Ted Yao


(posted on 25 Aug 2014)

In July 2014, I took a course in printmaking from Jeff Sippel, Professor of Art at University of Missouri St Louis. Jeff travelled to Santa Fe to give the class at Don Messac's studio, "Making Art Safely". This is a worthwhile course and if you get the chance, it is a wonderful experience as New Mexico is a leading edge state for printmaking, just an hour away from the Tamarind Institute in Alburquerque.

One of the innovative techniques I learned was how to do litho on plywood and I will be blogging about my attempt to do this at home. My first attempt was a copy of Antonio Saura's Crucifixion. I was going to entitle my blog "Failures" because I think you learn more from failures than successes but this seems too negative, even for me. One of the problems with the plywood technique ("Mokulito") is that over time, my images would acquire a uniform overall stain, resulting in a scummy mush.

You can see my first print After Crucifixion, also in the Prints Gallery of this website. The steps I used followed Jeff's technique exactly.

1. Sand the block.

2. Make the image.

3. Talc the surface. (Careful to read the label - I used Baby Powder, which turned out to be cornstarch.)

4. Apply gum arabic.

5. Allow to dry overnight.

6. Wash off the gum arabic.

7. Apply ink with a sponge roller ( the hardware store kind, like you would use for latex paint).

8. Print normally as you would with a litho process.

My second image was pure mush and I will dissect my failures in the next blog.