Thursday, March 27, 2008
Ron, Copper Etching Geek
I went to another art party at the A6, Bend's printmaking Atelier yesterday. A bunch of painters were there.
We were showing them the presses, the inks, the plates, the tools, the gadgets, the thousands of little tiny letters of type the bookmakers use, all the different kinds of prints and how every thing works. It's fun to see artists geek out on art stuff.
Some of these people are very talented painters in their 50's and 60's who are true career artists. They're the type that show work in galleries and teach at well known universities. They know what the heck they're doing.
Some of these people are younger, and equally talented, but have never even seen traditional printing presses, let alone an etched copper plate. They don't realize that all the greats, like Picasso, were print makers. It seems sad that a whole generation or two of artists have missed out on this printmaking thing. But thank goodness, the almost lost art of hand-pulled prints is making a serious comeback.
I hear that the students at Parsons School of Design started a little revolt when they heard the school's plans to tear down the printmaking studio to make way for a Starbucks. Seems not many people were using the studio any more. Didn't matter, the kids said, we can't let it die a Starbucks death. I sure hope they signed up for some printmaking classes.
So I'm excited to see what the painters will do in Bend's grand printmaking studio, truly one of the best facilities in the Northwest. We will see ancient art methods of printing presses and letter presses meeting modern art sophistication and ideas.
Since I'm interested in technology, I'm always trying to match up art and tech. I think the artists are just like the geeks, always innovating, always pushing the envelope. And most of the geeks I know are quite artistically inclined. They notice things, like the artists do, and document them, like the artists do, just using a different method.
This new printmaking studio is a very cool thing for Bend, for Central Oregon, and for the Northwest. This amazing facility will bring people in from all over the country to teach, to learn, and to deal prints. We are lucky.
I'd like to see some tech geeks get in there and get their hands dirty and create something they can frame and hang on a wall. I bet we'd be amazed to see what these JavaSrcipt guys could create with old fashioned letter-pressed script type and ink.