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The ABCs of Printing with Lukas Pusch

Thursday was reserved for Lukas Pusch class, as I was promised that I will get to see them making a print from scratch. The promise came true and after several hours spent in their workshop, the first collective print was out!

 

The 50-ish-year-old etching presses

 

Traditional printmaking has a rich and colorful history in both the East and the West, but I have a feeling that it was often looked down upon in terms of artistic value. Contemporary art has finally erased this kind of differentiation, but we can still hear people asking - “Is this an edition or an original?” Why would a printed edition not be original? Perhaps they mean unique, but in truth - each print is unique in its own, subtle way.

 

I was present during a presentation in etching. One of the biggest impressions that stuck was the amount of work that goes into each etching. Without considering the preparatory drawings and idea development, up to two days of work is necessary to make an etching starting with the preparation of copper plates to what we see as artwork! With so much work behind it, printmaking is indeed one of the most crafty artistic disciplines that require both a creative mind and a good pair of hands! Artists approach it with a fresh enthusiasm that often descends into a life-long passion, marking printmaking as an ultimate labor of love.

 

Michael Wegerer and Lukas Pusch teaching the process

 

In a chat with Lukas Pusch, I’ve learned that in his diverse practice he uses a lot of woodcuts. With a vast experience in print production, he is leading the Print Print Print course for the second year in a row, after having included woodcut and screenprint into the program, along with the etching. Michael Wegerer, the co-teacher, puts an emphasis on the course’s practical side. Like Lukas said, it’s important the students master the basics of each technique. “I want to give them autonomy to create,” he said, highlighting that a lot of skill and practice is needed in working with the materials and presses.

 

Standing and observing this painstaking process crammed into a couple of hours only, I was once again seduced by the magic of the old printing press, feeling an embarrassing amount of excitement when the test print came out.

 

I will definitely revisit this class next week and check out the first prints in different, or even combined techniques!

 

On a personal note, the printmaking class is where we can find the youngest student at the Summer Academy, a 16-year-old Liza. She is still in school and maybe she will become a printmaker. I wager she just might.

 

The first collective print of the class!

 

The teachers preparing the press

 

There is something hypnotic in runnung the press

 

***

 

Today, my day goes to the photographers and reflection.

 

Let there not be rain until Monday! :)

 

Ana

21/07/17 12:53 Summer Academy 2017

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