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This is the first of a few “ghostly” posts in honor of Halloween.  School is also getting busier, so I have less time to putz around on the internet and write about paper and clay.

Anyways, yesterday I set out to scan a printmaking project I did in Australia.  It is a series of 100 self portraits that I made with 1 plate and several texture plates.  Some of the prints I altered and some other people altered.  I also did tons of “ghost prints”, which is where you run a plate through the press more than once without inking it again in between.

Each plate has its own key to how I printed it, which is sort of like a fingerprint.  For instance, if the texture plate was printed first then the face is embossed.  I can match prints by looking at where and how the ink spread.  A few of the plates were colored with a watercolor and dish soap method before they were printed, instead of colored after.  I printed mostly intaglio (where you ink the plate, the ink gets into the etched lines, then you wipe the flat surfaces to get the white tone back), but sometimes I printed my plate relief (ink on the surface of the plate, no ink in the etched lines).  I even printed a few using both methods.  I also printed on top of friends’ ghost prints.  I basically hung around the press while people were editioning and asked nicely if I could run my paper through before they inked it again.  When I show all the prints, I arrange them in a grid, with related prints spread out.  A lot of the prints look like they are related, but they’re not.  When assembled all together, it’s fun to find which ones are related.

This is by far the largest series I have. I printed the face plate first, texture second, then ghost-printed the texture plate.

This plate was over-inked so the ink would spread, and then ghost-printed normally. You can see how the lines are raised instead of flat because no texture plates squashed the ink. The third ghost was altered by Shannon.


This texture plate I forgot in the acid for a really, really long time (4+ hours I think). It was printed second and then ghost-printed. You can sort of see the original texture in the top right, where the cork holding it up provided a resist.

This series was made with the face plate printed first, then a tinted texture plate.


Pretty soon I will update the “Gallery” section with these prints.  Right now I am assembling them into mini-grids, which is pretty time consuming when I have 100+ prints to choose from.


During winter term 2010 I took a class called multicultural education.  One of the first assignments for that class was to write an autobiography.  Most people wrote theirs within this “I am from…” template, but I am not a great writer so any kind of paragraph or full sentence attempt at an autobiography was totally unappealing to me.  I love lists, and I think lists can say just as much about me (maybe more) than prose.  I typed this list (of things I like) beneath an intaglio print I did in the south pacific.   The print is a self portrait that was part of a series of similarly composed portraits.  This image is a photocopy of the autobiography, so it is particularly dark and murky-ish in a way the original print wasn’t.  I think the end result was appropriate to the assignment.


It says,

Things I like:

Leopard print, typewriters, printmaking, books (not reading), analog technologies, my grandmothers (both deceased), handkerchiefs, peas, broccoli, ginger ale, trains, things that cooperate, working/making $$, industrial cities (like Milwaukee), television, optical illusions, gift-wrapping, embossment, sleeping, bringing up disability issues constantly, gospel music, country music, cracking my knuckles, texting, conspiracy theories, miniatures, letter-writing campaigns, marginalia, coming in from the cold, stretching, appositives, bringing up disability issues constantly, prescription drug coverage, Aaliyah, creatures of habit, idioms, AM radio, tattoos, courier new, the aging process, symmetry, asymmetry, Ayyam-i-ha, sass, and clean sheets.


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