Sunday, August 9, 2009

Printsy Interview - Elizabeth Davison


I was born and raised in Chicago, IL. I've been drawing and making things ever since I can remember. I was studying photography at Columbia College Chicago, when my wanderlust got the best of me. I ended up moving to Oahu, Hawaii & got my BA in studio art at the University of Hawaii. I'm currently dividing my time between Chicago and New York, and selling my prints and handmade clothing on etsy.

How did you get started in printmaking:
I started printmaking in 2002 at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Since I was a transfer student I had the last pick of art classes, and all that was open was printmaking. I decided to give it a try and haven't stopped since.

Describe where you work:
I currently don't have access to a studio or printing press, so I work in my bedroom. About a year ago a bought a ringer washing machine on craigslist and have been using that as a miniature printing press. When I'm traveling and don't have access to my press I hand burnish my prints using a wooden spoon.

What's your favorite printmaking process:
When I took my first printmaking class we learned a variety of techniques, but as soon as we tried reduction linoleum prints I fell in love.

Describe your creative process:
Sometimes I draw my images but usually I enjoy working from a photograph that has really nice detail in the highlights and shadows. Once I've found my image I transfer it onto the lino block using transfer paper. After I've gone over the lines with a sharpie I start carving. Then I ink it up and proceed with the printing process.

What do you enjoy most about printmaking:
I love the fact that you can make multiples out of a single block. I also really enjoy the process of carving linoleum. I feel that its very meditative and I get lost in it.

Whats your least favorite part of the process:
Cleaning up :)

What are some of your inspirations:
Really active, productive artists with a great work ethic always inspire me to get things done. I'm also inspired by the craftsmanship of vintage things and things made by hand, magazines, traveling, great photographs, nature, etc etc etc..

How has your work changed and evolved since you started:
My subject matter has stayed pretty much the same, but feel that my line quality has improved over the years.

How do you get past creative slumps:
Sometimes I just try to work through the slump. During times of inspiration I keep pages and pages of notes for future projects, so I'm able to revisit those notes when I'm feeling uninspired. I also enjoy a trip to the museum or library to do research, wander around the city taking photos, read magazines, watch films, or listen to music. All of those things get my creative juices flowing again. I do believe though that there's a time for everything and sometimes you just need a break from creative things to recharge your battery.

How do you promote your work:
I post my work on flickr, myspace, and my blog.

Any other comments or advice for others who want to try making hand-pulled prints: I'd say get yourself a piece or linoleum or even a potato and carve something simple on it to start. Also get yourself some thin paper, such as rice paper. Its a lot easier to print on by hand then the heavier printmaking papers.

1 comment:

virginia said...

i use a pastry rolling pin for my prints...even pressure, and covers a large area.

i also found plans for building your own press:

love this little blog, and the work featured.