Saturday, May 18, 2019

ruben castillo - copper plate demo

Members of the Print Society of Greater Kansas City moved to the printmaking room at the Kansas City Art Institute. Instructor Miguel Rivera introduced us to master printer Ruben Castillo, who showed us the inking process of a copper plate.

Three minute video. Castillo inks solar plate etched copper plate.

Five minute video. Castillo talks about the artist's vision for a particular series.

Within video Print Society member Cynthia Gibson is amazed all the steps that go into each proof.       

Ink rolled on heated copper plate. Excess ink wiped off. plate positioned on printing bed. Paper laid on metal plate. Felt blankets. Rolling through printing press bed. Proof pulled and inspected.

One minute video. Castillo talks about friendly soy-based solvents used to remove ink from inked copper plate.

Master printer Ruben Castillo and his own prints -- click HERE

Copper plate   (Courtesy of Ruben Castillo)

Finished copper plate etching proof (Courtesy of Ruben Castillo)

Demo presentation took place May 18, 2019. Printmaking Building, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri

posted December 9, 2019

miguel rivera - applying new methods

Instructor Miguel Rivera talks about intricate inked proofs -- his experiments -- a hybrid of non-traditional high tech and traditional methods such as woodblock and etching.

Members of The Print Society of Greater Kansas City listen to slide presentation.

Experimenting opens up new visual possibilities for the artist to employ in his or her design. Rivera said he learned about these tools and techniques from his intern students at the Kansas City Art Institute.

For example, a CNC laser can be programmed shave away micro-layers from the surface of heavy printing paper. Rivera shows us the machine, the steps to scan a design into the computer, the calibrations and settings ---- and soon it becomes apparent that the whole process is more than just flipping a switch or pushing a button. 


Five minute video. Group walks over to see router in action.

Above, the pattern of a city map can be carved with a machine programmed router on to a wood block. It is up to the artist to try new ways of creating and inking wood blocks to make unique inked proofs.

Video. Four minutes.

Rivera presentation took place May 18, 2019

Sunday, April 28, 2019

bridget stewart - hand print press

UMKC Hand Print Press

When we get together we ask: what ink did you use? We sit around and endlessly talk about the ink and paper, and what kind of brayers are being used. We think about different color combinations. Always keeping our eyes open for textures. Textures we might want to use. It is experiments, trying it out, seeing what happens, this is what draws us into the process. As print makers we are a curious and an excited bunch. We all do love the process.  Bridget Stewart

Twelve members from The Print Society of Greater Kansas City visited the Hand Print Press facilities Sunday afternoon.

Ink and texture, like this.  I like the collagraph because it gives me room to experiment. The ones you see on the table have all been done by building up a surface -- and then inking and printing the surface. The reason I chose this one is it really is a process you can do at home.  Bridget Stewart

Everyone who explores this kind of creativity comes to appreciate the process and the quirks of that process.   Things don't always dry as fast as you think it might.    You think that trimming off the materials that stick out is well, but in doing so, other portions you don't want to disturb get bumped or worse, fall off. It is better to let the whole thing dry first.  You can always go back and trim it later.

It's all a part of the magic of it. I always think it's a bit like alchemy. You have a piece of metal. You put some ink on it. Some paper on it. You put some felts on it. You run it through the press and when you lift up the felts and the paper. you either had gold or you have lead. You lift it up ----- "Oh, gold today. I have gold today."    Bridget Stewart

 Eleven minute video.  Stewart shows how to create with simple materials to make homemade collagraphs. =*/=  The Heavy Golden Gel Medium can be built up and help make the textures one wants. When the plate is complete -- it must cure up for at least 24 hours. =*/= 

 Stewart says that anytime she has tried to cut corners, the end result does not work. Even if she wants to do it a fast way, doing it the right way has best outcome. All who come to love this medium respect the step-by-step procedure. =*/= 

Visitors with The Print Society of Greater Kansas City were invited to PLAY with their materials and CREATE their own collagraph at home.

A celebration of sharing is asking working professionals, amateurs, students, and everyone else to submit a 4 by 6 inch print for the upcoming Print Exchange.

^^^ Call For Entries ^^^
25th Anniversary
Print Exchange 
   click click click click
        click click click click

Working professionals Laura Kuchynka  and  Katherine Torbett shared their excitement. Both use the facilities at the UMKC Hand Print Press.


I was using regular intaglio ink but I couldn't get it to work. Bridget taught me that litho ink actually worked better. I had to print everything all over again. But with it I was able to get much finer detail.      Laura Kuchynka

Two minute video. You can see what her exploration produced. Click on this link and scroll down on that page to see her work called Agaricus. ++++++  Agaricus by Laura Kuchynka


Four minute video. Katherine Torbett passes the clear poly vinyl plate around the table along with her selected linoleum cut print. Click the following link and scroll down on the page to see Torbett's linocut.  Elegant Terms by Katherine Torbett. The bird beaks were hand painted.

We'll see what happens.


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

nan chisholm - art appraiser

Before selling your art treasure at auction --- you must have papers and the assurance from respected historians that know specifics on the given artist.

Using stories and humor, Nan Chisholm unlocked the process of discovery. 

People finding something thought to be an original piece of art......
The hope that one might strike it rich....... 
The idea that something valuable can be found laying around......

At the root of it, one must do their own research and seek out experts who know specifics about a particular artist. 

There are respected art historians who can tell whether a fine art print or a painting is genuine. They have studied a particular artist's work. They know what materials were commonly used to make the work. They know the places that artist created their work at. And they can tell you YES or NO -- whether the work is what it claims to be.
Provenance is the paperwork that will back you up when you go to sell off your art treasure. Your diligent homework has experts giving your item their blessing, their reputation written on paper. Not just a verbal claim that someone said that it was such and such.

Light heartedly Chisholm admitted changed the title of her talk from   "What to Know before Purchasing Prints and Other Art"  to  "What to look for when buying Wholesale, Retail or Garage Sale."

"What appraisers look for to determine the value of something. Appraisers and auction houses subscribe to data bases online."

"This gives auction prices that go back to the late 80s. It has auction prices from all over the world. You can type in the artist's name, You can select the medium that you what to investigate, whether it be painting or prints. If you happen to know the title of the work you can enter that as well."

Chisholm has appraised fine art for Sotheby's for more than 20 years, valuing paintings from the old masters to 20th-century artists, before leaving to start her own appraisal/broker business. She can also be seen on the PBS series "Antiques Roadshow" offering her expert opinion on paintings from around the world. 

Bill Cashman and speaker Nan Chisholm

The talk was given Sunday afternoon, March 31, 2019 at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri. Chisholm spoke to the Print Society of Greater Kansas City Sunday afternoon. Forty in attendance.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

catherine vesce - kc printmaker

Multi-drop woodcut monotypes
  • These are my first woodblocks since college.
  • I don't have interest in doing editioning.
    I really enjoy BEING ABLE TO GO          ANYWHERE with one piece. The down side of that is I can SPEND DAYS on ONE PRINT and that is ok.
    ++++++  FIVE  KEYS    ++++++
1.woodcut matrix - forest theme 
"Abstract imagery based in forest landscape expressing a visual poetry that resides in earliest memories." CV 

"I think of the woodcut as a matrix, not a set image but rather a bit of vocabulary that can be adapted to the image as it is created. I draw loosely onto a 1/2 inch birch plywood panel with a brush or other invented tool. Then the wood is sealed with poly-acrylic. Cutting is done with gouges in a reciprocating Proxxon cutter (next photo) and with carbide tip tools in a rotary motorized tool." CV

Proxxon cutter (above) pink strop block to sharpen gouges and Herb's Yellowstone stropping compound (below). 

Here is how Vesce does woodcuts while standing upright (next).

CV: I put it up this way because I have a degenerative neck thing going on where I can not lean over and work like this at all. So, I just have my easel and I strap it with my bungee cord. Perfectly stable. Two minute video. Close up of bungee cord securing woodblock next. photo.
2. inks dry fast 

"As soon as you print it, it is on the paper, it just is absorbed into the paper immediately, and I can go right back and print another color over it. I think it is an amazing product." CV 

    "I use Akua inks and modifiers. Susan Rostow & William Jung developed Akua Kolor and intaglio inks. They are lightfast, non-toxic, water based, soy based, and I can leave them on my glass palette for days without any skimming or change of consistency." CV bed

"I found this etching press online seven years ago. It was shipped to me from Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The press bed measures 30 by 48 inches." CV

Multi-drop monotypes are created by repeatedly rolling ink on and subtracting ink from a plastic plate, printing on Rives BFK or Mulberry paper. This process is combined with several woodcut matrixes that can be repeatedly printed over or under the monotypes, sometimes by hand. There may be repositioning of the paper over the block to include inking of different parts. Opaque shapes are sometimes added by inking and printing off other relief surfaces (see next photo).

(Above) First, black impression comes from a segment of woodcut matrix.

Shaped plastic plates are repositioned on top of impression on the light table. Translucent gray, blue, red, yellow, and green impressions complete the full image.
4. light table 

    "I don't print editions so there is no proofing or other pre-printing calculation. The image evolves in the very open but deliberate process of printing, more like a painting rather than a traditional print. However, there is little room for revision as there is in a painting i.e,. color mixing of mostly transparent ink must be extremely accurate.     The print paper with the first inked layer is placed face down on my large light table so that the plastic plate with second color can be registered and ink removed from the plate." CV

     Catherine explains the multi-drop monotype technique used in Deep Woods I. Part of the paper has inked impressions from a carved wooden block. Part of the design has ink impressions from blank plastic plates. Panels are hung next to each other on the wall. They are looked at and thought about until she embraces it. Then she connects the panels with strips of mulberry paper coated with PVA (polyvinyl acetate adhesive). Several impressions make up this one piece.   Three minute video.

5. tape together There are no proof sheets. For the large prints, I either print on one long sheet that goes through press on one end then the other or I fit together parts of several completed prints. They are connected with strips of mulberry paper coated with PVA.(polyvinylacetate adhesive (PVA) They are either attached to acid-free foam board with mulberry paper hinges wrapped around a long museum board strip or left floating on the wall.


Deepwoods III, woodcuts and monoprint, 37.5 x 52 inches

       "I have had a studio space at the Hobbs Building since 2004. Previously, I  taught art in high schools for 30 years. In the summers, I could focus on my own art. I served as Department Chair at Pembroke Hill Upper School, also at Barstow and at Hickman Mills High School in the 80's, while serving as District Art Coordinator for CSD #1." CV

Vesce has worked with Mike Sims using three aluminium lithography plates for her Songbird Series. She took a workshop with Heinrich Toh on litho transfers, when he was still downtown at the Incubator. And now she is going at her own pace, away from editions. 

Vesce is member of the Nelson Atkins Print Society.
Her art studio in the Hobbs Building in the West Bottoms of Kansas City.
Her website is
She was one of 20 vendors at the Fine Print and Paper Kansas City Expo, April 19 and 20, 2013. The exhibit was in the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center in the Crossroads District.

This interview took place Saturday afternoon March 16th, 2013.

(Proxxon link courtesy of  MH Crafters,, Akua inks,,  Heinrich Toh website,, Catherine Vesce website,, yellow polishing compound,, Hobbs Building link,, Mike Sims, Bing Images,,  
 accessed May 25, 2013)