Friday, January 6, 2017

Clay Monoprinting!

Clay monoprinting is such an exciting new direction for me in 2017!  In December I took a two-day workshop, (condensed to one-day because of snow), with Mitch Lyons, the innovator of clay monoprinting.  Initially both a printmaker and potter, Mitch was the first to explore this unique method.  Unless, as he points out, you count the people who dipped their hands into pigmented clay and slapped it on a wall 25,000 years ago. 

I now have my own clay slab, so that I can do handpressing at home.  I have two unused pieces of the 'paper', or as one curator called it, the 'synthetic interfacing material.'  It has a weave to it, with one side being hairy and one side smoother.  It not like canvas.  It is not like anything I have previously experienced.  

Pigment is added to slips, which "are then brushed over the slab, one over the other, building a design with various shapes, colors, and textures."  Since I am now working exclusively with paper clay, the only slip I have is paper clay slip.  Mitch hasn't worked with paper clay, so I will give it a try and let him know if it works.  I ordered his book and don't want to use my limited supply of 'synthetic interfacing material' until I have the book in front of me.  

I plan to take a three-day workshop with him in early September at nearby Peters Valley School of Craft, and meanwhile take it as far as I can on my own.   The piece above is called "Existentialist", and was hand finished with oil pastel.  It is an extremely freeing and fun method.  As Mitch says in one of his videos, "if you're going to do something for the rest of your life it might as well be fun."


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