Friday, September 21, 2018

Studio B

Getting ready for holiday rush

I say that tongue in cheek a bit since there is usually a slight bump in online sales during the holiday season and usually earlier rather than later. But for those who enjoy giving the gift of art, I did enhance my online presence with a new shop on ArtFire (can't hurt the Google search). I also uploaded most of my framed and matted inventory to the Etsy Shop, links of both on the left.

And I had been meaning to reorganize what I call Studio B, a cat/dog hair free and quiet place where I can mat, frame and ship without sending my customers dust and animal dander (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Here is a panorama!

Left to right: matted works atop the "tape department"
boxes and packing materials, the massive flat files dubbed Green Monster,
mail sorters with small works, framing supplies and envelopes and finally
the other small sorter and my work bench
(cleverly disguised as photo booth at the moment)

Wheels wheels

I learned in my art festival days that if it isn't on wheels, you have to carry it. So I have acquired sort of a wheel-mania. These last 3 weeks I spent some time placing the shelves you see and the flat files on wheels. After some browsing on the idea-rich www, I found a wood shop owner with my same wheel-disease. He placed everything in his shop on 3/4" plywood and wheels. Brilliant!
Shelves were easy, my buds at Home Depot
cut me the 3/4" ply to size and I just
placed the plywood on two furniture dollies

Flat files on four massive 650 lb capacity wheels and
a double layer of 3/4" plywood

The flat files were the hardest, dubbed the Green Monster because they used to be green (I changed that awful quality with a case of neutral tan spray cans). All my prints had to come off, stacked neatly on my work table, then the drawers came off, all 15 of them, then the thing just comes apart in three sections, a foot and a top. Everything is metal and heavy. Few hours, and presto!

Now if I get a guest or decide to rearrange, I just roll everything around to suit my needs. Ah the hidden life of a working artist...

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Friday, September 7, 2018

Some details on details

Couple of tiny details

You may not know this but a while back I started carving my "chop" and a small relevant Native American symbol on my prints. Tiny, very tiny, so as not to interfere with the design. Since most of my work is "dense" with many marks and especially many curvy marks, these have gone unnoticed. Someone who bought one of my prints noticed one and asked so I thought I would share with all.

A "chop" is a special marking to identify prints produced in their studio or shop. This marking is known as a “chop” and is either embossed or stamped somewhere on the print. Traditional Japanese woodblock prints, produced in large studios with many collaborators, often have several chops stamped on each print, one for the designer, one for the printer, and so on.
The tradition continues in many studios and many solo printmakers choose to add a chop to their works. Two examples:
Bill Ritchie's chop stamped
from carved wood stamps (guessing)

Tamarind Studio embossed chop with
adjacent printer's chop

My chops

Ever efficient and slightly dissonant with tradition, I usually carve my chop right on the block and let it print within the design. Because I don't want to disturb the compositions, the chops are tiny and often hidden within a whirlwind of my markings. 
One chop I use is a simple rounded M with an A underneath, completing a circular design. My initials.
The other chop I often use is one of many Native American symbols. I have various books and cards full of them and have found many out on my hikes carved or painted in rocks around this area. Carved symbols or entire panels of Native art are called petroglyphs, many times the carvings are painted; sometimes erosion and nature's forces have changed the color of the carved portion against the surrounding rock. Painted panels are usually called pictographs and are a beauty to see, worn by the ages and telling of many stories of the ancient dwellers of the desert. Many panels have a combination of story telling and symbolism. Really fascinating stuff to learn.
Susan Glarion photographer, Newspaper Rock in Moab Utah

Here is my latest print highlighting the chop marks. The butterfly is Native symbol of everlasting life, the other chop is my initials MA in a circle. I add a different Native American symbol to my prints but always my initials.
Left bottom, butterfly symbol meaning
everlasting life

Right bottom, circular MA, my signature

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