Saturday, June 30, 2012

Printmaking Workshop

The Mennello Museum of American Art (900 East Princeton Street) is exhibiting IMPRINTS: 20 Years of Flying Horse Editions through August 12th. Here in Orlando for the past 20 years, the University of Central Florida has nurtured Flying Horse Editions, a collaborative research studio committed to creating significant works of art by leading and emerging artists who fuse traditional and innovative printmaking processes. Artists come to Flying Horse Editions to work in the graphic media of intaglio, woodcut, lithography, letterpress and silkscreen.The results are highly collectible, limited-edition, handcrafted fine art prints and books. There are only a dozen or so fine art presses in the country, and Flying Horse Editions is one of the most distinguished on the East Coast.

Artists from Flying Horse Press have been offering workshops at the Mennello museum. This session was about making monotypes, which is the specialty of UCF “Artists in Action” Michelle Garay and Anna Cruz. Michelle showed us Nathan Redwood’s Like Air, as an example, the print used a lino-cut for the tree trunk, collograph for the ground and a mono-print for the sky. We learned how to manipulate printer’s ink so that it looks like brushstrokes along with other tricks of the trade that make unique, one-of-a-kind prints.We were introduced to Reductive Mono-printing. Nathan's a print on display in the Museum.

Students were given two sheets of paper. They cut out simple shapes on one sheet. For instance the woman seated in front of me cut out a leaf shape. The negative shape, or the paper outside the leaf shape, was placed on a sheet of Plexiglas and a brayer was used to roll the ink onto the Plexiglas. When the paper was removed, only the leaf shape was inked. Q tips were used to smear and remove some ink to add texture. The positive leaf shape was then placed over the inked leaf shape and a new color ink was rolled down. When the paper was removed the printing plate was ready. A clean sheet of paper was lightly spritzed with water and placed on top of the printing plate. The plate was rolled under pressure. Then came the reveal, as the paper was pealed off. Mono means there was only one print made. One student went so far as to print a rendition of the human brain. There is an undeniable childish delight when the print is finally seen.

Printmaking is not just for kids! The museum has set up its own print studio. Enjoy coffee and pastries in the morning while you create your own art prints, . No previous experience is necessary. Cost is just $12 per person. Each class will have a different focus. You have one more opportunity to create art and treat yourself to something new! Get up bright and early July 17, 9-10:30am, with coffee and pastry.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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