Sarah Amos Studio View

The follow is a studio tour and interview with the Vermont-based artist, master printer, and teacher, Sarah Amos.

One of Sarah’s plates on the press.

Printeresting- Describe your studio and your relationship with the space.

Sarah- We have just finished building a Post and Beam Barn Studio for a Collaborative Print Studio. It is 1700 square feet of unlimited potential, large white walls, huge 13 Ft tables everywhere, 22 Ft ceilings for all the natural light you want and a gorgeous wall of glass that looks into Vermont forest. I have wanted a space like this for very long time. When you make large scale work you really lust after a complimentary space so you can see the work from a decent distance and that allows you to move unhindered. This space has affected the way I see my work and how I interact with it. Many decisions are now made from 40 Ft back or in a  casual glance often cements an idea. In my past studio I could not see the work and and was difficult to handle and it was only in the Gallery that I could finally see it properly but now this happens hourly.

P- Do you have a ritual when you work in your studio?

S- No everyday is different and is likened to a foot race, so no one day is ever the same the start and finnish lines get moved constantly.
I cant wait to get to the studio and cant bare to turn the lights out.

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Monkey, Age 11, assistant pressman.

P- What do you make and how do you make it?
S- I make large scale Hybrid Prints (I call them this as they seem to bridge Drawing,Printing and Painting). They encompass, Mono print,Carborundum Etching and Collagraph techniques’s and all have elements of hand drawing.  I make large plates from cardboard and plexiglass and incise marks and apply a host of sculptural materials to all of the surfaces. Each matrix is a set of  2 plates  and are printed in one color. Several sets of plates  are needed to make one image when layered on top of each other to create the desired surface. I then like to draw on the surface of the print with watercolor or acrylic.

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P- Do you have any favorite music or audio while working?

S- African

P- How does teaching inform your studio practice?

I have been teaching Printmaking and Collaborating Privately with Artists for over 20 years both in the United States and Australia, but most recently I have been teaching at Bennington and William’s College.

I  like to teach printmaking as it can re-invigorate your own commitment to your craft, refine and excite your technical focus, and is a great forum to exchange ideas with other image makers. I find this to be most satisfying especially when you are able to help other artists to realize their own printmaking potential.

I am now offering a series of small weekend Master Classes in my Printmaking Studio each summer in both Mono printing and Collagraph techniques .Each of the Classes offered will be small in number which will allow me to work more closely with each individual artists needs in creating a coherent body of work in either techniques.

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P- Is there any context or life experience that informs your work?

S- Regular travel especially back to Australia.

P- As an artist, what was the most important discovery you ever made?

S- Gravure Sur la Carton is a french name for Collagraph on Cardboard. I was visiting a friend at the Circulair’e Atelier in Montreal many years ago and saw an entire workshop full of people flipping around huge cardboard plates like pizzas. I quickly realized that they were all using cardboard and a love affair was born, I could now make large scale prints without the expense of copper or zinc anything was possible .

P- What does the art world look like to you?

S- In great flux and turmoil right now. I am hopeful that it will turn around, but when it does it will be very different from the old model of business and the very nature of what it means to be a practicing artist will be a greater challenge than it is currently.

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P- How is your use of print relevant to your larger creative agenda?

S- Well, print is my primary platform of expression, so it is extremely  relevant ( it is my big picture!) as I can think of no other medium that would suit my temperament, flexibility, nuanced language and real passion for the plate making and the love of paper. For these reasons I will always be working in print.

P- Who are your creative heroes?

S- El Anatsui, Perter Doig, Bill Kentridge, Gerhard Richter, Anselm Keifer,Thomas Schwontkowski, Forest Bess, John Olsen, Johannes Vermeer, Jose Bedia, Antoni Tapies and at least 300 more.

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P- What artworks, texts, films, or music have been especially important to you?

S- This question would take me a lifetime to answer.. but  the most recent piece or pieces to have huge impact on me was viewing my first El Anatsui at  his New York Gallery several years ago.

El Anatsui’s work for me is unquestionably the most inspiring art work that I have seen in a while, not only for its obvious scale but his use of repetition, 3-d color, common materials, and kinetic energy. These pieces fill me with awe and continual inspiration to this day.

In addition Bill Kentridge’s large scale animated charcoal drawings amaz my senses and elevated my technical interests as animation is of great interest to me. Bill Kentridge’s huge wool tapestries also stop me in my tracks for their technical complex it,exquisite subtleties of color and powerful graphic arrangement. I have always wanted to translate my work into Tapestry.

And Anselm Kiefer’s Pyramid Paintings were also monumentally gorgeous and visceral and were etched permanently into my image bank.

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Monkey hard at work.

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P- Lastly, what do you read, watch, listen to look at regularly?

S- I read primarily Autobiographies. Most recently, Ingrid Betancourt, And I watch a lot of Documentaries, recently, Bill Cunningham and Gerhard Richter. And I listen to NPR, BBC, and ABC radio all the time.



Strikeslip 64X60 Collagraph 2009

Sarah using her arms to give us a sense of the scale of her huge, majestic works.



Obviously the web does not do justice to conveying the complexity of the surface of these works.


And an outside view of the studio, below. *sigh* by now those trees and hills will be lush and green and less humid that it is here right now in Printeresting HQ.

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Thank you Sarah Amos for inviting us into your studio and generously sharing so many details about your practice.

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Categories: Artists, Artwork, Studio Visit

8 Responses to “Sarah Amos Studio View”

  1. Andrea Emmons says:

    I have admired her work for years, this is fabulous, thanks for sharing such great photos of her work, and new studio.

  2. Sarah Amos has always been an inspiration both with her
    energy and fluidity of ideas.
    Her commitment to her practice is commendable !

  3. anne smith says:

    Sarah is one of the most inspiring artists I know. For the 20 years that I have know her she has never stopped questioning, expanding, or pushing her work out of the box . Not to mention the incredible beauty of her work.

  4. Fantastic! The recent work really shows how Anatsui, Kentridge and Keifer’s work has inspired you. Saw some in Brattleboro VT last month at Reeves.
    Really great work. As a printer I find it compelling and inspiring., and bewildering technically, which is so good for me.

  5. Awesome! I love Sara’s work! It’s so wonderful to get a glimpse of her studio and practice. What a great interview. Thanks!

  6. Myra Kaufman says:

    Your new studio is fabulous! I enjoyed reading your interview too. Cheers, Myra Kaufman

  7. Nicole Jelicich says:

    Dear Sarah
    after working with you all this time I actually got to see a photo of you and your magnificent studio. Wonderful to see your work in situ and your assistant…lounging around

  8. EMP says:

    Wonderful job Sarah, works of art