I describe my printmaking practice as “large-scale linocut typographic monoprints on fabric” which isn’t particularly meaningful to most people.
So let me explain.
First let me start with the “linocut.” This is a simple form of relief printing using the relatively easy to carve linoleum block. This is a favorite junior high sort of art project, but is not a particularly popular art form with grown ups. I have been cutting linoleum blocks since the seventies, and began printing t-shirts using this method when I was in college. I have even sold shirts at street fairs!
Next let’s talk about “typographic.” I began cutting text for the t-shirts I made, and eventually began cutting complete fonts. I’d print these fonts on sticker paper, cut them up and put together texts. After becoming interested in Japanese letterforms I thought I to do a complete letter set, where each letter was a miniature framed work. I began printing social/political screeds on Martha Stewart brand dishtowels, and soon had carved a number of complete fonts in different sizes.
So then there’s “monoprints.” I am not usually creating editions of identical prints, but rather assembling larger works out of a variety of elements. Often these pieces are several layers deep with colors interacting through transparency. To produce these works I use antique proof presses: an undated 19th century sleigh press, and an Vandercook 1934 No. 1 proof press.
By large scale I meant that often, although not always, I’m working in a larger format work than one typically does using relief printing. I have produced scrolls that are 20 inches wide by over 140 feet long and I frequently work on canvases as big 48″ x 48″. I do also still produce T-shirts, and print on dishtowels.