Print Studio’s last days: Keep on Printin’!

Print Studio Editions, featuring prints and artist book projects

Last week Print Studio came to a close after six great weeks of productivity and experimentation with the medium of print. This week, the Reanimation Library will be packed up and returned to its home in Gowanus, Brooklyn. All the digital resources, printers, scanners, tablets, and computers will be given new life in other projects at the Museum. Over the course of the Print Studio’s run, a great many artworks covered the walls of MoMA’s Cullman mezzanine, demonstrating a wide range of creative ways to approach the medium of print.

On March 1, we had a special visit from Phil Sanders, Director of the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, a Program of The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts and his colleagues, who came to use the resources at Print Studio to produce a collaborative artist project. He writes about the experience here:

Phil Sanders working on the Eddie Martinez book project at Print Studio

In the final days of MoMA’s Print Studio we printed and published a book of 22 images drawn by Eddie Martinez on his iPad. With high tech printing and low-tech binding we created an edition of 50 books alongside the artists, kids, and passersby working in the makeshift digital printshop. The continued importance of printmaking is the potential for multiplication of the author’s voice, and the beauty of a printshop is the collaborative and communal environment that makes printmaking possible.

Photo 12 of Eddie Martinez’s book project. © 2012 Eddie Martinez

Nothing happens by itself, especially in printmaking. The book we created is an old fashioned approach to the new reality of the digital sketchbook. The delete button, crashed hard drives, and the pace of changing technology makes it all the more important to print out our digital thoughts.

Special thanks to MoMA Print Studio and extra encouragement to all artists and printmakers out there: if you can dream it up, you can make it work.  Keep printing.

Papermaking with Dieu Donne Papermill, March 2 at Print Studio. Copyright Lily Solmssen Moureaux.

On March 2, immediately following this exciting “printervention,” we rounded out our roster of workshops with two sessions of papermaking with seasoned vets from the paper mill and press Dieu Donné. Dieu Donné’s Artistic Director Paul Wong gave an overview of the papermaking process, highlighting the finer details of Dieu Donné’s collaboration with artist James Siena while he was a resident artist. After the initial presentation, Studio Director Amy Jacobs demonstrated each step in the handmade papermaking process and we set to work. Thick cotton pulp served as the base of the sheet of paper, while thinner linen pulp was utilized to create designs on top. Participants got creative, using stencils in triangle, dot, and web patterns to layer on the pigmented linen pulp and create variations in texture. Others made more free-form images on their paper, choosing to design without stencils, instead painting with and manipulating the pulp with spoons, a common household item that Jacobs pointed out serves as one of the greatest tools for the papermaking design process. After laying out their designs and carefully blotting the wet sheets of pulp with sponges to extract excess water, each participant had their own unique and colorful sheet of handmade paper to take home with them!

Though we are sorry to see this program come to an end, we thank everyone who has visited and been a part of the Print Studio experience over the last few months. We have welcomed many visitors, each of whom has brought new life and energy to the studio. Those involved have spanned generations and opened up diverse approaches to the medium of print. The lasting memory will be that of a fruitful and fun series of programs and an ever-evolving dynamic Studio setting where we all collectively explored and reimagined printmaking in new ways. May this open and creative spirit live on in future print projects to come. Happy printing!