Saturday, 12 May 2012

New Etching Press Demonstration


I sold this press to an old friend of mine, Kim Christensen, who has a photography studio in Auckland.
Photography having moved on from film to computer Kim is bored with his trade's lack of creativity and excitement and decided to try photo gravure print making.
Googling etching presses for sale he found me and came to visit and selected his press from the variety of styles I have and eventually I completed and delivered this press to his Auckland studio.
After making some progress on my current mural commission I made the time to bring to his studio some print making gear and various plates and wood cuts of mine and gave him a brief tutorial so he could get the feel, literally, of the press pressures and use and see the process of cleaning and inking plates, soaking the print making paper and inking the plate and printiing them through the press and study the wonderful and subtle variety of results in a finished print.
The process of photo gravure plate making is not my thing but Kim will sort that out, my main concern was to give him confidence in the use of the press particularly as this model press has no springs to give it any give under extreme pressure and it is possible to do it some harm so strong is it's frame and powerful it's gearing.
We had fun doing this and may just get a print making weekend tutorial happening in Kim's studio some time as he is located in the heart of the city and has a great area to work in and, of course, an etching press.

Monday, 7 May 2012

New Waihi Mural, Waihi Junction Stores, est. 1909

Work begins on a new mural to be painted on the old Blue Dairy store front and verandah on S.H.25, East Waihi. There has been a store here since 1909.
Of the original 1909 store only the verandah remains, rebuilt and relocated. It is very handy for me, nice shade and rain shelter..
I made a study of shop architecture and layout from 1900 - 1920 and designed my own grocery store circa 1909 architectural design and 1925 colours.. 
In Opotiki 3 hours drive away across the Bay of Plenty I found a Grocery Store Museum and was able to photograph all the products from a bygone era in glorious living colour in their original packets, boxes and tins.  With these I shall stock the  store and I have already photographed friends of mine who modeled for me in Vintage mid 20's clothes that I hired for the purpose, to be the store owner and customers.
So far it has been an exercise in research and perspective drawing and seemingly endless preparation.
The real mural is about to begin..
There are only two ways to get to the vast and wonderful Coromandel Peninsular tourist playground, one is through Thames and the other is through Waihi, past this mural. The mural will be seen by tens of thousands of people and as the store front and verandah will be fully sign written many a traveler will be fooled and pull up to buy something and curse me.
My name will live in infamy like the Pearl Harbour attack fleet.
A strange juxtaposition that last sentence but I will leave it in just because...