Printmakers will demonstrate their craft in Sisters


Last updated 10/31/2023 at 9:46am

Photo provided

Carolyn Platt pulls a print at Studio 6000.

When an artist "pulls" a print from a hand-operated press, it is with curious anticipation of a successful result. For art appreciators, to watch the process is always magical.

Studio 6000 Printmakers will open the studio door and run the presses for their First Studio Show and Sale on Saturday, November 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The studio is at 211 E. Sun Ranch Dr. in Sisters - diagonally across the parking lot from Fika Coffee. Artists will be in the studio demonstrating a wide variety of printmaking techniques, operating the presses, and selling their work. It will be a rare opportunity to meet the printmakers and see how they make art.

Technically, a print is any image that is transferred from a matrix. The matrix is a physical surface that can be manipulated to hold ink. The ink is transferred to damp paper (or fabric) using pressure (usually a hand-operated press). This is as opposed to a giclee print, which is generally a digital image produced by an inkjet printer, using a computer.

A dozen members of Studio 6000 have been working tirelessly to make new and unique prints, and reuse or upscale existing creations. To the curious public, they are open and ready to answer questions about the complex process of printmaking.

"The question becomes, when to quit?" quipped artist Barbara Kennedy, as she added touches of Prismacolor pencil lines to a pair of monoprints, creating the slight impression of landscapes. "When is a work of art truly done?" she asked herself.

She had just pulled the monoprints from the press - one in blue and orange, the other in yellow and black inks that mixed to form a cool khaki green she called "bilious."

Printmakers are collectors of color and texture. Carolyn Platt's "tool kit" for the day was a big box of scraps left over from previously pulled prints that just didn't meet her standards.

"When a print doesn't work, it still has a life," she says.

She recuts and binds these along with fine art paper to create hand-stitched journals or sketch books.

Next to her box of goodies was a plywood board, about the size of a standard kitchen cutting board, incised with a pattern of shapes and lines. After many hours spent carving, the woodcut pochoir (a French word for "stencil") can be reused in many ways. The printmaker's kit also includes other stencils, inks, glues, and pieces of fiber, matte board, fabric, and other found objects – all of which can be assembled to make a matrix.

How many layers of ink can a printmaker get on one piece of paper? If you're Janet Brockway, the answer is "a lot." She adds, subtracts, and blends colors in layers to create complex prints.

Paul Bennett is a printmaker and a painter. His latest John Day River collection began as a series of monoprints that represent the undulating hillsides in shades of brown and gold. When each print is dry, he uses gouache (opaque watercolor) to add trees, water, sky, moon, clouds, and sometimes a kayak or canoe.

These are just a few of the well-known artists who will be on hand, and whose work will be part of the November event.

The Studio Show and Sale will also have available work by the late Patricia Clark (1935-2021), one of the founding members of the studio and a printmaking mentor. Clark's work is highly sought-after.

Studio 6000 was established in 2019 after the Bend Art Center closed, and several of its members, including Clark, wanted to maintain a printmaking presence and working studio in Central Oregon. Clark was a master printmaker, artist, educator, and arts advocate. She founded the printmaking studio called Atelier 6000, later known as Bend Arts Center, in 2007. It moved to Sisters when members found a suitable light-filled workspace in the local industrial park in August 2019.

Today, Studio 6000 is a shared workplace for a dozen printmakers and The Roundhouse Foundation's visiting guest artists who work in a variety of printmaking techniques. The studio has three large presses and other equipment and tools for printmaking and creating hand-made books. Public workshops are also offered periodically. Studio 6000 intends to make the Studio Show and Sale an annual event.

For more information, follow Studio 6000 on Facebook or contact Barbara Kennedy by email, [email protected].


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