Category: <span>Art</span>

Open Print Exchange – Take 2

I had SO much fun with the original Open Press Project Print Exchange that when they opened it up for round 2, I immediately jumped on board.  The idea is you send in ten prints made with an Open Press Project mini printing press – one stays with the project and gets sent out on exhibitions, and you receive nine random prints in return.

Inspired by this past year’s holiday card, I did another drypoint etching on a plastic plate.  Go with what you know, right?  The deadline to be received in Germany was February 1, so I had them out mid January which was a bit of a list minute rush after a busy holiday season, and partly why I went a little easier on myself with this one instead of trying something new.  Still, I’m REALLY happy with how it came out and can’t wait to see the nine prints I receive in return!  To see all the prints from both exchanges, check out their website.

Print Details:
Backer #536
Drypoint Etching on plastic plate
Speedball Akua Ink in Mars Black
Printed on Legion Stonehenge paper in Steel Grey

Open Print Exchange – Prints Received

I said I would update this post once I received the prints for the exchange, and here I am, better late than never!  I believe this arrived at some point in May of 2022, but of course, beekeeping season is really ramping up at that point and posting about it just didn’t happen until now which is my low point before the season kicks off.  Anyway, these are the 9 prints I received in the print exchange – all of these are 7cm square and are all pretty different in terms of technique, subject, paper, color, etc.  It’s so interesting to see how many different things you can do with one tiny little press!  Click the Open Print Exchange Link to see more detail about each print.

The prints, top row, left to right:
“Untitled” by Yoko Sugeno – Open Print Exchange Link
“lulu the wonderdog” by janine howe – Open Print Exchange Link
“Bunundrum” by Miles Elliott – Open Print Exchange Link

Middle row, left to right
“Ottocat” by Olena Ingerova – Open Print Exchange Link
“Shorebirds” by Kristin Bickal – Open Print Exchange Link
“Precious” by Sara Hindhaugh – Open Print Exchange Link

Bottom row, left to right
“Blue Banded Bee” by Heather Davidson – Open Print Exchange Link
“Still Counting” by Michael Laungjessadakun – Open Print Exchange Link
“Saturnus” by Adelaide Hunter – Open Print Exchange Link

Holiday Card 2022

This is the annual holiday card for December 2022, now that everyone has received theirs!  Every year, I put together a non-holiday-specific art card that works both as a greeting card to send holiday wishes to friends and family, and it functions as a way to flex some creative muscles and put together a little piece of functional art.  This year was a screen printed card with four color layers (yellow, green, gold, black) and an additional credit line on the back and a greeting line inside for a total of six passes of printing.  I was SUPER happy with how this came together and will likely use variations of this for the honey business this year.  For registration and to get the layers all lined up, I had printed out the design on cardstock and attached long tabs to the registration guide to line up each layer – you can see the little registration marks on the corners of the green screen below the card.  I also added 3 layers of painters tape in the corner of the registration guide to act as a sort of backstop to set each card every time so they’d all end up in the same place.  Is this the easiest way to do this?  Absolutely not.  Did it work pretty well and was cheaper than shelling out for registration pins and tabs?  DEFINITELY.  Was it perfect?  Not quite.  Anyway, so using that method, I first laid down the gold, then the yellow, then the green, and finally the black, leaving each layer to dry a couple of hours in between.  Wintertime low humidity meant it went pretty quick and I had the whole set of 43 (plus 12 test prints on cardstock) completed in two days.  I printed them on a bunch of blank cards I had picked up when AC Moore closed a few years ago, so I had a stash of kraft brown and plain white at my disposal. Not sure which I like best, to be honest!  The paper didn’t mesh super well with the ink and there’s some weird bleeding that didn’t happen on the plain cardstock tests, but I think the white paper has some shiny coating on it that makes it a little fussy.  In the end, I was REALLY pleased with the design and how they came out, and I hope the recipients enjoyed them as well!

Open Print Exchange

A few years ago, I started taking printmaking classes with a local artist at our community art center to give me something to do and dig back into a creative groove.  Printmaking was something I’d always wanted to try and this class gave us a great overview of the basics of a few different printmaking methods.  I later took more classes with the same teacher and really found a love for all the possibilities in printmaking.  There’s also something neat about the history of the craft.  Anyway, making prints without a press can be a bit limiting since some of the methods involve consistent pressure that can’t really be achieved by hand, so when I saw the Open Press Project on Kickstarter, I jumped on it.  My little blue press arrived and I went to town playing with drypoint etching on plastic plates.  It’s a very small format since the bed is only about 3×5.5 inches in size, but that also makes it portable and takes up less space which isn’t a bad thing.

At the end of 2021, the team that created the little press put out a call for artists to join a global art swap using the press to create a small series of 10 prints.  For mine, I used a subject that’s gone around a few times in various printmaking iterations from a screen print to a stencil, solar print, and probably eventually a linocut.  It’s my grandpa’s old Polaroid SX-70, and my love of photography bleeding into my newfound love of printmaking is something that should shock absolutely no one!

Here’s my whole series of ten – one will stay with the Open Press Project folks and be part of a catalog and future show, and in return, I’ll receive 9 different prints from artists around the world.  Can’t wait to see the catalog and online archive with all the prints as well, and I’ll add a new post once I’ve received my 9 prints in the mail, hopefully this summer.

Print Details:
Backer #53
Drypoint Etching on plastic plate
Speedball Akua Ink in Mars Black
Printed on Legion Stonehenge paper in Steel Grey

UPDATE: March 2023 – Prints were received in May 2022 and I finally posted about them!  Here’s the link –