I am here in Albuquerque for a month where I am working in a non-toxic printmaking studio, New Grounds, owned and operated by Regina Held. I am renting a casita near the university about 15 blocks away from the studio. A public bus takes me down Route 66 very efficiently to the studio and back. The altitude here is 5300 feet above sea level, about 1000 feet less than San Miguel de Allende, MX. The weather is similar. So far we have had bright blue, cloudless skies and bright sunlight while it is nippy in the morning, but by afternoon it gets to the mid 60’s to mid 70’s. I’m told by the locals that it is 10 degrees warmer than usual because of El Nino.
The studio has quite a few members who work there – they come and go and I am meeting more each day. The studio consists of two large, well equipped workrooms, a classroom where workshops are given, two galleries, an office, a lunch room, and an etching lab. There are six etching presses in all.
Below is the larger of the workrooms.
This is the smaller work area where I have settled in.
This is the etching lab where I spend a lot of time. The arrow is pointing to the ferric chloride tanks where I etch my plates.
Framed prints are hung on the walls everywhere – in workshops, in the corridors, in the restrooms, and in two galleries. The prints are creative and technically advanced and serve as great inspiration to those of us working there.
I began the week doing test plates. I am working on copper and trying various resists (grounds) to create textures. Below is a plate with an acrylic ground applies in various ways. Below is the plate after it was etched, the ground was removed, and the plate was inked. The ink is rubbed into all the nooks and crannies, then wiped off so the ink stays in the marks and pits etched below the surface. Below that is the plate printed on damp paper under lots of pressure so the ink is pulled from the plate. Notice that when printed, the image appears reversed. I was happy with the variety of textures I was able to produce.
I have started working on several plates, but have not finished any yet. Stay tuned for updates in days ahead!