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Light fast ink



One print was hung in a room with indirect sunlight and the other was kept in a dark flat file. This was printed in 2009 with VanSon letterpress rubber based ink. In positive news it’s a great teaching tool. (apparently the red is the problem color) I was looking on the internet and a number of people mention having issues with the red but I was not able to find any before/after pictures like this. 



MFA Show


I just finished my MFA show at the Ewing Gallery. I shared a gallery space with two very good friends Andrew Merriss and Daniel Ogletree. I had great feedback and a wonderful reception. Thank you!


Paper, cut and folded

I have been working on series of cut and folded paper objects. Thinking about a hybrid between geometric and organic forms. This is my first iteration of that idea, the Sea Oat Cinder-Block. In order to make it I had to first build a three dimensional maquette and draw all the shapes in the round and then unfold my maquette, scan each surface into the computer. Which sounds easy until you are rotating all different surfaces in illustrator to make sure that all the lines actually will line up with each other when folded.

And a top view

Graduate School

So it has been way too long since my last update. Maybe I am just enjoying graduate school too much. Knoxville is awesome, my cohort is interesting and supportive.

Lately I have been working on a series of graphite drawings I can post some pictures when I finish them. Thinking about what it is that keeps me making art. This is a cyanotype I finished last semester, thinking about symmetry and sacred space.

Wood Engraving

So graduate school is in full swing over here in Tennessee. I got a chance to try wood engraving for the first time! It is a very different experience. Instead of carving areas, you create your image with line and you work on end grain wood. Which mean the wood grain runs perpendicular to the carving surface so there is none of the chipping or splintering you usually have to deal with when you work a wood block. And as an extra special bonus, end grain engraving blocks just happen to be type high so you can print them on the letterpress. :D Anyhow this is my first engraving, so it’s not perfect or anything but I love the medium so I will definitely carve some more.

University of Tennessee

I am going to be starting graduate school at the University of Tennessee this fall (in about a month).  I’ll be going for an MFA in printmaking. Tennessee was definitely my top choice in school and it has a very close knit printmaking group. The school has a total of 9 print grad students and they accept 3 new incoming grads each year. Despite being a very small program UTK printmaking is ranked 4th in the country. And they have this amazing etching press with a press-bed that is literally 5 feet by 10 feet. This is all very exciting and nerve wracking.

I managed to get a work study job in the University letterpress studio. This was a stroke of good fortune for me because I have letterpress experience so my new professors recommended me for it. Which has great pay, only requires 10 hrs a week and it literally in the same building as all of my classes/studio, oh and it’s an experience that I can put on my resume! Here is a picture of the letterpress shop. The have managed to fit quite a lot into a rather small room.

I have found a room in a sweet little shared house. Just South of Knoxville and across the Tennessee river. I’ll post some pictures of it as soon as I can.


Because my last bookmark was so well received I have made another one.  This time it is a carrot! I figure it would be nice in a cookbook but I’d probably use mine in novels… It’s a simple image but I am very happy with how it came out. It is just nice to carve something reasonable and not monstrously difficult for a change. I also like the long narrow format.  Grab one on Etsy

In other news my printmaking studio had their 2nd Annual Print Big Steamroller print event. And it was awesome. We had a bunch of the local Atlanta colleges, some art groups and high schools each submitted a 4 foot x 8 foot block which we printed in an outdoor festival atmosphere with a steamroller. This is a photo of the SCAD block which was particularly good.

Lucy’s Field

Here is the Moku Hanga print. I think the printing is imperfect but it’s not bad for a first try. I have been asking printmakers advise on forums.

Moku Hanga

This is the image I am using for the moku hanga. It’s a photo of Lucy’s Field in the snow.

So I finished carving my first layer and despite my concerns it seems to be holding up pretty well. My ink application skills and ink/paste ratios leave a lot to be desired.  I seem to be going back and forth between the sesame seed printing and so much ink that it is blurring off the lines.

I decided to do the traditional color separation where you glue the printed keyblock face down on the color blocks. You can see through the translucent thin paper and carve through it. I am only doing two colors but I wanted to try this. But I did not use a strong enough glue. So as soon as I started carving the paper started coming off! I was able to cut the lines with the knife so I was able to get the outlines cut and the registration should be ok. But it was a bit frustrating. I am back to pencil on bare block. I can manage that.

There is my proof. The black ended up being a grey because I was grinding my own sumi ink from a solid brick and I don’t think I did it enough. Fun times.

My First Moku Hanga

So I am attempting my first moku hanga woodblock print. I have spent a lot of time thinking about moku hanga and the problem is that all the specific supplies that it calls for are imported from Japan are very expensive and I have no teacher. Regardless I have decided to stop puttering around and just make do with the supplies that I can get.  I’ll see how it goes and learn something…. probably the hard way.  I downloaded an ebook from David Bull called “your first print” and it was pretty encouraging.

And it is proving to be a real challenge. I am pretty good at carving linoleum BUT I have significantly less experience working on wood. And I decided on a design that was way too intricate. So I am having bits and pieces flaking off. I am going to finish it anyway. Because it is a small block and I want to try printing but I am concerned that it won’t hold up for any real editioning. I think if I want to do this kind of detail in the future I need to get harder woods than the shina basswood.

The Japan bookmark has been a huge hit. I have managed to raise $335 for tsunami relief!

Japan Tsunami

I am sure everyone is watching the ongoing news updates from the earthquake/tsunami disaster in Japan. Watching all the devastation is very hard and especially the the footage of survivors desperately looking for loved ones. With the nuclear problems unfolding we can’t even know how bad it will get in Japan before it can get better. In response to the Japan tusnami I have made a small bookmark linoprint. I am selling them on etsy and donating $5 to the red cross for every bookmark I can sell.

Snow Storm in Atlanta

Last night a very serious snow storm hit Atlanta and we got about 6 inches of snow.  Took some pictures this morning. As much as it was beautiful and fresh I really hate being cold. So I scurried back inside.

My carving is going well and I am almost finished with this layer.  Although I am still unclear on how I can manage my frustrating printing issues other than sweet talking my way onto using a larger press. Not outside of the realm of possibility but I’ll have to call in a favor at the local university’s printmaking department. Crossing my fingers on that one.

I’ve been spending a lot of my free time buried in my new Christmas ebook reader which is pretty wonderful. I like the idea that it could save all the space you would need for a library. Nothing against romantic bookish reading areas but I am feeling a little techno crazed ATM. When I decide to live out my childhood fantasy of living in a small treehouse. That will be one less thing for me to worry about. LOL like that will happen. Can you imagine me dragging a etching press up into a tree…? Treasure the thought.

On the textile area my mom and I have discovered that the most affordable way to get fine exotic yarn is to shred sweaters from the thrift store. I understand that this isn’t exactly a secret and a number of people are doing this already but it’s unexpectedly exciting. At least for me. I think it taps into the inner cat. The part of you that wants to play with yarn and destroy something at the same time… Anyhow together we have shredded 19 sweaters and gotten some very lovely Marino wool, cashmere and silk out of the deal. So hopefully we can crank the weaving thing into a higher gear. Without the unreasonable cost of supplies.

Applying for School

This month I am working on grad school applications. Something that really stresses me out. And university website designers are very much on my bad list right now. I have about exactly a month till everything has to be sorted out and sent in. At least I figured out which schools I am applying to and contacted all my professors for letters of recommendation.

In other news I am still carving that beast of a huge lino print I started a while back. I am about 70% carved on the first layer.

Every year on Etsy I see a bunch of handmade calendars. It always makes me feel jealous and left out. The problem is that nobody is going to spend more than $40 on a calendar (more like $35) and there just isn’t a way to do all that printmaking without a huge loss. And then unlike other editions this calendar would expire and your stuck with however many didn’t sell. And there is no guarantee they would sell well. I have seen people jump these hurdles buy making very small calendars on the letterpress with polymer plate images. More effectively I have seen Ye Haw Press do a single image with tear away calendar months. The problem is that I am not wild about tear away calendars even when they are clearly the most reasonable solution. Something about how they poke out from the surface. But TODAY I found this seller

Not that I would approach the calendar problem as an embroidery project. But the movable and re-attachable numbers means that you could use this for as many years as you like. A perpetual calendar… I could print an awesome single relief print which includes the grid square, back the print with a magnetic sheet and make the numbers into little magnets.  I am still working out the kinks but because it isn’t year specific it wont matter if everything sells the first year.

One Man Show at Lampe-Farley

Opening night at my first one man show was a huge success. The show should be up until the end of November so anyone who missed the opening night can still visit the art. You can get directions and hours from the Lampe-Farley website. I also have to mention my good friend Emily who made this show possible. THANKS YOU ARE AWESOME! Also the good people hosting me here have decided not to take any cut of sales so I have not had to jack up any prices like you usually see at galleries.

So here we have the 6×6 project as a window collection. Some of the prints are facing inward and some are facing the street.

This is the pressed flower collection that I was working on in my last post. Here they are all finished and framed. They are currently scheduled to show at Get This Gallery in Atlanta some time in January.

My residency triptych is hung in the front room.

And the rest trickle down the hallway.

Revisiting Old Ideas

So a while back I made the book “My Mother’s Garden” and I had been playing with the idea recreating pages from the book as wall prints, using the same flowers. So I have finally started working on this idea while working on my big tall print at the same time.

I wanted to keep these as true to the book as possible so I got the same paper (Arches natural) I don’t have a typewriter any more so I managed to print labels off my computer in a old looking typewriter font. This worked unexpectedly well.

The other thing I have been working on is fixing the biggest issue I had with the book version. The problem with the book was that once I glued the flowers down, it looked like I had printed them in the book and you couldn’t tell that the flower was a separate thing they just fused together which was disappointing as they had been laboriously cut-out as you can see from the picture. So I have been gluing little hole punched paper circles to the backs of the flowers to make the flowers pop forward. It is just enough to create a small amount of distance between the flowers and the back paper, and give me this very discrete but oh so satisfying drop shadow.

I am posting about the flowers now but I have been working on them for a while. It takes a while to cut each one out, and I had 10 different flowers each with an edition of 5. But I am all cut out now and I just have to glue them down and take some photographs. Part of me wants to sell them framed because I think they need to be framed as small as possible to keep them sweet and intimate. Maybe I’ll get one frame and photograph them framed to give people the right idea…


Ok so just started weaving at home and here is a picture of what it looks like on the loom

This is a 16 harness pattern that moves between weft faced and warp faced.

The top side is primarily silver and the underside is inverted and mostly blue. The interesting thing about this weaving is that when you take it off the pressure the zig zags pucker a bit giving it a subtle three dimensional texture. Hopefully is will have an excellent future as a scarf. Anyhow if you would like to get tecnical and you happen to have a 16 harness loom in your life, here is the draft for this structure from

I am trying to crank this scarf out quickly, in part to see how fast I can work and in part to not monopolize the equipment. My mom and I are using the same loom so I can’t exactly leave unfinished projects hanging around. And I am pretty excited about starting the next warp. We are going to do some crazy shit for round 2. At least I know I am lol. I am in love with networked drafting and how a complex tie up can give you an amazing amount of control. My mom on the other hand is in love with dye. This may turn out very well all things considered.

Ok back to weaving!

Tall Print’s First Layer

I feel like someone who does as much relief printmaking as I do should have less technical difficulties. So I get to the studio and ink up my block, only to lay my block on the press and discover that the press is too small. Somehow I was convinced that the press bed was 60″ long when in reality it is only 50″. And because the press is too small the blankets are also too small and everything pretty much sucks. I am calling around and apparently nobody carries any boards longer than 40″. One of the people I talk to  recommended I get that “dark brown stuff” from Home Deopt (lol masonite) which is stiffer and thicker than what I am used to but should work alright in theory.

Ok back to printing at the studio… Masonite seems like it would be a good idea, but because one side is very textured and one side is smooth. The press has a better grip on one of the sides and everything shifts when I run it through the press. For my flat blend roll layer a little sliding wasn’t a big deal but I am going to have to use something different for the carved layers. Oh drama! So without further ado.

The blend roll is pretty subtle but the grey gets darker on either end. There is a little unprinted stripe at one end because I didn’t have time to tear my paper down to the new slightly smaller dimensions. Because of the shifting, this layer has some unintended texture which I think will be fine for a cloudy winter sky. But so help me there will not be any shifting on the next 2 layers.

Printmaking Plans

So I have finally decided on the reference image for my super-long 24″x53″ print. It’s not as night/dusk as I imagined this print would be but after going through all my photographs, this is the one that I most wanted to make a print of. It’s from the wonderful heavy snow day we had last winter and it cropped down well to the dimensions I needed.

The problem I found with photographing for this print was that the camera takes pictures with wider width. That in of itself isn’t an issue. I can digitally make it whatever size I need. The main problem is that you subconsciously compose your photograph for that wider rectangle. So when you crop it down it isn’t as good compositionally. It took a lot of sifting through photographs to find one I was happy with.

I am going to try and properly document my process this time and photograph all the steps. I already have my paper torn down and I need to print the grey background. Normally I could go ahead and start carving and easily print a flat background off any flat surface. But because this print is so long there isn’t a surface other than the block itself. So I have had to sit tight until I can make it into the studio.

In other news my mom and I have finally gotten the loom up and running. We have a huge 16 harness AVL compu-dobby  now if you know anything about weaving talk that is some fancy equipment. And has complexity for some pretty exotic weave structures. I am unreasonably excited about this and have been spending way too much time looking at little gridded designs of weave structures. One of the nice things about weaving is that it’s such an old medium that all this stuff is in the public domain. So my home studio is now officially a printmaking/weaving studio. I’ll probably have to add a section for handwoven scarfs to my etsy shop. It’ll be AWESOME!

Drafting Table Restoration

So the drafting table in the last post has now been completely and lovingly restored. All of it’s rusty metal has been polished. And the wood surface was entirely sanded down and re-varnished top and bottom. The wood surface ended up taking 1 coat of sanding sealer and 3 coats of varnish. Thing took forever to dry and now it is finally up in my room. I can’t put stuff on it yet until it’s had 24hrs for the final coat to set.  Here is a picture!

Of course my life would be simpler if the table could actually fit where the other one was. But that is not to be… an entire bookshelf had to go. Which was a tremendous challenge for someone as attached to books as I am. Bit of chaos for right now but I think I’ll be able to pull it together.

Drafting Table Falls From the Sky

The current project I am starting is 24″ x 53″. The linoleum arrived the other day and it’s kind of laid out awkwardly in the middle of my room essentially taking up all of the floor space. The table that I have been using is my mom’s table that she has been letting me borrow and is a few inches shy of fitting the whole block. I decided that the easiest way to manage this was to buy a bigger drafting table of my own and return my mom’s table. I would need my own table eventually so why not.

I was looking at a lot of really bad tables on Craig’s List when I found this beauty for $75.

It’s a 36″ x 60″ table that’s built like a tank. It was originally part of the University of Michigan aerospace department 75 years ago.  So I’m getting pretty excited here and I email the seller who unfortunately lives in Huntsville Alabama. I called the woman yesterday and got some cash out. Today I get off of work and the thing is in my garage. Apparently her brother was headed our way and he was able to deliver it.  It feels like it appeared out of thin air.  lol So I am buffing some rust off and we are going to refinish the surface. This table is freaking awesome.  :D

Terminus Show

I am showing my print at the Gallery Walk at Terminus until October 8th, and I am hanging right next to some of my favorite printmakers! So mine is the huge one in the center right in between Dale Clifford and Ruth Laxson. The show is a selection of printmaker from APS so I know most of the people hanging with me. Anyhow here’s a picture! I need to get my work into more shows but I am hesitant to ship my big prints. I just have visions of them getting tossed around in the mail or crushed :O mom says you can ship large things safely but part of me doesn’t believe anything is safe in the mail.

So I was on Etsy…

So I was on Etsy the other day and I found this person making very small coptic books and using origami paper as the cover paper. You can see this on etsy here at VersoBooks. And I was inspired to give it a go.

Now traditional origami paper is about 15cm or 6inch square. Which is tight but can yield a book about the size of the mini moleskines with the option of being a little wider.  If I were to make something like this I would want matching pattern paper for both the front and back covers. The problem is that almost all the highest quality papers come in packs with no duplicates so was able to dig up larger sheets. It’s more expensive but they exist, and I can make decent journal sized coptics with the most charming cover paper around.

Unfortunately I have been spoiled by the UGA bindery and I haven’t done any binding since I graduated. So I am trying to figure all this out in my little bedroom studio. It might take a bit longer per book but I think I will get the hang of it.

On another note I have discovered my new favorite printmaker. Kawase Hasui is a 19th century woodblock printmaker and basically super famous and I am just slow. But in my opinion he knocks the pants of Hiroshige and what is even better is that they are still printing his blocks! I can actually afford to buy some of his prints!  I have been familiar with some of his work for a long time but I didn’t know the artist. He did a whole series of landscapes at night and in the rain which is something I am thinking about in my work right now. And so many trees. I am in love.


So I am kind of in between projects at this point. I have some small project ideas that have been on my mind for ages now and I would really like to finish them up. But as my parents point out it would be better to do a piece that can help with the whole grad school thing.

So the idea is I want to do a tall print.  I want you to feel it towering over you when it’s on a wall. I also want to do the forest at night. Black on black. Something that makes you feel a little intimidated, with a warm light source only hitting the bottom of the trunks.

Now contrary to popular belief I am not a crazy printmaker and the practical side of this is a real concern. In order to frame this print like the others there is a frame limit. The biggest length I can get from Westfall framing is 60″ and biggest piece of archival foam core is 40″x60″ so in order to have borders I am going to make the image 24″x53″. The press at the Atlanta Printmaker’s Studio will just barely fit that size so I don’t have to figure out some alternative printing. And I found large format sheets of Japanese paper. It would be Okawara paper instead of Kitakata paper but I think they are both good papers. Now I just need to get the block. Bangor Cork hasn’t called me back and I really don’t think a custom cut is that big a deal but I REALLY don’t need 25 feet of linoleum. The stuff gets stale if you don’t carve it within a few years. Framing something this big is going to be EXPENSIVE.

In an effort to take more pictures in general. I am looking into buying a camera. Now my dad has a super fancy pants digital camera, so for serious art photography I am covered. I need something that I can have in my purse and is simple to use, but takes good pictures. I also like a long battery life. Right now I am looking at the cannon powershot sd1300 but if you guys have some other recommendations to check out I am all ears.

Haunted Snag

Here is a solo cyanotype from my latest collection. I feel in love with how haunted it seemed that I was unable to print any more layers onto it. I just took a step back and called this one done.  It was such a relief after all that madness of carving to work in a process so loose and fun. The photograph for this tree was taken in the Smoky Mountains as the sun was going down. There was snow on the ground and hoarfrost in the higher altitude trees and this unearthly fog.

WordPress themes

So instead of trying to integrate my blog and my website using frames I have just redesigned the gallery section to match up with the blog. After many many failures I’d say they are mostly there. I can’t figure out why it isn’t taking the meta widget like all the others, why my main index is untitled even after I titled it and re-uploaded, or how to change the blogs subheader into links. But after looking at hundreds of WordPress themes I think I am happy with this one and I like the large image thumbnails in the gallery. I think overall it’s seriously more user friendly and professional looking.


Today I made a Preying Mantis out of paper. I think he came out really well. I want to make a series of paper bugs and build display boxes for them. The box part looks like it’s going to be a challenge.

Monster Linocut

This is my latest print. I hang the show tomorrow so this is a little sneak peak. Basically after finishing this I feel like I could carve anything.


My residency has reached crisis breaking point with me. I am edgy and bipolar and having trouble keeping it together. For me framing the art is very very stressful. It is a task where perfectionism is the standard and anything less stands out. I am having issues with matching mounting foamcore. Apparently everybody has the same stuff but in reality I ended up buying 3 different shades of white and one stupid idea. Because when you are framing something as big as I am, archival foamcore is really the only affordable option (less than $100) that will look good. If the sucker was a few inches smaller I would have a lot more options. But by the time you realize that the stuff you bought is different than the stuff you like and were trying to match it is already too late because they have cut it down for you because you have to fit it in the car. So in an effort to avoid an unreasonable to the point of unethical price at Dick Blick I purchased 3 times as much that I can’t use and drove all around Atlanta freaking out. Theoretically I can use the stuff from Hobby Lobby even if the texture and color is slightly different but Binders, Michaels and Dick Blick were a bust. I will find out in the morning after I photograph my work. Because that can’t wait. I can’t properly photograph in the frame so I have to do that first. Just one more thing. kjdfskjdfskjsdfkjdsfshootme

On top of that, after we looked at the pieces it became clear that the way to do this is to have 3 matching prints on cyanotype and 1 with just the lino block on paper. They way to do that is to take apart Dao the print from my exit show and re-purpose its frame for this project. Which conveniently is a perfectly matching frame. Although the chances of me re-framing Dao afterwards seems slim if I take it out of it’s frame. And 4 frames featuring the same block in different variations might be perfect at the show but maybe too much at the house afterward. It all feels like a lot more work but it shouldn’t be unless things go terribly wrong. If that happens I will probably cry and sleep it off.