Sunday, April 10, 2016

2nd Annual "Print Parade"

From the Rhode Island shore, I look over at Long Island and often think to myself that it would be great to visit Dan's Welden's print studio. Of course one can't just drop in on a whim, so I was pleased to find an announcement about a workshop offering an opportunity to work with Dan in his Sag Harbor studio.  Not wasting any time, I signed up, sent in my registration fee and looked forward to enjoying a printmaking adventure.

My husband decided to come along for the ride and since the first workshop started at 9 Saturday morning, we decided to head over Friday evening and enjoy dinner on the island. Boarding a ferry out of New London, we made our way over "moderate seas" to Long Island. I'm not a fan of boats but was confident the boat ride would be worth the trip. I wasn't disappointed.

Arriving in Long Island. Two more ferry rides to go before we get to the South Fork.

Processing the exposed plate.
The workshop focused on the new Solarplate and was open to both novices and those with printmaking experience.

Dan covered the entire process: the numerous ways of creating images for and directly on the plates, exposure options, inking and printing.

Rinsing a deeply "bitten" plate.

Each participant came prepared with sketchbooks, drawings, transparencies and enthusiasm.  By the time the workshop was over, everyone had a finished print or two.
Solarplate ready to be hardened in the sun.
Dan's printing studio is housed in a walkout basement at his home. In addition to his presses, it's filled to the brim with all that accompanies an active printmaking studio. It looked inviting, well used and needless to say, I was very excited to be there. 

I was also pleased to find that the early morning session had only four participants; providing everyone with more room to spread out and work and lots of individual attention.

Adding texture to a sheet of glass using carborundum grits.
Along with lots of basic information about his Solarplates, Dan generously shared all sorts of valuable printmaking tips: how to grain a sheet of glass for drawing, ink mixing and wiping tips, paper preparation, and printing.

Using a squeegee blade to apply ink.

Plate held in place with a magnetic sheet.

A mixture of oil based ink and Akua Intaglio ink used to ink plates.

Using a brush to ink a deeply embossed plate.
Lining up second plate for a two color print.

My print being pulled from the plate.
During the course of three hours, each artist created a six by eight inch plate which will be  professionally matted and framed.  All who participated in the Print Parade will have the opportunity to exhibit their print in Dan's gallery space located just a short distance from the home studio.

My finished print.

When the workshop was finished Dan graciously offered to take us on a tour of his home; a fantastic post and beam structure he designed.

Entering through the front door, you're greeted by an expansive open space, which immediately takes your breath away.  A large soapstone stove in the center of the main floor provides heat and was the perfect place to lean your back against for a little heat therapy.

Pots hung from the kitchen ceiling and an impressive chandelier hung over the dining table.

There was something to catch your attention no matter where you looked! A genuine feast for the eyes: amazing wood craftsmanship, artwork, all sorts of collectibles, interesting found items, and personal touches like his dad's fire helmet sitting on a mantel.

The post and beam construction was stunning. Actual branches stood in for traditional balusters in the railings adding a touch of whimsy.

Sleeping loft.

Dan's painting studio occupies a third level loft area.

View from above.

Needless to say, it's a magnificent home and I was so happy to have been invited in for a visit.

Dan Welden's reputation as a great guy is well deserved. He generously shares his time and expertise with students and printmakers throughout the world and I consider myself very lucky to have worked with him for a few hours and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the creative environment in which he lives works.

Thank you Dan!!

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