Friday, February 17, 2012

Laser Cuts --a new toy for relief printing on shirts!

Wow, a new year and new images to print!
I just had some laser-cuts made onto thin sheets of
The laser follows a vector path from a digital image and
burns away the masonite or other suitable material, so
the artist doesn't have to grind or cut a matrix-- but of course, there is an extra cost to doing it via laser!
I plan to print these onto T-shirts, using my
lovely Brand etching press and water-base fabric inks.
The detail obtained by the laser cutting is very fine.
This will entail some careful inking and printing.
However, I feel that printing onto fabric with these textural images will be forgiving enough. I may still mix it up with screenprinting too.
At right is a preliminary ink-up of one of my images,
with a sweet new brayer I just received.
The masonite is inked up in red for contrast--(I like it because the building almost looks like it's on fire here.)
At the top is the drawing the laser cut came from.
This is a drawing based on my daily train commute on
the Chestnut Hill East Regional Rail Line to my neighborhood of Mt. Airy. The building shown is an abandoned factory, the Van Straaten and Havey Building, built in 1919, near the Wayne Junction station and the Wayne Mills textile buildings, (which are still in operation). I have been studying this building in passing for the past 3 years, drawing and photographing it. I love its beautiful crashed-in skylight, and its massive piers built into the spaces between the windows. It reminds me of a heat-sink with cooling fins. Actual prints onto shirts soon to come!
Postscript: As of November 2012, this building was actually torn down. I am so bummed out about that; but it was probably best, for the safety of the neighborhood at large..... and perhaps another nice
space will eventually be built in its place. However, now I am very happy that I thought to preserve the image and memory of this building in my artwork!!

It is still about the body/Back in Time/Time is of the essence...

This was my MFA show postcard image from December 2003.
These pieces were body-printed by me onto leather
with white latex paint.
(I read a lot about Yves Klein, but opted to
run my entire show myself!)
They were intermediate steps to my final
thesis installation (which was a similar
project, except the body prints were done on
flat black 16"x16" patio pavers, which were then
smashed and strewn around the floor).
My work at the time of entrance into graduate school involved me making constructed-surface found-object wearable art, and doing performance (mostly singing) while wearing this work.
It changed halfway through, to being more concerned with
installations documenting the fleeting nature of
our bodies' existence, hence the title of the
installation, “Perishable.” It was a particular challenge to find the best metaphor
in the materials and their placement to express this concept.
For many years, however, and all during my grad school time, I see the main thread
has been my addressing the body in some way--
as my T-shirts now do, in the form of wearable prints.
Sometimes it is necessary to take a brief look back to better know the path ahead.