Been two weeks since the last update and not a lot happened until the past few days. It is the end of the semester and as any other person who has ever gone to or taught at a college knows its a crazy time period. Thankfully, I was able to schedule some meetings around all the chaos and am very glad I did.
Friday I spent half the day in Baltimore first meeting with Chris Bathgate to talk about the latest ideas for his edition and then I went to the Under $500 show at Maryland Art Place. Chris and I hadn’t been able to connect since October just from there being so much on both of our plates, but we were able to meet up and talk about the experimentations on Friday and this is where I can explain the image posted to Instagram the other day.
These two toys are pretty unique and kind of amazing. The first is a experiment roller that Chris created for possible developing a new printing system for his work. As I have mentioned in previous posts, Chris really wants a sculptural element that he can have and show that was used as part of the printing process. Well, this is the first attempt as such an item. It is an aluminum core with an outer brass cylinder epoxied onto it. Chris then locked it into his lathe and started to carve this angular diamond design into it. Only problem, the epoxy was not strong enough to keep the brass attached once it was cut down to being separate elements attached to the aluminum. Notice how one side has nothing attached, but the other side the brass is still seen in the crevices. Still, it will be good for testing. Part of the brass is high enough to roll up and Chris sandblasted another section to be able to see if it needed a texture to take up ink. So hopefully in the next few weeks I can find some time in the shop to 1; see if it can hold ink on the actual metal, like a normal rubber brayer, and 2; if not hold the ink, see if it will allow pressure printing through a sheet of paper with the pressure of the metal.
The other two is a glass baren from Iron Frog Press, I bought this about a year ago as a more permanent high quality baren for relief printing and its pretty sweet. It has a nice weight to it, so I don’t have to put as much pressure down and its a pretty cool object in its own right. This may be the basis for other experiments for my work with Chris. I like its form and similarity to the sculptures that Chris makes so I proposed we consider also maybe making a baren like object for a sculpture and then use it to print later on. But this is all based on the possibility of the custom roller not working in any way.
Along with meeting Chris on Friday, I met with Stephen Lambert yesterday. We were able to talk over his concept a little bit more and he showed me the latest variant of the programs he is writing for computer vision to re-interpret images for printmaking output. It is its basic stage right now, with algorithms for blurring, sharpening and grayscale, but these algorithms are the base for building more complicated ones based around edge detection, deep of field and more. I am really looking forward to starting to input images into the system and see what we come up with. We both started shooting out these different ideas in how they can connect and then be re-used, which just showed again how much there is in common between the sciences and the arts.
There may be another long break between posts with the holidays and a winter term course, but I hope not. We shall see.