A Printer’s Diary #3 – Second Semester Continues at Tamarind Institute

The old adage ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ has truly applied to my experience at Tamarind. With the second (and final) semester half way completed for the Professional Printer Training Program, only seven weeks remain in litho wonderland.

Last semester wrapped up in mid-December after each student had pulled an exhausting 17 technical editions ranging from crayon and tusche etching tests on stone and plate to acrylic reversals, waterless litho, egg albumen on stone and digital CMYK photolitho separations. The first semester was the foundation upon which the second semester is built. With so many tricks, tips and techniques now in our collective litho toolbox, this semester puts the “professional training” into the program’s title, as we professionally and creatively engage with artists in the creation of original lithographic editions.

This semester, the PTP students are working directly with select University of New Mexico MFA candidates and advanced undergraduate students in a collaborative lithography course. The course is even collaboratively taught between Rodney Hamon, the Education Director at Tamarind, and Tim Van Ginkel, Assistant Professor of Printmaking at UNM. Throughout the semester, we’re collaborating with student-artists, discussing ideas, preparing materials, color trial proofing and editioning their original work. As of this writing, we’ve completed two of four collaborative projects together. The various approaches printers have taken translating each artists’ work into lithos have been fascinating to watch, as the artists work across many mediums including painting, photography, and printmaking. Most had little to no experience with lithography; the first two projects have only begun to reveal the expansive image making possibilities lithography holds.

Ultimately, many decisions have been made last minute at the press by both printers and their collaborators, whether they involved spilt editions, last minute color changes, or complete variable editions. Some notable techniques PTP students have employed with their artists include monotype with polyester plate elements, egg albumen on stone, gorgeous solvent tusche washes, complicated photolitho separations, gold leafing, toner transfers, dusting with dirt, shooting ball grained plates with paintballs filled with tusche, and good ol’ fashioned crayon drawings on big ol’ stones. And let’s not forget the blends. So many rainbow rolls. I’m currently collaborating with a graduate student in the creation of a complicated litho/letterpress book, having previously printed a truly beautiful six run photolithograph with another student.

As the semester progresses, PTP students will be applying for the senior year printing position under the new Master Printer Valpuri Remling, who arrives at Tamarind this summer from Helsinki, Finland. In the next installment of this series, I turn the blog over to current Senior Printers, Maria and Justin, to talk about their experience collaborating with artists at Tamarind over the past ten months. See you at SGC!

Making litho crayons with Rodney.

Offset press demo with Bill.

Shop at full capacity!

Candice gum etching a paint ball splattered plate.

Color trial proofing with blends.

Critique time.

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2 Responses to “A Printer’s Diary #3 – Second Semester Continues at Tamarind Institute”

  1. Right on! That’s some litho mayhem. I love it, your all awesome!

  2. ‘You’re’ all awesome! HA!