The Covid-19 pandemic stopped us from traveling for residencies and workshops and we have missed the connections these experiences provide artists to discover, learn and cross-pollinate.
Luckily, in our interconnected virtual world we can travel and we are thrilled to present the first Zea Mays Printmaking sponsored Virtual World Tour!
Over the course of ten weeks we will be visiting different printmaking artists and print shops all around the world and we invite you to join us! At each stop we’ll meet the artist(s), watch a demonstration of a printmaking technique in use at that studio, get a tour of the space and take time for live Q & A. All of the visits will be presented in English. Each artist/studio on the tour has a connection to Zea Mays Printmaking and is part of the worldwide community of artists interested in safer and more sustainable printmaking.
You can buy tickets for individual stops, or the whole grand tour! Each visit will be recorded and you will have access to the video recording to watch over and over, as often as you like. So even if you can’t make the live stop – you can enjoy the visit on your own time.
$35 per stop/$250 for the whole tour (includes recordings of all stops with unlimited viewing)
Stop 1: July 10 – Artist Proof Studio, Johannesburg, South Africa
Hand Printed Monotype with Ilse Pahl, Charcoal Screenprint Monotype with Nico Ras and studio tour with Rene Mathibe
Johannesburg local time: 5 PM USA Eastern time: 11 AM
Artist Proof Studio in Johannesburg is an innovative printmaking center in the heart of South Africa. The mission of Artist Proof Studio is to provide an environment to develop citizens of talent and passion to achieve artistic excellence with a common set of values, expressed in the notion of Ubuntu, the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity. They offer a three-year subsidized study program that includes drawing, printmaking, visual literacy and critical studies to 80 young artists each year. The Pro-Shop at APS is their professional print shop, where a crew of master printers do contract printing and print publishing for well-known artists.
Zea Mays Printmaking connected with Artist Proof Studio when Liz Chalfin visited in 2019 as an artist in residence and conducted a workshop in safer etching practices for APS and University of Johannesburg faculty, senior students and community members. As part of this wonderful experience, she also introduced the Coffee Lift with BIG ground technique to William Kentridge and the master printers at APS, Nathi Ndlandla and Pontsho Sikhosana. The master printers have continued to work with this technique.
During lockdown the teachers at Artist Proof Studio had to come up with print processes their students could do at home with readily available materials. They turned to the ordinary potato, fallen leaves and bits of charcoal to explore printmaking in its most basic form. In the hands of talented artists, even these unassuming materials can be made into exciting prints. APS teacher Ilse Pahl will demonstrate how to use these found materials in conjunction with existing ephemera (old book pages, misprints, etc). A no-press, kitchen table process that can be done at home! Ilse will also demonstrate an exciting way to make screen print monotypes using charcoal. These can be worked into with transfer drawing and other monotype processes. Nico Ras, a graduate student at University of Johannesburg and frequent guest teacher at Artist Proof will also demonstrate a technique that uses charcoal dust and an exposed silkscreen to create delicate, ethereal monotypes.
Stop 2: July 17- Alberta Printmakers, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Non-traditional Photopolymer Intaglio with Kate Baillies
Calgary Local Time: 5 PM USA Eastern Time: 7 PM
Kate Baillies came to Zea Mays Printmaking as an Artist in Residence for the first time in 2016 and has returned every year since (except for this Covid year). During each of her residencies, Kate embedded herself deeply into the ZMP community while she explored etching, monoprint and photopolymer processes for her various print and artist book projects. After each residency, Kate returned to Calgary, Canada to share what she had learned and discovered with her own printmaking community, Alberta Printmakers, who were eager to shift to safer and more sustainable practices. Kate’s a dedicated researcher and digs in deep when she wants to understand a process or develop a new technique.
Kate’s demonstration will take a walk on the spontaneous side as she guides us through the process of how to create painterly, richly textured images directly on a photopolymer plate. She will cover the stages of photopolymer plate preparation, making an image by drawing and making texture directly on the prepared plate, and the development of the image through light exposure and water wash out. There are also some fun options for introducing drawing and texture after the development stage of the image which she will introduce.
We’re excited to see her discoveries around direct drawing on Photopolymer plates and to visit Alberta Printmaker’s recently renovated studio. A/P is located in a culturally vibrant city and a beautiful part of the world. Mohkinstisis (the Blackfoot name for Calgary) is situated at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers – the vast prairie opens out to the east and the Rocky Mountains (and Banff!) rise just an hour drive to the west.
This live demo and studio tour will be presented from the “small but mighty” Alberta Printmakers Society Studio located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. As a not-for-profit, artist-run center, A/P has inspired artistic growth and fostered engagement with local, national and international communities through its gallery and programming from its inception in 1989. Instructors at A/P have been educating its members and the public on safer printmaking techniques and products since shifting to safe and sustainable printmaking practices in 2017.
Stop 3: July 24- Academy for Visual Arts, Ghent, Belgium
DIY Soft Ground with Marnix Everaert
Ghent Local Time: 5 PM USA Eastern Time: 11 AM
Marnix Everaert first came to Zea Mays Printmaking when John Schultz (SMFA) brought him for a spontaneous visit in 2012. We had just moved into our new building and were hosting a visiting papermaker from Japan, who just happened to know Marnix! Sometimes the world feels small indeed. This serendipitous meeting began a near decade-long relationship between Marnix and Zea Mays Printmaking. He returned to ZMP in 2015 and 2017 for residencies where he immersed himself in etching and shared a few of his fantastic techniques with us, including DIY Soft Ground and Acrylic Manière Noir.
Marnix teaches Printmaking at the Academy for Visual Arts Ghent and travels the world conducting workshops on sustainable printmaking. In 2019, Marnix and Shichio Minato organized A Green Dream?, the first ever international symposium on safer printmaking in Kanazawa, Japan. Marnix is an innovator and ambassador of safer printmaking, whose focus is always on equity of access to materials and open sharing of techniques.
In 2006 Marnix spent time in South Africa as an instructor, setting up a small non-toxic printmaking studio in an orphanage in KwaZulu Natal. During that stay, he was confronted by the fact that not every printmaker on this planet gets the possibility to buy safer printmaking products in the local shop or online. The products that we so easily can buy in Europe and North America are too expensive for some, or just difficult to get in the part of the world where the artist is living.
Back in Belgium, he started playing with the idea of “Why not make some grounds ourselves?” Grounds made with materials that are available everywhere. A mixture that is safe to use, produce and helps move towards the safer and more sustainable printmaking world we all dream of. And, of course, making the formula open source so everyone can benefit from this idea.
During Marnix’s demonstration, he will show us how to prepare a do-it-yourself soft ground for etching based upon two simple ingredients that are available everywhere. Further, he will demonstrate how to apply the ground, etch and print. He also will focus on clean-up and how to use as little water as possible for the job. In addition to the demonstration, Marnix will give us a tour of the printmaking studio at the Academy for Visual Arts in Ghent.
Stop 4: July 31– University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
Experimental Etching Resists for Copper Sulfate Mordant with Hanah Williams
Adelaide Local Time: Sunday August 1, 8:30 AM USA Eastern Time: Saturday, July 31, 7 PM
Hanah Williams came to Zea Mays Printmaking in 2018 to participate in our Green Printmaking Certificate Program. As a studio educator in Printmaking at the University of South Australia (Adelaide) she teaches Eco-Aware Etching and Relief printmaking processes. During Hanah’s time at ZMP she worked in all facets of safer etching and shared her expertise in the use of Copper Sulfate Saline as a mordant for aluminum and zinc, which she introduced to the University years prior. Hanah spreads her knowledge of safer printmaking throughout South Australia through workshops and demonstrations.
In this demonstration, Hanah will be presenting etching resist techniques on aluminum in a copper sulfate mordant. Resists will include oil-based paint marker, experimental applications of BIG ground and litho crayon. Using different materials as resists gives artists the opportunity to experiment with mark making, texture and shape. Resists can be applied intuitively and provide the freedom to develop new ways of working and image making.
Hanah will be printing on an MES etching press by Melbourne Etching Supplies in the University of South Australia’s printmaking studio. The department is home to five etching presses, a lithography press and two platen presses. Two of these are historic items, one belonged to renown South Australian feminist printmaker Barbara Hanrahan, and the other to the Advertiser newspaper, established in 1858. Hanah will give us a tour of the studio and discuss these historic printing presses.
Stop 5: August 7 – Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, Venice, Italy
Collagraph with Alessia De Bortoli
Venice Local Time: 5 PM USA Eastern Time: 11 AM
Founded in 1969, the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, Venezia is an international institution located in the heart of historic Venice, Italy. The Scuola offers a year-long course in Sustainable Printmaking and hosts visiting artists from around the world. In 2019, studio manager Roberta Feoli was in residence at Zea Mays Printmaking and the bond between our two organizations was formed. Right before the pandemic hit in 2020, Liz Chalfin and Sheldon Carroll (ZMP director and residency coordinator) were invited for a residency at the Scuola and had the immense pleasure of working with Alessia De Bortoli, instructor and shop technician at the Scuola. Alessia’s enthusiasm for all things print and book arts is contagious, and we are thrilled to join her for a visit to the beautiful studios of the Scuola and to explore Collagraph printmaking with her.
Collagraph is a very enjoyable printmaking technique, allowing diverse means of artistic expression. It uses simple materials such as cardboard, paper, tapes, textures, and carborundum grit to create plates that can be inked and printed in a myriad of ways.
Alessia will show us how to create a collagraph plate and the procedure for printing it both as an intaglio and a relief print, using an etching press. She’ll share collagraph prints made at the Scuola that illustrate the range of possibilities of this process. We’ll also get a guided tour of the fantastic studios at the Scuola and learn a little about the programs they offer for international artists.
Stop 6: August 14 – Community Conversation About
International Printmaking Opportunities
moderated by Liz Chalfin, Zea Mays Printmaking
Eastern Time: Saturday, August 14, 7 PM
We’re halfway through the tour and taking this week to hear from you, our tour participants, about residencies and studios you’ve visited around the world.
Meet the other printmakers on this journey. Share you print travel experiences and expand your international community. This will give participants who are eager to share what they’ve learned a chance to talk about it with their fellow travelers. Everyone will have the opportunity to learn from each other.
Joining this conversation will be Kim Berman, Founding Director of Artist Proof Studio, Roberta Feoli, Printshop Manager at Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, and tour stop presenters Alessia De Bertoli, Shichio Minato, Andrew Baldwin, Marnix Everaert, Hanah Williams and Kate Baillies.
Stop 7: August 28 – Trefeglyws Printmakers, Llanidloes, Powys, Mid Wales, UK
BIG Ground and Instant Coffee with Andrew Baldwin
Llanidloes Local Time: 4 PM USA Eastern Time: 11 AM
Andrew Baldwin is probably most well known as the inventor of BIG (Baldwin’s Intaglio Ground) – the extremely versatile etching ground now used all over the world. He’s also a Tutor at Aberystwyth University School of Art where he’s been teaching printmaking for nearly 30 years. Andrew helped Liz Chalfin learn how to use BIG when she visited his studio, Trefeglyws Printmakers in Wales in 2012 for a week of instruction. He then came to Zea Mays Printmaking in 2013 and 2014 to conduct workshops and introduce even more wonderful ways to use the ground. Andrew’s invention has radically changed intaglio printmaking and has provided a safer way to make etchings for countless printmakers worldwide.
This stop will begin with a tour of Trefeglyws Printmaking Studio and the stunning mid Wales countryside that surrounds it. Andrew will then demonstrate the many innovative and exciting ways that BIG etching ground can be used to create non-toxic etchings. You will discover how you can replace the traditional sugar lift using instant coffee and create beautiful mezzotints using emery paper.
He will also show us creative ways to achieve textures and patterns from items not usually capable of being transferred in the traditional soft ground approach such as the grain from a plank of wood or the entire body of a fish. Finally, Andrew will delve into the rich archive of historical prints that are housed in the studio.
Stop 8: September 4 – University of Fukui, Fukui, Japan
Vegetable Oil-Based Etching Ground with Shichio Minato
Fukui Local Time: Sunday, September 5th, 8 AM
USA Eastern Time: Saturday, September 4, 7 PM
Liz first met Shichio Minato on the BART train going from Oakland to San Francisco during the Southern Graphics International Conference in 2014. Little did she know that this chance meeting would result in a series of wonderful collaborations. Shichio is Professor of Art at Fukui University, Fukui, Japan. He organized the 2019 Symposium The Green Dream? along with Marnix Everaert – the first symposium on safer printmaking in Japan. This lively combination of lectures, demonstrations and exhibitions brought artists from Japan, China, Indonesia, Europe, Australia, Canada and the US together to share technical know-how and philosophies around the future of Green Printmaking. Shichio invited Zea May’s Liz Chalfin to present at the symposium and the bond was formed. Now Shichio is focusing his attention on developing safer solvents and grounds for the Japanese market and beyond.
The University of Fukui in Japan, under Shichio’s leadership, has been working on research and development of solvents/cleaners and grounds using rice or soybean-derived materials. Using these techniques, the Printmaking Studio at the university is creating prints that are not only environmentally friendly, but beautiful and elegant.
Professor Shichio Minato will give a tour of both the studio at the university and his own compact studio at home. He will then demonstrate how to use the safer liquid hard-ground techniques developed at the studio, as well as diving deep into the process that went into researching these exciting new methods.
Stop 9: September 11 – Zea Mays Printmaking, Florence, MA, USA Non-Darkroom Photo Etching with Liz Chalfin
USA Eastern Time: 7 PM
Liz Chalfin founded Zea Mays Printmaking in 2000 with the goal of creating a community print shop with a focus on safer and sustainable printmaking practices. Research and sharing have been central to the mission of the studio since its inception. Mentoring artists and building community is at the heart of Liz’s practice and this is reflected in Zea Mays’ wide-ranging programs, including the Artist Mentorship Program, The Green Printmaking Certificate, the Zea Mays Online School, Intern Researchers, Residency Program and more. Besides her work at Zea Mays Printmaking, Liz likes to travel the world collaborating and connecting with other printmakers who share her desire to make printmaking safer and more sustainable.
Join Liz as she demonstrates an easy, non-darkroom method of photo etching on metal plates. Beginning with a photocopy she’ll show us how to transfer the image to a metal plate, etch and print. This process removes the need for a darkroom and gives you an etched image that can be reworked with all of the etching methods we know and love.
Liz will take us on a tour of Zea Mays Printmaking’s 6,000 sq. ft. studio housed in a former cutlery factory building from the mid-1800s that sits on the traditional land of the Pocomtuc and Nipmuc peoples.