Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Made it to Joburg!

I got in Saturday evening. Jill Ross was so kind to pick me up from the airport and put me up for a couple of days. Sunday, Jill, Kate (also a new to David Krut Projects) and I went on a tour to see works public works done by Hannelie Coetzee. This lead us into an amazing abandoned post office, a huge building in downtown Joburg that burned down in 1998. They've begun to reconstruct it and it is destined to become the new mayor's office. 

 On Sunday I also ran into a familiar face. This mural of Jan Van Riebeck was painted by none of than Gaia.

Monday was spent orienting myself to the DKP Arts on Main location in the Maboneng Precinct. I made myself useful when possible but spent most of the day sponging up as much as I could about the work being made there, where everything goes and how the workflow runs. 
Tuesday was great, I spent a good chuck of the day handling William Kentridge prints. He came into the workshop to sign the finished editions and I was able to introduce myself. I couldn't help but be a bit starstruck. David invited us to go along to see William's studio and check out the sculptures he is working on at the moment that will soon be cast in bronze.

Assembling prints

Some assembled and signed prints

Mlungisi brought over some finished prints to dry and be assembled.

One quarter of the workshop (interior spaces are hard to photograph without a ladder, no?)

And today, I assisted Talya in proofing plates to be editioned (we hit just about every possible printmaking speedbump) 
In the afternoon Talya took me to see a closed down letterpress shop called Calrose Typesetters. The shop suffered burglaries that left them without any matrixes for their Ludlow, Intertype and Monotype machines. Jill, Talya and I ae rallying David to purchase the shop however it is unlikely that DKP will save the type-producing machines and will rather stick to saving the type and the Vandercook SP15 that are cooped up in the shop. Who knows where the wind blows...

Always nice to see a familiar face

Intertype machines, though fascinating are hard to save because they are complicated and heavy pieces of machinery that very few people know how to use or have the need to use. Its a sad story. If you're interested at all you should check out the documentary about Linotype machines called Linotype The Film

They have twin Monotype machines in a little room with a big window

Ways to tell that letterpress was a man's world: Wall of Boobs

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Things I forgot to mention: part 1

In the first week of October, my former instructor Eva Wiley asked me and a couple other students (James Bouche, Rei Lem and Mollie Little) to help her out with an installation for the 2012 Juried Faculty Exhibiton at MICA.

Eva's work is incredibly intricate and beautiful to look at. Turns out it's super complex and dynamic to create. She came to the window (where we installed the piece) with at least 25 screens all pre-exposed with her imagery. We were there to hold the screen while she pulled the squeegee and positioned the images where she felt they should go. It was amazing to see the whole thing come together. The task seemed daunting at first but by the end of the second day we all felt very accomplished and the piece was finished.

 The space we had to work with in between the window and the wall. It was a tight squeeze and we had to walk like an Egyptian to get past one another as we were darting back and forth to the washout room.

A view of us working from outside. We had to cover the window because the sun did a good  job cooking us. Then towards the end we uncovered it to get an idea of what it looked like from outside.

Us adding the few last touches and admiring the nearly finished piece.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Johannesburg bound

This Friday I will be leaving the USA for three months to work at David Krut Projects in Johannesburg, South Africa.

A few interesting facts about Johannesburg:

It is the only major city that is not built on or near a major navigable body of water. This means that when the city was originally founded (before the modern conveniences of roads and airplanes) all items had to be brought in by ox-wagon.

Johannesburg is also the worlds largest man-made forest. This is because as soon as people began to settle there they started planting trees. This has been of tremendous benefit to the city which was once considered a dust bowl.

Johannesburg is home to internationally renowned artist William Kentridge. He often works with David Krut Projects to produce fine art pint series.

I hope to get a real sense of the city and I hope that it will be a beneficial experience for myself as well as the team at DKP.

During my time there I will be helping to edition fine art prints in the studio as well as teaching bookmaking workshops to South African teachers and students. I really hope that fine art bookmaking can be incorporated into the cannon of amazing work that comes out of South Africa.

I'll try to keep this blog updated more for family, friends and future reference.
More on the way!