that I don't run out of things to wear like I did on the last trip.
Here are some details of one of the prints from today; these are very hard to photograph, because they're so large that when I get back far enough to get the whole print in the frame all of the beautiful detail in the surface is lost. The first photo is 1/3 of the print, folded down, and the other two are closer views:
September 21, 2007
I was talking with Peter the other night about my project, and he brought up necessity as something for me to consider; how does this artificial limitation on what I can wear (and when) relate to the not-so-recent past in which people often had only one or two sets of clothes (and one of those reserved for Sunday)? When you are forced by necessity to wear the same clothes every day, wear and tear becomes evident very quickly, and near-daily maintenance can be required to keep those clothes wearable. I have been feeling that I don't have enough limits in my project, and the days when I wear store-bought t-shirts with the skirts I feel wrong, like I'm not working hard enough, like I'm not getting enough into the spirit of living in my work. I want to see changes happen in the pieces, I want them to grow more quickly into whatever it is they're going to grow into. I want to be an artist walking around forced to think about my work every moment of every day, because I can smell the ink on me or because I can feel the stiffness of the ink buildup on my dress (or my sweater). I don't want to be just someone walking around wearing weird clothes, because this project isn't really about that.
So from now on I'm not going to be wearing the eight skirts or two tops that I made any more, although I will hang on to them in case of an emergency in which I don't have anything else ready to wear (if I can properly establish a working routine and stick to it, this shouldn't happen). I currently have six dresses. I will add two more to bring that number to eight. This will allow me one week's worth of things to wear, plus an extra to wear on "wash day". Once a week, I will launder seven of the dresses. Once a week, I will print on or otherwise alter seven of the dresses. And once a week I will choose one dress that I consider "finished", setting it aside and not wearing it again; I will make a new dress to fill the place in the cycle of each retired dress. By doing this I will be able to gather a number of works for exhibit later on, while the limited number of pieces in the wearing cycle will allow for each piece to be printed and altered more often. I will continue to limit myself to variations on the same basic dress shape, for uniformity.
As for sweaters: I will be making a series of pullovers (again, of a uniform design) that I will print from and wear with the dresses. I will also allow myself to wear a limited number of cardigans and boleros with the dresses, but these must also be made by me. These I won't print on or with, mostly because I'm only interesting in using a single, recognizable sweater shape in the prints I'll be making.
Until now, this blog has focused solely on the wardrobe project; I haven't given up on my other work, printmaking on paper meant for the wall, and indeed this work will feed off of and into the wardrobe project a good deal. At the same time that I print the dresses, I have been working on a new series of large scale prints, using the same inks and the same woodblocks, allowing the dents and bumps left by the clothes in the surface of the wood to appear in subsequent prints on paper. This summer I bought several sheets of 36" by 78" Tokuatsu (a strong, machine-made kozo paper) at the Japanese Paper Place warehouse in Toronto, and these will form the wall component of my work for the thesis exhibition next spring. The prints will evolve slowly, beginning with folding and re-folding the paper sheets and printing layer upon layer of transparent colour from uncut blocks of wood, building up complex and varied colour fields. I have no preconcieved idea of what these prints will end up looking like; what's important to me is that they serve as maps or keys to what's going on in the wardrobe work, and that they convey a sense of that layering of marks and the layering of time, the damage inflicted on the clothes in wearing and in printing, and the damage inflicted in turn on the printing matrix (and the body) by the clothes. The action of folding the paper in many places, combined with the subsequent buildup of ink layers, will make the paper feel like well-worn-in cloth.
Here are two of the new prints in progress, each with three layers of ink:
And a detail: