My friend Cati is quite the creative. Truly, she has both the crafty side (You know, the I-make-hand-made-custom-screen-printed- Christmas- wrapping- paper-with-those-trendy-cute-arrows) to her other high art side: the deeply trained Brooks School of Photography. So when her birthday came around this year (Feb.15th), I decided it would be rad to do something local and creative together and hopefully a bit unique. I just wasn’t sure where to look for such an ambiguous activity fitting those very ambiguous descriptors in a sea of creative options in Atlanta.
But like most all great finds in my life, one thing lead to another and my answer was a step away.
A friend had randomly invited me to go hear some music at the Goat Farm.
While scoping the venue’s page for details on the artist, I found
instead this amazing Valentine’s Day Special for Straw Hat Press!
A 2 Hour Private Workshop for couples (platonic pals and besties too)Straw Hat Press is a printmaking workspace located within the Goat Farm. It was started by a group of friends and classmates at SCAD-Atlanta — Laura Cleary, Shaun McCallum, and Ashley Schick. We had the chance to meet all three of these lovely people but worked closely with Ashley. Ashley is patient, funny and a great instructor.
The bird (above) is a great example of the types of lines you can create in varying thickness. You have to work with the block not against, as Ashley says. There are interchange parts you carve with – some create deep grooves. AND – It’s reverse of what you think – the places you want to be sans ink need to be carved out. I found it required a lot of concentration not only to keep the negative space element in mind but also to cut lines that small with the carving tools. As you can see, we all have our deep in concentration faces on.
I chose an image from photographer, Lois Greenfield. After studying abroad in Seville, Spain, I still connect with the traje de flamenca most especially in red. I’ve always loved the intensity of reds and it’s symbolism of courage and passion. It’s no secret if you know me that I also highly fancy and will one day wear one of Vera Wang’s red wedding gown collection.
Just FYI, this space was FREEEEEZING. See the tiny space heater next to the computer? We kept warming up our flats on it. The building is partially underground and with the concrete floors and brick walls, it’s frigid. I would seriously wear boots and layers.
After you have sufficiently carved, you get to a place where you want to test it and get a feel for what else needs to come out of the design. Cati inking up.
You place the block on the press and the paper goes on top of it followed by a soft fabric that mitigates the impact as it goes through.
The image actually prints on the reverse side that it is carved. I was really pleased with how it turned out. Going through it once, I feel like I have a better understanding of the process and would love to try it again. Ashley said they are offering group classes later this spring!
Straw Hat Press
Fine Art Printmaking
at the Goat Farm Arts Center
Studio LMR-1, Building B-8
1200 Foster Street
Atlanta GA 30318