Louise Grunewald
Durango, CO

B20 — Letters from the Sun
Four-Day Class, Monday, July 27 – Friday, July 31
All Levels

What better place to learn Solarplate printmaking than under the bright California summer sunlight? In this class, students will learn how to transfer their images to a UV-sensitive Solarplate using the power of the sun. We will begin by preparing an image for exposure onto a Solarplate. Techniques for exposing the plate, preparing paper for printing, inking the plate, and running small editions on an etching press will then be covered.

This versatile process is suitable for almost any kind of image, including words and text. While learning the exposure process, students will be free to experiment with creating a variety of images, from simple to more complex. Any written words or text can be exposed onto a plate and then printed out in the correct (readable) orientation. Writing and imagery can be combined. Students can draw or paint or collage their work or use their photographs to print from. Images can be printed with ink, in one or more colors, or without, as a blind embossing for an elegant shadow effect.

We will work with non-toxic, water-based inks to ensure safety for the environment and the participants.

The intent of this class is to teach the very accessible technical aspects of the process in an atmosphere of fun and guided experimentation. Students will end the four-day class with small editions of their prints and an increased understanding of the world of printmaking.

Supply List

  • Apron or workshirt. This is really necessary for printmaking!
  • Sketch pad for ideas
  • Notebook or paper to take notes (you will want to take notes)
  • Transparencies with images, if desired (this will be explained in a special email to participants)
  • India ink or other inks (black only!) to draw or write with onto workable acetate. You will not get fine lettering lines this way, but can write words and letters and other images.
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Markers like a Sharpie or India ink Marker; black only
  • Black Stabilo pencil (Aquarelle), if you have one
  • Tools to make marks into wet ink. I have relegated some of my old calligraphy pens to this use and will demonstrate. Automatic pens, regular pens, etc. You will probably not ruin them with this water-based ink, but I don’t promise that.
  • Toothbrushes, chopsticks, color shapers, tongue depressors, stimudents, paste paper
  • Different kinds of tools to pull through the ink; all these are good tools to make designs and letters with: toothbrushes, chopsticks, color shapers, tongue depressors, stimudents, etc.
  • A cheap roll of wax paper is good to tear into sheets to put in between the prints for transport home
  • If you have workable acetate you could bring some of that; don’t go buy it, however, as I will be bringing some along so you could just purchase what you need.
  • If you have some paste paper you might want to print on, bring it and any other kind of paper you want to play with. Many of you have Arches text wove around: that and rice papers can be printed on. Stonhenge, Rives BFK, and Hahnemuhle Copperplate paper all work well. So does cold press (90 lb or 140 lb) watercolor paper. Also, some people like a paper called Arches 88 with these water based inks. Trying to tell you amounts is hard ahead of time because it is going to depend on your work pace. I will try to get the conference’s supply store to carry appropriate papers.
  • Those driving could bring some old newspapers for inking plates on, that would supplement what I am bringing.
  • A roll of sturdy paper towels or a few cotton rags
  • Scissors
  • X-acto knife
  • Masking tape
  • Removable Scotch tape
  • T-square or long metal ruler for tearing paper

Note: if any of these supplies create problems for people traveling by air, know that there will be some communal supplies and future communications will clarify that.

Supply fee: $10 for supplies provided by the instructor. We will then be setting up a store for students to purchase plates, paper, acetate, or any other supplies needed. This will vary from person to person depending on how many plates are made. At the time of this writing a 4″ x 5″ plate is $2.25 and a 6″ x 8″ plate is $5. Some 8″ x 10″s for $10 may also be available. These plates can be cut on a paper cutter so students can experiment on smaller pieces.

More about this will be explained to participants when they sign up for the class and potential students can feel free to email me with questions at westernhands@icloud.com.

louise_grunewaldLouise Grunewald teaches calligraphy, design, and printmaking workshops nationally/internationally and maintains her studio, Western Hands, in Durango, Colorado. Her artistic passions include lettering, drawing, solarplate printmaking, watermedia painting, and the book arts. Louise’s studio work is largely inspired by time spent outdoors, traveling to new environments, and taken from her sketchbook impressions of the world around her. She has taught numerous times at the international calligraphy conferences and regularly at the Literally Letters Program at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. Her work can be seen in private and public collections around the United States and internationally.

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