Oh my goodness is time ever flying by! Let me get you all caught up.
I promised to report back on my tusche wash tests and I wish I had better news, but they did not go so well. I had some success on my stone but the plate was a disaster, although a huge learning opportunity at the same time, so I can’t say it was a total wash… get it?! Bad printer humor, sorry, but I couldn’t resist! Megan, my class mate and press assistant this past week would be so proud. She is brilliant with puns, keeping us all on our toes. The good news is that although I was not required to I opted to redo the test on a new plate, and all went extremely well. I am pretty pleased with the results and the edition, although it was a scramble to put the extra work in and still keep up.
We moved on this past week to solvent washes both on plate and stone and I am happy to report that despite this being my first time trying them out, processing and printing went much better. We are being guided through using a wide variety of materials and techniques and in the process setting up some complicated printing scenarios. It’s inevitable that we all improve and learn from each other’s successes and failures. It’s exciting to be so focussed at this level, facing scenarios head on that honestly would be natural to avoid altogether.
As I mentioned, we have changed press partners and will continue to do so week by week for the remainder of the program. We had also been switching presses each week (there are four in total) although now there is a sign up system that we are still trying to negotiate through. I believe the underlying impetuous is to have us work on our communication and organizational skills and to keep us from getting too comfortable. This ensures that as professional printers we can adjust to a variety of scenarios that may present themselves in the future, some of which may be less than ideal of course, depending on our aspirations. I know my friend Sarah Dudley and her partner Ulrich Kühle of Keystone Editions in Berlin, both launched into projects in some pretty remote areas of South Africa, Botswana and Australia, after their training at Tamarind. They have moved on from these adventures to set up a fabulous studio that is thriving – congrats Sarah and Uli!
Outside of the studio these past two weeks I have attended both UNM men’s soccer and football games, purely out of curiosity.
Football in particular is so much more popular here in the US (at all different levels) then at home in Canada, I couldn’t resist seeing what all the hype was about.
Game day is quite the spectacle! I attended with my Australian friends, Jade and Adrian. We were simply blown away at the size of the crowds, both inside the stadium and tailgating in the parking lot. There was a marching band, cheerleaders, mascots and hard-core fans from the opposing team that had travelled all the way from Boise Idaho, to cheer their team on. I had never really witnessed all this before, despite my long-term relationship with a former pro-football player! I’ve somehow managed to avoid it…. probably by being in the studio, printing.
Another major event in Albuquerque this October is the Balloon Fiesta. I was able to snap this shot on my brisk walk to Tamarind the other morning. Another first for me! Massive and at a huge distance, hot air balloons seem to move through the sky quite quickly.
During the first two weeks on October over 600 balloons will ascend into the sky in the wee hours of the morning. It is the largest ballooning event on earth and the most photographed event on earth. A group of us spoke of setting out on our bikes at 5am for the 11 mile/17.7 km ride to the vast 78 ac/31ha launch field. Just imagine 54 football fields all put together and covered in vibrantly coloured balloons. It’s a massive event and I hope I get to see it!