Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Two of a Kind" Reduction Print

I met Lani Shapton when I was working at the cafe about six years ago. She was part of a group of co-workers who were studying art at Chico State. She's also buddies with Linda Lopez. We all kinda worked there around the same time.

Anyhoo. I got a message from her a few weeks ago. I hadn't seen her in a long time, so it was fun to connect a little bit. Apparently, she's lecturing at a college in Florida now (which is awesome) and while she was demonstrating "reductive woodcut" printmaking for her students, she decided to use the siamese sock monkey as a subject for her piece! Since the monkeys were kind of the brain child (or should I say brain children?)  of Linda and I, Lani said she thought of us during the project, and she was sweet enough to offer to send me a print!

She titled it "Two of a Kind" and informed me that it's a "5 color reductive woodcut." The five colors I see are brown, three shades of blue, and a little red. I had no idea what "reductive woodcut" means really, so I googled the process and found it wonderfully fascinating. In reductive prints, a medium (wood in this case) is carved away in very specific stages of color. And the artist needs to be very aware from the beginning what the layers of color will be and how many total prints they will want to make. Once they're done with the last layer, the wood will no longer be useful in making any more prints.

Here the best video I could find on the process of reductive printing, but it uses lino. Here is an example with wood, although he only uses one color.

What a wonderful and unique gift from my friend, Lani! It hangs in the living room now, just over my sewing corner. I sit under it... and make monkeys.  :)

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