Friday, December 11, 2009

Artist News

The most exciting thing about the Printshop is the plethora of artists that come through our door and who embrace our studio as their base to create new work. Seeing artists explore the printmaking process and begin to engage and collaborate with our Master printers is truly amazing. However seeing how the Printshop experience carries over into their artistic practice is even more rewarding. So we thought we would like to take the time to highlight some of the recent accomplishments of current and past Lower East Side Printshop artists.

Gina Ruggeri's work is now on view in Figment, a two person exhibition with Rob Wynne at Kumukumu Gallery. Ruggeri paints detailed images of natural accumulations- land masses, ocean waves, and clouds directly onto wall mounted mylar. Figment runs through December 13th, so you have this weekend to try and make it to this beautiful exhibition. However if you miss it do not despair, simply keep an eye out for Immaterial Landscape, a painting and installation project that Gina Ruggeri will be debuting at the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut in 2010. We will definitely be keeping you posted on this one!

Joan Linder's drawings are currently being featured in Drawing Itself: A Survey of Contemporary Practice at the Brattleboro Museum &Art Center, on view November 22, 2009 through February 21, 2010. The exhibition fills the Museum's galleries with over 100 works by more than 60 artists, making something akin to a drawing extravaganza! Linder's work can also be seen in Back to the Drawing Board at Arin Contemporary Art in Laguna Beach, California from November 22nd, 2009 through January 25th, 2010.

Current Keyholder Artist in Residence Rachel Beach's sculptures are part of the exhibition Unnaming of Parts at Blackston in New York. The exhibition opened on November 22, 2009 and runs through January 10th, 2010.

Jean Shin's piece And we (pause) is included in the exhibition Contemporary Outlook: Seeing Songs, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The exhibition runs through February 21st, 2010.

Michael Schall has a brand new series of drawings that are being published in the next two issues of McSweeneys, the literay journal edited by Dave Eggers. Keep your eyes out for McSweeney's 32 (cover by Robyn O'Neil) and the upcoming Better of McSweeney's, Volume 2, which is due out this winter.

Former Special Editions artist Carlos Motta's work can be seen in the exhibition Avant Guide to NYC: Discovering Absence, at apexart in New York. The show runs through December 19th, 2009. Motta was also recently inteviewed by Merve Unsal, and you can read the whole interview here. Motta talks about his new work and reflects on the current state of democracy here and abroad. 
More artist updates to follow! Also Printshop artists- please send us any information about shows, projects, and awards. We want to hear all about what you are doing!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Printmaking Supply Resource Guide, New York City (and beyond)

A frequent question we get from artists, class students, and the general public is where to source printmaking materials and services. While we hope this guide will help those in the New York area, please feel free to let us know your recommendations and who your favorite suppliers are.

General art supplies
New York Central Art Supply is the best source for paper, and where we buy almost all the paper for our prints. The paper department is located on the second floor. The store carries general art supplies and a lot of specialty items--if you don't see it, ask, and chances are they have it hidden away. Printmaking supplies are in the basement and there are lots of silkscreen and etching inks, modifiers, tools, and some plates as well. The Printshop buys the bulk of  all our materials from New York Central. 

Utrecht and Pearl Paint are also general art supply stores that carry some printmaking supplies. They are good in a pinch, but in general do not have the best selection. 

Guerra Paint and Pigment is the place we go to for pigments, dispersion, glitters, interference, and metallic powders. 

Also, your local hardware store can be your best friend for all manner of materials: cheesecloth, gloves, plate polish, solvents, etc.  

Specialty Printmaking Supplies
Renaissance Graphics is where we get almost all of our supplies for projects and classes. They specialize in printmaking supplies and equipment for intaglio, screenprinting, and lithography. We recommend them for small orders of ferric chloride (acid for the etchers), as well as silkscreen photo emulsion,  felt blankets, etching grounds, and tools. Another similarly comprehensive source is Graphic Chemical and Ink. 

Rostow and Jung are the makers of Akua Kolor and Intaglio waterbased inks, which we use predominantly for our non-toxic classes, especially monotype.

Hiromi Paper is an importer of Japanese paper located in California. They work directly with papermills in Japan, so if the type of paper you want exists then they most likely will carry it. McClain's, located in Oregon, is mail-order only and is our source for everything related to relief printing and moku hanga, or Japanese waterbased woodblock. 

Victory Factory is where we buy most of our screens, but they also sell all of the chemicals and tools needed for screenprinting. We find that they have the best prices for screens, but you definitely need to plan ahead as they're mail order only.

Standard Screen Supply is the only retail store in the city we know of that is devoted to carrying everything you need relating to screenprinting. We recommend them for screen restretching, squeegees, and scoop coaters, but they also sell all kinds of emulsion, and inks, and screens.

Just to toot our own horn, the Lower East Side Printshop makes transparency films and shoots screens at a flat rate of $50 each. We can turn screens around in a day to two and we'll even print for you for an additional cost.  Contact us to learn more.

For inks, we use TW Graphics 5000 and 5500 series, which is waterbased screenprinting ink. THe ink is generally sold in pints and gallons. You can find them at New York Central and other supply stores or you can also order from them directly. We recommend Speedball Acrylic screenprinting inks for beginners, which are easily and readily available from Renaissance. 

Copper plates can be bought from CG Metals or Polished Metals, both of which are recommended for larger plate orders. Shipping can add a considerable amount to the cost, so if you do order from them make it worth your while and order at least a full sheet or more. CG can cut the plates down for you as well. Dave, our UPS man, has a special gleam in his eyes on the days when he delivers our copper order.

We recommend ordering from Renaissance for smaller plate orders or for when you don't feel like dropping a couple hundred on a large amount of copper.

Steelfacing for copper plates is available from the Printshop as a contract printing service, and helps maintain the integrity of plates that need editioning or have delicate platework. The maximum plate size is up to 24" x 36" and the rate is $0.25 per square inch ($25 minimum charge). 

Photopolymer plates (aka solar plates) can be bought from Boxcar Press or Hampton Editions. Hampton Editions also sells halftone/aquatint screens, and if you are short of time Boxcar will be happy to make custom plates as well.

Prefer continuous tone photographic etchings? We recommend Lothar Osterburg Studio, an artist and printer whose studio is in Brooklyn.

Digital Printing
The Printshop offers professional archival inkjet printing from our Epson Stylus Pro 7800, typically $50 per print. The maximum width we print is 24" and the length for continuous images is unlimited. Digital prints are available using a range of papers, and can be combined with many printmaking techniques. 

If you need a wider or larger print, we recommend Ribouli Digital (formerly Pamplemousse Press) or Laumont, both in New York City.

Printing Presses
For maintaining, moving, or purchasing pre-owned etching, lithography, and letter presses Perry Tymeson of Suitcase Press, NJ is an excellent resource. He also gives workshops on press care and maintenance at Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop.

Some sources for new printing presses include Takach, Conrad, and Griffin, as well as AWT for screenprinting vacuum tables. 

T-shirt printing is something we get many inquiries about. While we don't print t-shirts ourselves, we do recommend Kayrock Screenprinting in Brooklyn.

Interested in bookbinding or letterpress? The best place is the Center for Book Arts, which has an open workshop, bindery, letterpress studio, and classes. Talas, now located in Brooklyn, operates a retail and online store selling everything needed for bookbinders and conservators, and also offers archival storage and presentation boxes for artwork.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Picking favorites: Enoc Perez

Enoc Perez's monoprints have been up in our gallery for a little over a month and I am still in awe of their tactility. "Teatro Popular, NiterĂłi, Brazil (#5)," the image pictured above, is my current favorite and since one of our collectors just purchased it yesterday, this week will be my last chance to spend time with it. I pass the piece at least 10 times a day and it draws me closer each and every time.

Last night the Printshop held a small get together, inviting our patrons and collectors to the studio for some drinks and the opportunity to hear Enoc talk his creative process. It was a great evening filled with wine, good conversation, and a real insight into the collaborative process behind the Printshop's publishing residencies. Enoc, Doug, and Jamie talked a lot about the relationship between printmaking and painting, and even went so far as to illustrate some of the different techniques they used to achieve the magnificent results above.


This morning when I came back to work and settled back into the swing of things, answering emails and working on preparing for the upcoming Editions and Artists' Book Fair, I kept staring off into the gallery, specifically focusing on "Pan American Terminal, Kennedy Airport (#19)." After last night the textured rainbow background is even more seductive and the layering of the image creates the illusion that the building is reaching out of the paper towards you. Perhaps a new favorite is in the making.

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It is late on this Thursday afternoon.  We are all giddy about the fact that one of our larger grants has arrived and we can breathe easily for a while.  Our sweet and patient new Keyholders will soon receive their stipends as well.  I wish every Thursday were like this, and that we could always part before a weekend excited and happy about the coming week. 

I look forward to posting exciting news and reading your comments!