Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Ammonite Fossil"

I made this for a print exchange: [Baren] Exchange #62. The image is 4" x 4" and the paper is 6" x 6". It is printed in white, oil-based ink on black, Stonehenge paper. So far I made 2 editions, one of 30 for the exchange, and one of 4. All printed by hand with my trusty wooden spoon. So I'll be wearing my hand brace tonight.

I'm really stuck on making prints of ammonites lately. I keep going over it in my mind, and I've decided that there are three main reasons why ammonites are captivating my interests at the moment:

1. They are extinct. They died out during the same mass extinction as the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. But obviously they aren't nearly as famous as the dinosaurs. Nonetheless, they were this whole category of animals that were incredibly plentiful and prolific, and they were wiped out. They were something beautiful and unique and very much alive, and now they are nothing more than impressions of shells. We don't even know what the soft parts of their bodies really looked like, and probably never will. Such a thing seems worth exploring, noting, and sharing with an audience.

2. When I look at fossils mainly found in museum collections, they are often fragments or pieces, and also often have scratch marks on or around them. I think about all the painstaking work scientists in the field have to do, carefully digging and then scratching around fossil in order to expose these precious pieces of the past. And it reminds me of what I do with my wood blocks; how I carefully carve out the impression of an image I have drawn, while deciding how much to let the knots and wood grain influence the final impression.

3. Ammonites are in a spiral shape, which is just, plain awesome. So many plants, animals, and other things found in nature, from spider webs to whole galaxies form spiral patterns. Spirals are both mathematical and lyrical. Bruce Nauman had the right idea.








Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ammonite 12

Twelth in a new series of collographs. Here's the first. The plate was made with cardboard, burlap, lace, chipboard, and string. 

“What the fissure through which one sees disaster? The circle is unbroken; the harmony complete. Here is the central rhythm; here the common mainspring. I watch it expand, contract; and then expand again. Yet I am not included.” 

“Someone has to die in order that the rest of us should value life more.”  

Both quotes from Virginia Woolf

Ammonite 11

Eleventh in a new series of collographs. Here's the first. The plate was made with cardboard, burlap, chipboard, bubble wrap, and string. 

"The television screen, so unlike the movie screen, sharply reduced human beings, revealed them as small, trivial, flat, in two banal dimensions, drained of color. Wasn't there something reassuring about it! -- that human beings were in fact merely images of a kind registered in one another's eyes and brains, phenomena composed of microscopic flickering dots like atoms. They were atoms -- nothing more. A quick switch of the dial and they disappeared and who could lament the loss?" -Joyce Carol Oates  

Ammonite 10

Tenth in a new series of collographs. Here's the first. The plate was made with cardboard, chipboard, and string. 

"The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed--it is a process of elimination." -Elbert Hubbard 

Ammonite 9

Ninth in a new series of collographs. Here's the first. The plate was made with cardboard, lace, and string. 

"Life is a filigree work... What is written clearly is not worth much; it's the transparency that counts." -Louis-Ferdinant Celine