Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas!




    This is my 2012 Christmas card. The actual size is 11" x 4.25", unfolded. The etching continues from the front to the back.I have been using small pieces of copper plate (scraps) for Christmas cards for several years now. I print the etchings and then run them through the printer-- digital text is easier than "drawing" the text in backwards to print. The red cherries are added with a watercolor pencil.
    I want to make a slideshow gallery of all my Christmas cards, but since I don't have prints of all of them, I'll have to print samples of most of them first. I've started this on the sidebar, and will add to it as I reprint samples.
    A merry Christmas and happy New Year to all!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall Activity

I've added a slideshow of Brassworks to the side bar. I enjoyed being a part of ArtPrize this year-- Bethlehem Lutheran was a very hospitable venue and some old Keeler contacts appreciated the etchings.

On a totally different note, one of my first attempts at textile printing was on display at the American Sewing Expo, Novi, Michigan, in September. It is just a small decorative patch of  the Drawing Tools image I use often. This is a copper plate print on a stabilized piece of lightweight cotton. The patch is sewn on a sketchbook cover which was my entry in the ASE Out of the Box Challenge. The best part of the Expo for me was meeting Gretchen Hirsch:  

Here's a picture of the patch:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Brassworks proofs

Here are some more proofs of Brassworks etchings....the one of the design department benches ("Irv's bench") is on a zinc alloy plate, and the etch made  a deeper, fuzzier line. These images will be uploaded to the ArtPrize website, also.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Late summer activity

We took our annual Ravinia/Wrigley Field weekend trip to Chicago the last week of July, which always includes a stop at Graphic Chemical & Ink in Villa Park. This time, the owner, Dean Clark, gave us a tour of the back rooms where they were manufacturing ink (Bone Black the day we were there!) and Stones Litho Crayons. It was very interesting to go "behind the scenes" there. See

The Plainwell Inside-Out Art Festival finishes up this week, and meanwhile all my extra time is with my ArtPrize entry. I'll post some more proofs by the end of the week.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Plainwell Art Festival

I'll be showing Miller Road-49080 at this event starting this Friday, July 6th. This will be the third venue for Miller Road, after ArtPrize 2011 and the 2012 KIA West Michigan Area Show. Meanwhile I continue work on Brassworks; the brass backplates are unpredictable as an etching matrix so each one is a learning opportunity.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Graphic Chemical's Bone Black, revisited

A while ago I was whining about my new one pound can of Graphic Chemical Bone Black etching ink, but today I had a successful time printing with it; I added two pinches of magnesium carbonate to my ink pile and the consistency became very much like some other inks I've been using. And it was very easy to wipe. I try not to waste any supplies and since I ran out of other black inks I knew I had to make the Bone Black work. Yay!

Friday, May 18, 2012

ArtPrize 2012

Looking forward to ArtPrize 2012! I'll be returning to Bethlehem Lutheran Church, where I had a good experience last year. "Brassworks" is now the official title of the etched backplates project; Nate pointed out I might need official permission to use a company name. In any case, I'll keep posting Brassworks progress.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Doyle Watt, 1926-2012

Doyle Watt, the design director at Keeler Brass when I started there, died on March 8. I probably learned more from Doyle in one month than I learned in four years of art school. This photo is from the memorial folder from his funeral, and the doodle is one I did when I was supposed to be designing hardware. The doodle I will incorporate in the next brass etching.

Thanks for all you taught me, Doyle!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Proof: Marlin Signor

This image is from a sketch I made of Marlin around 1988. When the design department all worked in one large room, sometimes when I got tired of drawing hardware I'd just sketch whatever (or whomever) was around. This is a first state, it needs some revision. Marlin had more hair, for one thing. It's easier to see what's wrong once it's printed. As all the Keeler series will be, this is etched on an actual brass backplate from the company.

Friday, January 6, 2012


I didn't print a new Christmas card this year, but this is my favorite of the ones I've done in the past because of the W.H. Auden quote: "I am the star most dreaded by the wise....I shall deprive them of their minor tasks." The new year is a good time to think of the minor tasks of which one needs to be deprived. I was talking to David W. at work and he said "I'm always busy, but I don't want to be busy, I want to be productive." I think creative people have no problem of thinking of things to do, but of focusing on the important ones. Perhaps I should just speak for myself here. In any case, I hope I can make the coming year more productive than busy. This year's focus will be the Keeler Project of backplate prints; then plastic plate lithography.