This is my etching press. Some people treat their cars/boats/motorcycles like their babies, I feel motherly instincts toward my etching press. Not to supercede by any stretch of the imagination the motherly instincts I feel for my sweet kiddos, but as far as inanimate objects go she's my pride and joy.
She should be, too, considering that my dad, my husband Steve, and I made her from scratch and Steve and I built the flat file cabinet that she rests on too. We've had our ups and downs, and I came really close to selling her after neglecting her for the past 4 or 5 years because 1) It was taking up enormous amounts of space in the garage and 2)I thought with the new baby (Hazel) it would be years before I'd be able to come out and print again (it's not something that can be done bits at a time. I need AT LEAST a 3 hour stretch to do some printing), but I just didn't have the heart to do it.
Fortunately, everyone who was interested in buying it lived on the mainland so shipping it became a rather large obstacle. So, I got to keep her and decided it was high time to start readjusting some of my priorities to be able to go out a print once in awhile. I figured if I have time to make Eliza a closet full of clothes, I have time to do some monotypes. I've pulled a couple of late nighters, but it's been great to be able to get out there and print again. I had forgotten how much I love doing it, and now all those warm fuzzy memories of the hundreds of happy hours I've spent making prints is all coming back.
Anyway, I need your help with something. My press doesn't have a name. Here I am talking about her like she's one of my children (or at least a beloved pet) and she has never been named. Almost embarrassing.
So here's the deal: You help me name my etching press, and I'll give away one of my monotypes. I recently did a series of black and white ones (see post "Back in the Saddle Again"), and I'm in the middle of a color series, AND I am also working on a series of juvenile prints meant for display in kids' rooms. So when I get them all done I'll let the winner choose.
Here are the rules:
1) Leave a comment on my blog with your name idea(s).
2) While you are free to submit as many names as you like, your name will be entered into a drawing one time. HOWEVER, if you pass the information about this contest to someone else, and they submit a name idea, their name AND your name will be submitted. So for each person you get to submit a name idea, you get an additional "ticket" for the drawing. Just make sure that the new person mentions you in their submission.
3) The contest will run for 2 weeks. So on Tuesday, July 1st, I'll put all your tickets into a hat and select the lucky winner. Everybody put your little thinking caps on and......NAME THAT PRESS!
This is going to be fun, I can tell. I want to thank Lizzy House for giving me the giveaway idea...her blog is so much fun and she is a creative, clever ball of fire. I am thrilled to be the lucky recipient of one of her handmade books, which she gave away in honor of her birthday (yes, she's giving away gifts on her own birthday). I can't wait to get it in the mail, and I'll take lots of pictures and show everyone what a fantastic bookmaker, printmaker, and fabric designer she is. You can read all about it here.
I've had a lot of people ask how my monotypes are made, so I thought I'd post a few photos of the process:
I have a sheet of plexiglass that I roll out the ink onto, manipulate the ink how I want it and put my big sheet of art paper on top.
Then I put the three layers of very expensive specially designed wool blankets (each one has a different weave and thickness, all with very specific jobs to do) down over the top of of the plexi+paper+newsprint (to prevent ink from ruining the blankets). Then I spin the flywheel and the pressbed gets drawn through between two big rollers, one on top and one on the bottom.
Finally, presto-change-o, the ink is transferred from the plexi onto the art paper. I do this multiple times for each print, each different run having a different color and/or image.
Monotypes, as their name suggests, are unique, one-of-a-kind prints. No two are ever alike, so in that sense they're more like a painting than a print. I love to do monotypes because of their fresh, spontaneous, and relatively fast nature, but sometimes I wish I could recreate a really killer print. It's nigh unto impossible to recreate a nearly identical monotype, especially the way that I do them, so whoever ends up with one of them can rest assured that it truly is an original!