Saturday, January 9, 2010

Print Collection 2

This print from Hatch Show Print has an interesting story for my personal history despite the fact that it was not acquired by me personally, but instead was a gift from my mom when she went on a business trip to Nashville about two years ago. When I found out that she was going I told her about Hatch and where it was and what kind of stuff it was that they did, because I thought it would be great if she could bring back a souvenir that was Hatch Show Print related. At this point I was well on my way to graduation, and had been involved with various forms of printmaking for a few years, but had yet to return to Hatch Show print with my new knowledge and respect for letterpress printmaking. I also asked her (mostly joking) to see if they were hiring.

The result of this trip was the print you see above, some post cards (posted in another Hatch related blog post somewhere around here), and the information that Hatch Show Print was not hiring, but had intern positions. I don't know if I have ever been so excited in my life! That was all I could think about, all the time! I mean I guess that, and my BFA show. I visited Hatch that summer, I sent off my resume and cover letter, and now almost 2 years later I am prepping myself for the move to Nashville and an internship at Hatch Show Print.

One of my favorite things about Letterpress prints, is that when you turn them over, they are dirty and imprinted. This print is no different. The yellow and red ink seems to have bled through to the back side of the poster because of the pressure involved in the printing process. I don't know if that actually IS why this happened, but it reminds me of printing reliefs with oriental papers and the image almost shows up on the back of the paper from rubbing. I guess I will find out in a couple of months.

The red ink used for the word "Hatch" seems to have a marbled effect that resembles what the ink probably looked like laying on the roller. Red with blackish drips smudged in it. Those mystery globs of dark paint or ink that you can't always seem to get rid of no matter how clean you are, but don't always ruin the work.

The yellow in used as the background for the window has a similar feel to it. In addition to the smudges here and there, the yellow background contains imprints of a skull pattern that I assume is not an intentional part of the original image. The skull design makes me think of a chapter in the Hatch Show book that talks about how old wood blocks were reused not only on other images, but sometimes the old blocks were dismantled to make shelving in the shop. This yellow block of windows could have at some point been a block from a Halloween print, or rock n' roll concert poster.

The yellow bleeds through the black ink layer in some spots from inconsistent inking and seem to reveal a wood grain pattern. All of these unique traits, in my mind at least, make me think about the different layers, the process, and the history of the process, associated with letterpress more than I would with your average computer designed and printed poster. That's the way I like it.

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