It’s been a weird year, and a facet of the weirdness has been very little work independently released here on AP. I have been busy but with all sorts of weird stuff that in hindsight is mostly just distractions. Often necessary or good but distractions nonetheless.
It is important to know why you do things, reasons, I mean for the most part antiquated press is all about creating work that lacks the obvious reason and purpose which comes along with projects and jobs and the like. It is about compulsions and hands-never-being-idle, and working in the medium of intaglio printmaking methodically and consistently till always. But then reasons happen. less intrinsic fun projects and endeavors. Not sure what i am saying, except that 2017 was weird. It did bring a lovely show for Antiquated Press, and the massive undertaking of “Whale” and a number of AP things that won’t fully be realized till next year and years to come.
2018 will be more productive, of that I am certain.
I do have a new print, just posted it. And It is also part of a wonderful gallery show 100X100 (all about affordable accessible independently created contemporary art) at the IGCA
. It is “Moon” a 14X14 etching. All done in aquatint. It is an edition of 60 and sales go to support the International Gallery of Contemporary Art. The very same gallery that hosted my show. It is a gallery I have grown quite fond of over the years.
For this print i chopped up the copper into 60 equal pieces, I numbered each and with every print buyers get a piece of the copper. Pretty cool interactive edition thing..
anyhow here are some photos of the process and the final etching.
The whole of the etching was done in aquatint using step biting. I liked working in the negative, but i absolutely missed making lines. I am most comfortable making marks.
I got a nice deep velvety aquatint. Very pleased with my blacks
The plate all freshly etched and clean from removing all the layers of stop out
Inked up very toothy
After proofing and then pulling the full edition. I etched the back of the plate with the edition numbers
I chopped the plate up, and rounded the edges and drilled a hole (so it can hang on a nail)
Since this will be in a show and has the added facet of the copper pieces i built a cabinet/frame. I have been working on a number of wood projects lately so it was fun and familiar. I used some scrap mahogany (beautiful stuff to work with)
sixty prints, sixty tags, sixty nails, glad I didn’t do 100 :)
cabinet all hung in the gallery
Pretty pleased with the interactive nature of this as a gallery piece.
When I finally get through all the work in putting together an edition, series, release etc. It is quite the experience releasing it. It starts out with being a huge pain in the ass. I love etching and making these prints, I love the process and the medium and materials. But ugh, the websites and the photos and the “doing everything correctly” is really tough because I tend to be a fuck up.
I grew up reading Richard and Wendy Pini Elfquest books. They had a major impact on me. I was a big fan of Skywise and all things woflriders. Add to that watchign the littles on saturday mornings and basically, if you’re a tiny magical creature.. you are gonna have an awesome steed. It just makes sense.
This is a six etching series. Fox, Hare, Snail, Moth, Sea Chariot and Owl. They are all 6″X9″ copper plates printed on 10″X13″ arches. THey are limited to 40 and well I really ended up pleased with the lot of them. It was fun to work on these smaller plates (especially after the beast that was Regatta). Here are some photos:
Hare: Just a basic hard ground, no aquatint or anything like that. Hare isnt the most exciting of the riders but it might be my favorite.
Sea Chariot: I utilized both hard ground and aquatinit in this etching. I actually drew this as just a drawing years ago, it became a t shirt as well at one of the big shirt places. But I have wanted to revisit it in copper for quite some time. I am far more pleased with this etching than the original drawing.
Snail: This one is also just a basic hard ground. Lots of step biting though. It has a pretty great texture to in due to some pretty deep etched lines.
Owl: Hard ground and aquatint. It was probably the one that gave me the most grief in the process. But still super fun etching to work on
Moth: Hardground, Basically drew itself, I loved working on the thistle, and the little rider is smaller than a nickle so i was working with a loupe and a tiny needle.
Fox: Technically, I am most pleased with this one.Mainly because I have struggled with step biting in aquatint (I am still trying to make acrylic aquatint usable) But It actually worked with this one. So all i see is aquatint step biting win haha
And there’s all the final proofs (with margins cut off) taped to my wall next to my workarea.
Since these etchings are smaller than my normal work, it presented an opportunity to SHIP FLAT (yay, loud noises) Tubes are not so bad, but my mailman gives me grief. And they are kinda tough to do something fun with. After the violently satisfying custom work I did on the astronaut santa christmas cards. I wasn’t gonna miss the opportunity to something cool with the packaging on this series. And because of our Melancholy Press project we are fully equipped on the letterpress side. I ordered some plates with some riders logos. Ordered some polybags and found some REALLY NICE black tyvek envelopes. Water proof, tear proof etc. yay right? well not so much, the paper company basically considers Alaska to be on the moon. When I say my envelopes went from truck to plane, to a freaking BOAT out in the pacific ocean.. I am serious. It took a gruelingly long time to get the envelopes. And I really wasn’t going to be okay with just normal envelopes… I wanted to print them up with silver metallic ink.. it had to be black :(
All the packages also have double thick corrugated cardboard on tops and bottoms to protect the etchings, and each print is polybagged with a cool chipboard backer. I am pleased. I hope it is a nice thing to get in the mail.
SO yeah. I set aside 15 of the 40 editions for matching numbered sets. And gave a break on the price if you get the whole set. But those sold out in the presale, so I added 7 more. This doesn’t really effect anything, but I mention it because if you order just a single print, they will be in the edition numbers of 23-40. I think even if the sets all sell out again, I will leave up the set option and just try to find matching numbers as I go. Until theres only singles left.
Like I mentioned earlier, I had some pieces in the Mondo House Party SXSW show that happened last week. It was an amazing show with incredible talent. And I do have a pretty neat Etching I did for Monty Python, Based on the Crimson Permanent Assurance skit. That show will take place in Leeds UK - but is rescheduled to probably sometime in May. I will probably send out another awkward newsletter with lots of mistakes. Haha
Oh, speaking of neat things!! so for those out there who have a Fireflies.. or clockworks etchings. The television show Hawaii FIve O purchased a bunch of my prints to decorate the office of
Jerry Ortega’s (Jorge Garcia)… (HURLEY!!) bunker office. Since Jorge is a regular on the show, his office shows up quite a bit and it is oddly surreal seeing Fireflies making regular appearances.
And Lastly, I wanna show off this amazing framing job on a Regatta. This comes from my dear friend (and phenominal artist, author) Terry Fan.
Pretty nice with the black matting huh? Terry has good taste.
Thanks for hanging with me, if you read all of this. I have some fucking rad stuff in the works. Really. There will probably be two more releases in 2016, and they are gonna be ambitious. I hope to do better with posting things, but really i prefer to be in the studio scratching on copper. I have been trying to use instagram more. I posted progress shots on riders there.. look me up if you do the whole IG thing @isaboja
We have been secretly working on this project for a couple months. And now that they are arriving in folks Mailboxes I figured I would post a little “Astronaut Santa Story” Cause well, even though by all appearances these are basically christmas cards.. from our perspective they were this huge project with a million little steps that was as satisfying as it was challenging.
It started with wanting to do a christmas card for 2015. But I had this vision of something different. First off we wanted to do a small intaglio print. (Which ended up being the largest Intaglio edition to come out of AP). We printed up hundreds of these little prints. I used mainly scrap arches from various other prints. So there are some paper variances. And it was time consuming.. But insanely satisfying,There was no concern for marketability or sales or release dates or anything. It is so cool doing something exactly how we want it without any bullshit distracting from the point of it all. Intensely enjoyable.
After printing and flattening. We went to work on the backers. Decided to send these out in a polybag with a rigid chipboard backer. And then just simply print a christmas message on the back of the chipboard..
That’s the metal type for the backer, Love using metal type, Luckily Donna is a champ at setting type. Cause I have these useless sausage fingers.
And there is the heartfelt message. We did another run through the C&P to give a nice metallic silver medallion. It has a lovely embossment into the chipboard. I am quite fond of these backers.
We printed on the Intaglio itself too. It is rare to get an opportunity to use a gothic font. There was no hesitation on pulling the trigger on Gothic Font haha. The mixture of Intaglio and Letterpress is so cool. It’s a tactile experience!!
For the envelopes we wanted to do something different too. Astronaut Santa can’t be mailed in a bland envelope.. nope nope. So we bought the biggest damn roll of kraft paper in the world. 800 feet should be enough right? and proceeded to cut and glue hundreds of envelopes. yeehaw This was a family affair - (Sally and our Niece Tracy were huge helpers)
Which of course had to get run through the C&P as well.. (more gothic font.. just screams yuletide cheer)
And went ahead and threw some silver on the back as well for good measure.
Then we addressed and packed and glued them all up. We checked and double checked and hopefully only a couple of you got empty envelopes haha
Last but not least, we busted out my hundred year old perforator.. cause you know - perforation is important -
And well then we mailed them all off - and that was pretty damn stressful. I had a panicky feeling leaving the post office, like all my envelopes would fall apart in the mail machines.. inexplicable irrational.
Merry Christmas, happy holidays to all of you, I hope your cards make it safely. Me, Donna, Sally and Lil Joe Appreciate you all with the force of a thousand exploding suns. .
I feel pretty damn inconsistent when it comes to posting stuff. It would be awesome to say it’s due to being so productive in the AP studio. But unfortunately I cannot use that excuse. I jus been tugged in a lot of directions the last handful of months. Not to say I haven’t done some neat stuff. Like the debut album cover for Kodiak Deathbeds. A wonderful album with the combined talents of Derek Fudesco (Cave Singers) and Amber Webber (Black Mountain) It is a spooky good album. Working with Derek and Amber was excellent, just wonderful artists who restore my faith when it comes to collaborating on the vision side.
At the beginning we decided to do a limited edition of hand made intaglio album covers. SO i approached the project with a 1:1 scale. Which was pretty great. I am a big fan of music and vinyl. Part of my appreciation of analog processes and the brilliant tactile rituals that come along with vinyl LPs.
It is a copper etching on Arches cover, the ink is a graphic chemical renaissance black (my favorite ink)
all the song titles and the album title were etched..
looks pretty swell as an album cover
Each of the limited edition (50) was hand pulled, cut and glued in the AP studio.
Even letterpressed these handbill inserts. ohhh gold metallic ink on arches cover stock..