Saturday, September 28, 2013

Nature Printing Society Workshop

foggy Charleston area
 I spent a wonderful, foggy week in Oregon at the Nature Printing Society annual workshop.  Members of the Society gather once a year to spend a week printing together.  There are classes to take and socializing together.  The talents of this group are formidable and varied and I always learn so much from one of the workshops.  Our venue this year was the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology in Charleston, near Coos Bay.  Besides days (and nights!) spent printing, there were many other activities.....

 There was  spectacular ocean front scenery.....

.....and a dear, dear friend in attendance.  And there were Squid Heads!  Yes, Squid Heads, to the delight of all the attendees....
Sharron Huffman and Heather Fortner, great sports and great printers
There were clowns.....
The Amazing Fred Mullet, Himself
 .....and there was dancing.....

The past president, Chris Dewees takes current president, Bee Shay, for a spin in the parking lot
 ......and singing and dancing to Mack the Knife.  "Oh, the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear....."
His Fishness, Fred Mullett and Bee Shay 
And there were pirates.  There must be pirates, don't you think?

Bee Shay at her most piratical

There was also a lot of serious nature printing going on.  I took four wonderful classes and learned so much.  Kathy Bower taught monoprinting with an etching press and I spent a happy day trying this leaf and that plant and inking them all, printing happily.  
Kathy Bower teaching the monoprinting with an etching press class

a sampling of the prints I did in Kathy's class
There were classes in eco printing, where leaves and flowers were used to dye cloth.  And there was a great class taught by Warren Hartz in printing with leaves onto silk scarves.  I took that one and had a wonderful time.  It was not too difficult, but it's very time consuming and rather technical and from now on I think I'll just purchase one of the Hartz' gorgeous scarves when I am in the market!

my scarf during the printing process
my scarf dyed and drying on the frame
My favorite class was white line woodblock printing with Lynne Hubner.  I have just gotten into carving woodblocks for printing so this was a very timely class.  This process is quite different from any other woodblock printing I have done as you use watercolors instead of ink, and the watercolor paint is applied to the woodblock in a single area at a time, then the paper is placed over the block and you burnish the back of the paper to facilitate the transfer of the watercolor paint to the paper.  It takes quite a long time to print the block, depending on size, but it's very meditative and I loved the process.
my woodblock in the process of being carved

 It was a wonderful workshop!


Judy Wise said...

This is the most wonderful blog post ... gorgeous photos of Bee and the processes you participated in. Thank you for taking me to the gathering via your writing. Thinking of you, as always, with love.

john said...

I am so glad you had a fantastic time. Can't wait to hear more about it on Thursday. :-)

diane b said...

You have the best fun at these workshops. They sure look a happy, spirited bunch.