Wednesday, November 19, 2008


As the semester trucks on, I really want to take advantage of the facilities available to at HKU. So, although I spent a good two or three weeks, everyday, doing the drawings for the little animation, it will be put on hold temporarily for the more site specific silk silkscreen and letter press.
For the past 2 months I've been advised in a silkscreen course with the other exchange students. It was my first time doing this type of printing, and I've really enjoyed it although the process can simultaneously benefit from and exasperate any obsessive-compulsive tendencies I may have... I've included an image of "Phantasmagoric Gold" an edition of 10 prints. For this print I used the drawing/watercolor that I did by the same title; I scanned it and printed four different levels of contrast as four layers. Preparing the screen is somewhat difficult, but our instructor Hendrick, is both kind and extremely patient.

This past Tuesday was my first instruction in the letter press; totally awesome. It's just the tedious type of thing I like to do. There are shelves and shelves of all the different styles and sizes of fonts. The letters are small pieces of lead that you fit into each line you want to print; a group of lines is called a text block. You have a little map of reference to the placement of the letters in the drawers but often they are all mixed up and creating a text block is like completing a personalized backwards puzzle. Manuel, the book arts and letter press teacher advising me for this is one of the more excited and animated people I've met here. This upcoming Tuesday, I'll begin to print on paper.
So, right now I'm working on a book to bring these two disciplines together. I will be focusing on cellular imagery in both the prints and the text. I am trying to experiment with the materials I print on. On the image I have included, the cells are printed on a vellum-like paper, and the lines are printed on a really great (and therefore expensive) rice paper. I'm interested in layering the images with the different thicknesses of paper.

I'm trying to experiment with this project. Letting things happen as they will while trying not planning obsessively. In the words of Samuel Beckett, "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." Some words I've recently been trying to live by. More thoughts on that later.


Gandhiwars said...

I like the "Phantasmagoric Gold".
It looks like it has very nice detail and depth. Thanks for sharing. Really like the blue in there.

Keep posting your work, I enjoy looking at it.

mink smithsonian said...

WOW alyssa-- very weird.
Very very very very important night for me:
Watching Ed Albee on Charlie Rose this summer & hearing him talk about Beckett, grandpops of all playwrights after.. ? right, yes.

Sooo Ol' Eddie says to Charlie, he says how:
The most important thing he ever heard in his career, or the advice he;d like to give (blahblahblah) is:

Samuel Beckett always said:
Everytime you write- fail. Fail again. Fail better.