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28.07.2015
I am making a vacuum table which will (crosses fingers) make all printing much easier, and make large areas of transparent colors more reliably print smooth and evenly.
Yes, I like cutting things precisely, even when working with medium-quality plywood and drywall screws… and yes, I finally bought a dado blade set, it does beautiful work…!
Oh, also the fact that for a lot of the past two months, the temperatures in the woodshop have been BELOW FREEZING — that might have had something to do with the long time this project has taken me. Building this second drying-rack is a precursor to cleaning up my studio & sorting out the long-unsorted piles, which is a precursor to printing. Books and magazines have been piling up in my bed-loft: the other day I counted 17 and took a picture.
Above, the little golden-section rectangle is giving me a set of dimensions that are proportional to each other, which I’m using as the letter-heights and vertical spacing for the text in this little group.
Southside Community Land Trust is a great organization that supports and helps organize community gardens all over the city. This is something I designed and printed very swiftly the week before last: a going-away-party invitation for my friends. However, this being a last-minute project with an immediate deadline, I had to print these very quickly: which meant finding a way to not have to do four pulls for each card. I printed half the fronts and backs in the first color, then took the ones I had printed that were already dry, flipped them (carefully making sure they were lined up right), and printed the other half of fronts-and-backs in the first color.
You can see the graded-color ink sitting in the screen at the top, the two lined-up cards that have just been printed, the squeegee with the gradient of ink on it at the bottom, the one-color-printed cards at the left, ready for their second color, and (faintly) the open areas in the lower part of the screen through which I printed the pink first color.
This all got finished before last Friday, but I just got my act together to take pictures of it now. Thanks to Diego’s mom Susan (a public high school art teacher here in RI), thanks to Scott who drove me in his van and helped carry it, and thanks to Tatyana who helped me transport the wood for its new frame, I now have a new desk! But okay, I’m not going to go into that here, it would get lengthy… and this is about a new desk!
I use a thick piece of transparent plastic to align the different color layers as I print them. The transparent plastic sheet gets many different layers and colors printed over it, and ends up looking awesome, making me wish I could make a print that would be as good as all the layers randomly laid down over each other. This christmas-time, I found the book Riddley Walker, by Russell Hoban, which I had been wanting to read for years and years.
In the late fall of this year, I read Robinson’s Red Mars, was totally blown away, and actually went back and read almost all of it over again right after finishing it. Just now, over the christmas holiday, I stole Antarctica from my dad and read it, and while it might not be as finely tuned as Red Mars in its overall sequence and structure, I was thrilled, delighted, and challenged, and would probably have gone back and re-read most of it again if my brother hadn’t stolen it from me in turn.


I feel like my brain is not in the right place right now to describe what is great about these KSR books, but I’m going to try.
Glenn Abanilla, a fellow Providence drawer-of-buildings, keeps this great record of the tools he rescues and repairs! I also scanned in some process work which may or may not show up in the College Hill Independent in an article on artists’ processes. This took less than 45 minutes, was extremely simple, and was all accomplished with stuff I already had around the house.
This coming Monday, April 28th, from 7pm to around 9, I’ll be part of a broad-ranging conversation at New Urban Arts with CJ Jimenez, facilitated by Beth Nixon, one of the current NUA Mentor Fellows.
Here in an authentic multi-dimensional Providence context is the multi-dimensional poster made by Andrew Oesch (unfortunately the other two conversations already happened, sorry for not posting this earlier! Okay and in self-promotion mode… if you somehow missed corralling me in person while I was standing behind that pile of paper, but you still want a print! Here’s a sequence of images from our print-making process — click on any of them to see the whole lineup as one large image. Saturday December 15th & Sunday December 16th, 11am-4pm — Cardboard Pankakes, a winter-time studio sale at New Urban Arts (705 Westminster St, Providence).
I spent the past week or so working with Noel Puello (friend, artist, fashion designer, New Urban Arts alum, and future student at MassArt!) on making a super-epic, four-layer, 12-color collaborative screenprint.
I was so psyched to work with a friend who was excited about learning and open to my ideas, but confident in the validity of their own vision & aesthetic sense as well. Buio stole my leopard-print bandana that I made (by ripping up a pair of pants I found in the trash) for the Feral Summer queer dance party last Friday! My friend & colleague Emmy Bright (at right above) is an amazing artist, teacher, and mentor, and has incredible abilities (and reserves of strength) to organize & inspire the people around her!
One of the first things we did together was a screenprinting workshop for artist mentors… Since then I have been proud to assist and consult with Emmy on the multiple screenprinting projects that she has taken on! Here’s the timelapse video of CJ and Emmy pulling the last four prints in the run of (I think?) one hundred. I printed the first color on the Industrial Trust Building prints, then took a break and did the second chapter of a screenprinting workshop for artist mentors at New Urban Arts. We ran out of time, and since the plasticky sticker paper doesn’t absorb any ink, a hairdryer was pulled into action to get these dry enough to take home. One of the participants also said later that they were glad to get to print an image of mine, instead of a random thing that someone had just come up with as a demonstration… that it showed them the possibilities of what could be achieved. From here on out it was a race to the finish line, another day and a half of nonstop printing.


I offered myself the possibility that I could stop printing these in the middle of the run, if I got totally exhausted.
After going through the process of mixing the transparent shadows for the Durruti prints, I had a real sense of competence with the transparent colors here, and got psyched about being super picky. Getting this right is more or less easy if you’re drawing the outlines, then coloring in the shapes. The less labor-intensive way is just to test the colors, give them your best guess, then start printing and adjust each color when you get to it, crossing the fingers all the while. All right, let’s look at something that actually looks good: how awesome is the drawing of these letters?
As I am clambering laboriously back into work mode after a summer of making very little art or work, I am realizing that drawing might actually be the best.
In other awesomeness: New Urban Arts was just recently given the Coming Up Taller award, which means that some folks decided that it is one of the top 15 youth arts organizations in the country, and that Jason & Rosalia got to go to the White House and hug Michelle Obama! Well, the New Urban Arts zine swap is approaching, and I sideswiped myself into working on a zine about how to make bread. I’ve been spending a lot of time at the computer, which is all right, but I am pretty ready to go back to actually drawing. His writing about his experiences there, as a tall blond Arabic-speaking north american, provides a different perspective from the suspicious and generalizing attitude that all of the U.S.
Friday November 30th, 5-9pm — Craftland opening party & fun time, in downtown Providence (235 Westminster St). In this case, I was happy to have the occasional possibility to step in and offer a thought or opinion that I might shy away from talking about with someone who didn’t feel like as much of a creative peer as Noel does. Noel & I were working together to do what was needed to make a beautiful and meaningful object.
I met her through New Urban Arts, where she came to be a Mentor Fellow in the fall of 2009 — to work with the artist mentors there, supporting them and developing insight into how artist-mentoring works at NUA. She also has become a super crucial presence around the studio, both emotionally, artistically, and in a leadership role keeping (bad) craziness down & awesomeness (aka good craziness) up.
Again, I printed half the fronts and backs in the second color, flipped them, and then printed the other half.



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