World Printmakers’ Print Workshop Central

Online resources for fine-art printmaking workshops

Atelier Meridian, Portland, Oregon, USA

with 6 comments

About the Atelier

Atelier Meridian is a state of the art printmaking facility, featuring four presses in the spacious 1,200-square-foot studio. Clean air, ventilation, workspaces and material choices all add up to a health friendly work environment where the layout of the well-lit space facilitates every aspect of the artists’ creative process.

We provide all the tools to create etchings, collagraphs, monotypes, woodcuts, letterpress and lithography. Artists can rent press time by the day, week, or month. We also provide assisted monotype sessions, contract printing of editions, and workshops.

Full Membership: $125 a month. Unlimited access, 24-7, with the exception of those times when a workshop is in session. Membership includes black and brown ink, solvent and newsprint, ink modifiers, use of etching facilities. Storage of personal supplies available.

A wide variety of printmaking paper is available for purchase at our cost. Monthly members receive 20% discount on workshop fees. PAN members receive 10% discount on membership and workshop fees.

Equipment

Atelier Meridian has four presses at this time:
Takach Etching press, 34″ x 60″
Takach Etching press, 24″ x 48″
Dickerson combination Litho / Etching press, motorized, 27″ x 48″
Chandler & Price 1926 letterpress

Etching facilities include 19 x 25 inch vertical etching tank with ferric chloride acid, hotplate, drying racks, print-flattening area, rosin box. There is also a small solarplate exposure unit.

Founders and Teachers

The people behind the printmaking studio have a vision to integrate and coordinate the talents of many artists and printmakers. A key goal underlying the vision is to promote the practice of printmaking by providing a studio equipped with the tools to create etchings, collagraphs, monotypes, woodcuts, and other forms of printmaking. Our vision also includes integrating the educational needs and desires of local organizations, from all walks of life, and all ages. We wish to provide a creative outlet for community members through workshops and memberships.

Barbara Mason, education director, (left photo) is an artist/printmaker working in her private printmaking studio in Aloha, Oregon. She is a member of the board of Directors for Print Arts Northwest (PAN), the gallery of the Northwest Print Council. She heads the Education Committee for PAN, and is past board president for PAN. Barbara has been making monotypes since the early 80s and five years ago included block prints and solar plate intaglio prints in her portfolio. Barbara is an arts advocate and active in the community. She has been a resource person for the Beaverton School District since 1976. Serving eight years on the board of the Vivian and Gordon Gilkey Center for Graphic Arts at the Portland Art Museum, she was also a founding board member of Art in the Pearl, an outdoor community arts fair taking place on Labor Day Weekend. She has been on the board of Crow’s Shadow Institute of Art on the Umatilla Indian Reservation, She is currently an artist at Waterstone Gallery, an artist owned gallery, in The Pearl District in Portland, Oregon. Barbara has shown her work nationally and internationally for the last 25 years. Her works are in the collections of the Portland Art Museum, Intel Corporation, Crow’s Shadow Art Institute, the Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence, Kansas, the New York Public Library Collection, the National Museum of Kampala, Uganda, and numerous private individuals and corporations. Barbara’s formal education is from the University of Washington, Oregon College of Arts and Crafts, Portland State University, Pacific Northwest College of Art, and Marylhurst University.

Jane Pagliarulo, Master Printer and Studio manager, (right photo) received her BFA from University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1987. A year of study at Exeter College of Art and Design led to extensive travel in Europe, working as an artist in London and Italy. From 1989 to 1996 she worked as a fine art printer at Hand Graphics in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she printed lithographs, woodcuts, etchings, and photogravures. As head Monotype printer she worked one-on-one in creative collaboration with artists who had tremendously varied conceptual and technical approaches. Among them were Carol Anthony, Allen Ginsberg, Edgar Heap of Birds, Robert Kelly, Emily Mason, Richard Tuttle and Emmi Whitehorse. In 1996 Jane moved to Oregon to work as an independent survey forester and an outdoor guide. She also taught printmaking as an Artist in Residence in Hood River County schools. She co-founded a printmaking workshop in the Alpinee Hut in Hood River from 2000 to 2006. As Master Printer of Atelier Meridian, Jane teaches printmaking workshops in monotype, etching, woodcut and collagraph, and performs contract printing of editions and assisted monotype sessions. She exhibits nationally and is represented in Portland by the Portland Art Museum Rental Sales Gallery and Print Arts Northwest, where she also serves as a member of the board.

Peter Blood is an active member of the west coast business and arts community as an entrepreneur, energy portfolio manager, collector and amateur photographer and art practitioner. Peter has been the Secretary for the Print Arts Northwest board for the past two and a half years. In 2004, Peter completed the Northwest Business for Culture and the Arts’ program The Art of Leadership (http://www.nwbca.org/) which is led by well known art development consultant George Thorn. Peter is actively pursuing entrepreneurial and leadership development opportunities in the arts and culture arena in the Portland area and Northwest region. Peter understands the challenges facing arts and cultural organizations as they deal with the economic, political, and artistic realities of today and is actively integrating businesses and arts organizations together to grow and integrate both sectors. Peter’s formal education is a BBA-Finance from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of Houston.

Barbara Mason: “My heart beats faster when I smell ink…”

Q: Our experience is that print workshops have the most varied and unlikely beginnings. How did Atelier Meridian come about?
A:  Atelier Meridian happened through lucky circumstance. At Print Arts NW www.printartsnw.org, we had long wanted a studio but the board, which all three of us who started the Atelier belong to, did not want the fiscal responsibility. Jane was in Hood River and wanted to move her studio to Portland since she had recently married and moved here. The timing was just right and after a happy board meeting (with a little wine) the three of us just decided to do it, and we have.

Q: Does Portland have a tradition of fine-art printmaking, or are you breaking new ground there?
A: Portland is a huge printmaking center. Not only  is it the home of Print Arts NW, a regional professional printmaking organization, but  it was the home of the late Dr Gordon Gilkey. Dr Gilkey retired from teaching at Oregon State Universitiy and moved his huge collection of work to the Portland Art Museum where he was curator of prints and drawings for over 20 years. This collection has more than 23,000 pieces of work on paper, most collected by Dr Gilkey. There is also a local machinist, Ray Trayle, who has built 65 presses over the years and charged only for materials. I think there are more printmakers and presses in Portland per capita than any other city I know.

Q: Where do you place the emphasis in your studio? Do you have a specialty or specialties? Do you have a preferred medium?
A: We are working toward a safe studio, we do a lot of Solarplate and monotype with traditional etching using Ferric. We do have an aquatint box. We have two Takach presses, one combination press that is motorized, one Ray Trayle press and a letterpress. The letterpress needs some work, but eventually..,,we hope it will be functioning. We clean up with oil and clean works by Clorox, using alcohol and turps  only when really necessary.

Q: What kind of people are your principal clients? Do you also get time to do your own work?
A: We work with professional artists and printmakers as well as the complete novice. Jane has a 18 month old little girl so that slows her down to the normal speed of a regular person, not the three people she seemed before baby Marina.  Peter is not a printmaker and I still have my own studio. Both Jane and I manage to get quite a bit of our own work done and show regularly.

Q: You’ve both been in printmaking for some years. How do you perceive the American printmaking moment today, in the last quarter of 2008? Where is U.S. printmaking At? Where is it Going?
A: This is a good question and at my advanced age of 63 I probably see it differently than someone who is 25. I say it is alive and well and moving toward safer inks and processes.

Q: In your view, what do printmaking studios need most?
A: We need a steady income so we can relax about the rent. We have quite a few regular artists that have 24-7 access to the presses, except when a class is happening. But we need more and only time will solve that for us. We are getting known in the area and that is a huge thing.

Q: Are you concerned about people selling ink jet photocopies as fine-art prints? What do you think might be done about it?
A: Of course education is the key here. I think it is fine as long as they sell them as reproductions, not original prints. Digital printmaking is here to stay and any reputable printmaker is using the most archival materials they can find. The computer is a tool, we all use it so we are kidding ourselves if we think it is somehow bad or not a serious tool for making art.

Q: A question for Barbara about solarplate work. Do you consider solarplate printmaking to be at the same level as intaglio work?  I know artists are fascinated by it because it’s quicker and easier (and writing comes out the right way round!), but does it have the same “nobility” as etching?
A: This is an interesting question. Changing to Solarplate changed my work. I did monotypes for 20 years because I did not want any toxic materials, such as acids, in my studio, which is right outside my kitchen door.  Finding an etching medium that was safe really excited me. I had originally thought to color-separate my most successful monotypes and edition them….after my first Solarplate, which Dan Welden is still carrying around in his portfolio, I just never looked back. I never did edition a monotype. I love what you can do with these plates and to say it is fast is true. But it is just like anything else, my Solarplates would not be as good as they are if I had not been a printmaker for 20 years or so when I started making them. I can teach printmaking 101 in a weekend and students leave my class with great work….can they sustain this on their own? Maybe not. I have such a lot of experience with ink and paper and the speed of making a plate does not replace that.  Nor does it replace all I know about printmaking in general….I think this is the best work I have ever done. I am so pleased and proud of it…and am thrilled to be a “Solarplate master”.  I would stack it up against traditional etching and I think it is as good as the artist who makes it. How noble is a work by a poor artist?

Q: Do you have secrets for attracting people to your studio, both for printmaking courses and editioning jobs?
A:  No but we would sure like some if you know of any. We send out email invites and leave flyers around the city.

Q: How important do you think it is for printmakers to exhibit? Do you feel that Internet has made exhibiting less necessary, as work can be displayed to a worldwide audience without the hassel of mounting and framing and dealing with galleries? Or is this just empty theory?
A: I think it is the individual artists desire that is the most important ingredient for exhibiting their work. I think they should do it at any opportunity, no matter how strange, as you just never know what opportunities will come from it.  I would have hung my work in a bathroom when I started showing work. I wanted to show it that badly. The Internet is just another tool. Nothing compares to seeing your work all hung in a gallery setting, beautifully framed and matted. A few years ago I got called on to do an exhibit with very short notice and did not have time to make new work, so I hung one piece from each year I had been a printmaker and several current works. It was truly my favorite show, seeing my progress as an artist and printmaker.

Everyone should do a retrospective show in their life if they have the opportunity. And out of that exhibit comes a second exhibit five years later. I am collaborating with a poet to put her poems in my work…it is this December so will try to get some work on the site when it is done…we are almost ready to edition them.

Q: What’s the most important aspect of printmaking for an artist to master?
A: What a loaded question…I think being the best technician you can be and being the best artist you can be measuring yourself against your own growth is the  only thing any of us can do.

Q: Do you think printmaking has a mission to accomplish in the Real World, apart from closed arty circles?
A: Printmaking is traditionally the making of multiples and the dissemination of information. With the advent of Monotypes it has changed a bit. Hard for a printmaker not to think it is important. I think it is better than almost anything and if those fools in the real world don’t agree, it is their loss. My heart beats faster when I smell ink, I swear this is true.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add? This is the place to do it.
A: I am an artist but also an educator and teaching others is a real joy. I love teaching teachers how to use the skills I know in their classrooms.  I do a two-hour dog-and-pony show at every available opportunity and sometimes I even get paid. I love working with little kids and I love teaching Solarplate. All I need is 72 hour days and a 25 year old body to get it all done before I die. Life is short and art is long.  Where have we heard that before?

Contact:

Atelier Meridian
665 N. Tillamook Avenue
Portland, OR, USA 97227
Tel: 503-729-9013
Website: http://www.ateliermeridian.com
Jane Pagliarulo – Master Printer and Studio Manager – jane@ateliermeridian.com
Barbara Mason
– Education Director – barbara@ateliermeridian.com
Peter Blood
peter@ateliermeridian.com

Written by Michael Booth

September 10, 2008 at 7:37 am

6 Responses

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  1. Hi Jane,

    Nice to touch base with you. You wanted the specs, so here are the best specs I can give regarding this Glen Alps etching press: The metal bed measures 30 by 66 inches and the wheel measures 30 in length by 18 in diameter. It is orange metal and it is a floor press. It’s very heavy and it is one of only about 30 that Mr. Alps made in his lifetime. My mother – in – law said that these are very special presses. I know that the University of Washington has a couple of them. Glen Alps was the head of the printmaking department there between 1948 and 1979 and was accredited with the callograph technique of printmaking. This thing is huge, metal and is in good condition. She got it in the 50’s/60’s new. We think $5,000 is pretty reasonable for what it is, but any reasonable offer would be looked at. Well, this is all I know, so I certainly appreciate the help.

    Thanks again,

    Elizabeth

    Elizabeth

    April 23, 2010 at 8:01 pm

  2. […] old friend, Barbara Mason (from the Atelier Meridian in Portland, Oregon), was kind enough last summer to recommend my etching workshop to a friend […]

  3. […] old friend, Barbara Mason (from the Atelier Meridian in Portland, Oregon), was kind enough last summer to recommend my etching workshop to a friend […]

  4. […] old friend, Barbara Mason (from the Atelier Meridian in Portland, Oregon), was kind enough last summer to recommend my etching workshop to a friend […]

  5. This is nice stuff. Our dogs would eat it though. They finally lost interest in trying to eat the plywood skirt we put up. If you have some that’s pet proof now….

    Rebbecca Mose

    April 9, 2012 at 12:06 am

  6. Thanks so much for sharing your studio with the art community. I’m enjoying Solar Printing. Thanks to Barbra Mason— My mentor during my residence fellowship with Print Arts Nothwest for this year , 2016.

    (Phyllis) Jean Fulton

    April 17, 2016 at 6:17 pm


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