Saturday, January 23, 2010

Kachinas

Letterpress is a type of printmaking that was invented for books and newspapers and other mass printing in the 15th century.  Letterpresses are very old, heavy, cast iron or steel machines that push the text or design into paper.  It creates a beautiful impression that is more easily seen on fine lines, but you can still see the embossed impression in this picture:

The machines are not being built and it's a dying art, even though more people are using letterpresses than even 20 years ago.  Today letterpresses are mostly used for fine arts and high-end paper products, such as wedding invitations.

These designs are based on the Native American Kachina dolls.  Each classmate had a different theme and every picture is made up of letters and symbols.  We are exchanging cards on Monday and I will definitely put up those pictures.  Some of my classmate's designs are absolutely mind-blowing.

Here, I am working on two different kinds of letterpresses.  There are pros and cons to each design, but I won't get into all the details.  The other day I realized that I didn't have any pictures of me "working my trade," so I enlisted J's help while I printed yesterday.  I'd hate to go all 5 years of art school without any pictures!



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