World Printmakers’ Print Workshop Central

Online resources for fine-art printmaking workshops

Hampton Editions, Ltd., NY, USA

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Solarplate Newsletter April 2010

Spring has arrived!

And with it the blossoms, foliage, and rain typical to the season.

There is a bit of ‘Spring Cleaning’ to be done, so we have some special offers in this Newsletter.  Be sure to read about them, including a new Solarplate Packet we are introducing at a special price.

Also don’t forget to check out the Print of the Month section featuring a work by Sharri LaPierre, titled Persephone. This Greek goddess is often cited as a paradigm of myths that explain natural processes, with the descent and return of the goddess, to and from the underworld, bringing about the change of seasons.

Here’s to Summer!

Featured Upcoming Workshops
Dates and details are subject to change without notice. Call 631.725.3990 or email us for further information.

June 14-18
Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown/Cape Cod, MA
Contact Dorothy 508-487-9960, ext. 102, workshops@fawc.org

June 21-24
Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill, Truro (Cape Cod, MA
Contact Cherie Mittenthall 508-349-7511, cherie@castlehill.org

July 5-9
Making Art Safely, Santa Fe, NM
Contact Don Messec 505-780-0920
makingartsafely@mac.com
Solarplate Workshop Info
or quickly Register Online!

Check out Upcoming Events on the website for additions and changes to the schedule.

Useful Links
Check out some interesting information and directions taken by printmakers -supporters of Solarplate- far and wide:

New Zealand John Brebner
Homeprint

Spain Maureen and Mike Booth
Print Workshop Central / Maureen’s site

New Mexico Don Messec
Making Art Safely

Colorado Mel Strawn – who also recently had an article published online with Digital Art Guild

If you would like to contribute any links of interest, please email us!

Spring Cleaning Offers!
The Arts Poster
The Arts: An International Vessel of Communication features a detail of Dan’s artwork and speaks to artists of all disciplines: musicians, writers, visual artists, poets, dancers, and actors.

Inspirational Arts Poster by Dan Welden – a great gift for people of all ages…
Special Price $10.00 (reg. $15.00)

5 x 7 Solarplate Packet
Includes 6 plates (plus instructions)
Special Price $55.00
(limited quantity available)
4 x 6 Solarplates (30-pack)
This ‘misfit’ lot available first-come, first-serve
Special Price $150.00
(no more once they’re gone!)

purchase@solarplate.com
or call 631.725.3990.

Please note that all orders are received, processed, and shipped at the beginning and end of each week.  We use UPS and/or US Priority Mail.

MakingArtSafely

DAN WELDEN
Solarplate Workshop
Summer 2010

Studio Location
7506 A Old Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
(505)780-0920

Dear Mike,
MAS is pleased to present Dan Welden.  Since 1972 Dan has lead the innovation of Solarplate.  His mastery and love of the process is contagious.  And it is hard to find a better place to study with him than Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Dan Welden:
Solarplate
July 5-9, 2010
Artists wishing to experience an environmentally friendly approach to this printmaking technique will have the opportunity to create quality impressions without the use of nasty acids and grounds. Solarplate is such a creative person’s process, it easily allows for drawing and/or painting, photocopy or use of computer images. Your image then readily transfers to a light sensitized Solarplate that develops with water and is finally printed.

This entire process is surprisingly simple and may be completed in a matter of minutes.  The process will keep you experimenting and discovering new ways to create, integrate, layer or color prints.  Printed effects are equivalent to hard ground, soft ground, aquatint and photogravure, as well as marks of traditional lithography and relief prints.  All more easily obtained on one Solarplate.  This is a wonderfully direct, even seductive, way to make images.

For more information and links to his work visit Dan Welden.

Solarplate Newsletter August 2009
Dear Miguel, The next 8 weeks are busy ones for Dan: Florence, Corsica, Aberdeen, Manchester, and Bristol all part of the itinerary.  The Florence workshops are filled to the brim this year with students and excellent teachers to impart techniques and offer guidance.  Bristol will include a demonstration at the Impact print conference, and we are sure this will result in new followers of the Solarplate method.

Our customer appreciation continues this month with the limited-time offer of 10% OFF entire orders through August 20th, so take advantage of this as so many of you get out of ‘summer vacation mode’ and go back to the studio.
We are also introducing a brand-new item that will surely inspire: The Arts Poster, with beautiful imagery and words that will serve to remind every day what the arts signify and embody. See the details below.
Lihie Talmor gives us this edition’s Print of the Month with a work from her Track and Detect series of 7 prints that she developed with Dan this past January.  The mystery, gravity, and jarring beauty of this image will be sure to pull us back down to earth, to reflect, and transcend the ‘dog days’.
Stay connected with us via the website and email, and remember we welcome your submissions of images, techniques, innovations, and opportunities we might share with everyone.
Esperanza will be available throughout the next weeks to answer questions and help you with your orders.

The Arts Poster


We are pleased to offer this inspirational 18 x 24 poster evolved by Dan Welden – a great gift for people of all ages at only $15.00 (plus shipping).

The Arts: An International Vessel of Communication features a detail of Dan’s artwork and speaks to artists of all disciplines: musicians, writers, visual artists, poets, dancers, and actors.
If you are interested in acquiring a poster, write to us at purchase@solarplate.com.
The Arts Poster

PROYECTO ‘ACE OPPORTUNITY

ARTIST IN RESIDENCE PROGRAM IN BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

Deadline for proposals: August 15, 2009
Download Application Form for 2010/2011 residencies
About the Program
– Proyecto´ace runs two artist-in-residence programs: one for well-established artists and one for emerging artists (up to thirty years of age).
-Proyecto´ace is focused in contemporary printmaking by exploring graphic art relationships, interferences, and hybridizations with new media, photography and/or design.
-The Residency Programs support artists who use print media as strategies for their artistic narratives (whether they are “printmakers” or not) to explore new ideas and ways of working with the background of these disciplines.
– The residency period is three weeks and the working studio time is from 10.00am to 6.00pm during weekdays. special proposal can cover either a 2 weeks or 4 weeks period.The studio is closed at night and on weekends.
Artist Selection
-The selection of the future artists-in-residence is based on the work, proposal and career of the artists. The proposal will be discussed with the board of directors and results will be notified by mail to the aplicants after November 15th.
Fees
´ace residence fees are variable according to the projects’ specific needs and  residence intention. For instance, an artist may come to make an edition, an artist book, develop a body of work or learn new techniques, but also can come to make an installation, a series of work to exhibit in our Poliglota Room or an urban intervention. The fee generally includes lodging in our guest house, materials to develop the project, use of the facilities, meals at the studio during weekdays, coordination of the project, technical and editioning assistance; an exhibition, reception and post cards (according to each project); transportation to/from Ezeiza international Airport, etc.
Proyecto´ace does not have govermental or private support so is unable to offer grants at this moment. Selected artists are encouraged to apply for grants or sponsors in their own countries. Projecto´ace will provide invitation letters to cooperate with artists’ necessary fund raising. Note that the fee does not include air tickets and health insurance.
For more information, visit www.proyectoace.com.ar

In This Issue
The Arts Poster
Opportunity
Print of the Month
Hampton Editions
Solarplate Etching Logo
Purchase materials

REMEMBER
*NEW*
11 x 14 PLATES

11 x 14 AQUATINT SCREEN
AND
18 x 24 PLATES NOW LISTED
along with
*NEW*
18 x 24 AQUATINT SCREEN
TRY OUT SOME NEW SIZES!

AND CHECK OUT
THE ARTS POSTER!
details below

THIS MONTH

10% OFF

entire order
Books and Screens excluded from this offer


PHONE OR EMAIL ORDERS ONLY


Special limited time offer
expires 20 August 2009

Place your order by email, purchase@solarplate.com

or call 631.725.3990
Quick Links

PRINT OF THE MONTH
Lihie Talmor
Lihie Talmor - Track before Detect
About the Artwork
Lihie Talmor is an artist that shares her time between Israel and Venezuela.  This image forms part of her recent Track and Detect series printed with Dan here in Sag Harbor, New York, this past January, the artist’s first time with Solarplate. Prior to this, Lihie had explored traditional printmaking methods, primarily photogravure.

Track and Detect began with photographs captured on a guided excursion in Jerusalem, sponsored by an organisation for co-existence geared toward finding a just solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.  This is one of any number of photographs the artist takes in very precise moments to document experiences; these images become the specific, referential springboard for the development and evolution of series of works.
Lihie usually preserves the original structure and framework, however she changes the relationship and morphology of the elements that construct the image, for instance the atmosphere by altering the lights and shadows.
In this particular image from the series, the artist used Photoshop to insert image fragments of one of her unfinished sculptures.  The transparency from which the final artwork was printed was also painted, scratched and otherwise worked on to create further mystery and effect.

You may visit Lihie Talmor’s website www.talmorlihie.com

If you are interested in submitting an entry, please send it to info@solarplate.com (jpg, maximum 150 dpi, up to 3 inches).  Include a brief text describing the process. Selected entries will receive a free 8×10″ Solarplate accompanying their next order of this size plates. Just remind us when you place your order!

Join Our Mailing List


Happy Printmaking!

Dan & Esperanza
Hampton Editions LTD

Solarplate Newsletter February 2009
in this issue
:: Fun in the Sun!
:: Recommendations
:: Testimonial
:: Print of the Month
We have aimed to keep our colleagues continually informed about improvements and changes with Solarplate materials in recent years, two main changes being the difference in the color of the emulsion from green to copper, and more recently to the current bright orange hue.

While our Solarplates are no longer green, they are just as, or even more, effective and simple to use, and more importantly they continue to be GREEN: a  safe, non-toxic alternative to traditional printmaking methods. Solarplate has become a reference in the realm of non-toxic printmaking and this is something we are very proud of. Solarplate can also help save you some ‘green’, as we hear from one of our colleagues in Canada, whose testimonial we have included below.

Our eco-conscience extends to how we package our shipments to you.  For instance, we do not individually wrap Solarplates, thus the need for less plastic and the handling of the plates is reduced as well.  We generally re-use and recycle boxes and cushioning, and utilize shredded and crumpled newsprint and paper.  So, if you receive a box that is not pristine and new, we trust you will understand that we are simply doing our part for the environment on this front as well.

This edition’s Print of the Month comes from Karen Fitzgerald.  The main inspiration for Karen’s work is nature, so it is an appropriately ‘green’ selection, so much like a glorious image of our great Earth.  You can explore the artist’s website for more of her work in the link included.

FUN WITH THE SUN!

Our colleague in Lima, Peru, Cristina Dueñas, sent us this terrific photograph of a workshop she conducted earlier this year.  A very enthusiastic group demonstrating the far reach of Solarplate.

All of us here in the North wish we could be where all that Sun is!

RECOMMENDATIONS

In last month’s newsletter, our Print of the Month artist, Susan Fieldes, explained that she had rubbed saliva into the film to hold India ink line work, a technique Dan suggested.

We received a response from one of our readers in California, Hideko, who recommends using Coltech markers made in Santa Barbara, which are designed to draw on film.  Hideko wrote,  “They are more opaque than India ink, meant to adhere to film, acetate, Mylar, photo film, etc. They were developed as an opaquing pen to touch up photo film for pin holes and there is a reversing pen that deletes the opaque line to create clear spots in the artwork.  I would love to see artists explore this.  Mars Staedtler has a Lumocolor black pen in all different line weights that also works great on films but it is not a true dense ink.  It is a dye, which with the correct exposure can work great too”.

If you wish to obtain more details,  email us.

We appreciate receiving this type of information and invite you to share your own recommendations and innovations.

TESTIMONIAL

Richard Tippins from Canada wrote to us the following,

“After struggling with Dupont ImagOn Ultra for more than 2 years I was not able to achieve a tonal range required to produce good continuous tone Photogravure images. Solarplates solved this problem giving me more time to print and less time and money wasted on testing. Thank you Dan!”

Thank you, Richard!

PRINT OF THE MONTH

Karen Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald-Entropy II

New York artist, Karen Fitzgerald, created Entropy II adding 23k gold with gelatin right after the print was pulled, before it was stapled for drying.

My work is nature-based. I work on a theme or idea for a prolonged period of time. Over the years, the work has accumulated in these general categories. Sometimes I work on a group to the exclusion of all other ideas. I mine the vein. Other times, single paintings will present themselves, but fit neatly with something I did a long time ago. The path through my work follows its own course, it’s intuitive and gently mysterious.

You can view more of Karen’s solarplate works on her website www.fitzgeraldart.com

If you are interested in submitting an entry, please send it to solarplate4@aol.com (jpg, maximum 150 dpi, up to 3 inches).  Include a brief sentence describing the process. Selected entries will receive a free 8×10″ Solarplate accompanying their next order of this size plates. Just remind us when you place your order!

Happy Printmaking!

Dan Welden

Hampton Editions LTD

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Solarplate Newsletter January 2009
in this issue
:: Florence 2009
:: Print of the Month
:: Interesting References
:: Postcard Print Exchange
Happy New Year!

It is hard to believe that we are already in the first week of 2009.  As they say, time flies when you’re having fun!

Things are moving right along in these first months, coming on the heels of a very successful trip to New Zealand that included a series of workshops and a solo show of my own artwork.

Workshops can be very inspiring for me as well as the students, as people experiment and try new techniques and procedures with Solarplate, or simply discover the medium for the first time and enjoy it for the flexibility and simplicity it offers. It is said that one should try new things often, so let’s take the advice seriously and always introduce new learning to one another. My eyes and other senses are always open for inspirational moments and new avenues to the creative acts.

Make it an annual New Year’s resolution to bring a different perspective or approach into your artistic production. Get involved with different workshops and events in your area or, better yet, create one of your own.

Don’t forget to keep us informed of what you are doing, including sending along a new image for consideration as a Print of the Month. This month’s print, States of Understanding, comes from New Zealand artist, Susan Fieldes.  Her title echoes my sentiments in this new year, one with new horizons of hope and understanding for the whole world…..having just gone around it in December (literally), I can say that we are very fortunate in many aspects.

FLORENCE 2009

August 6 through 27

Registration Open

Before you know it, August will be here. If you want to try something new and different this year, a trip to Italy and the opportunity to participate in a fabulous workshop in the beautiful city of Florence is a place to start.

Registration is now open for the following workshops to experience an incomparable art-making opportunity.  Live and create in the city of the Renaissance in new air conditioned art studios.

The Book as Art-Creating Artists Books

with Cathy DeForest and Mary Laird

Painting and Drawing

with Philippa Blair

Classical Painting

with Juliette Aristides (filled, standby only)

Mixed Media with Kristi Colell

Digital Photography with Ben Long

Alternative Photography

with Susanna Laminia

Solarplate, Collograph & Monotype Printmaking with Dan Welden

Tuition: $2100

(accomodations and airfare not included)

Optional excursions include: The Venice Biennale; The Opera in Verona; Siena; and San Gimignano

For further information, contact:

Dan Welden 631/725-3990 or

Jessica Bayer 516/374-4914

PRINT OF THE MONTH

Susan Fieldes

Susan Fieldes - States of Understanding

New Zealand artist, Susan Fieldes, created States of Understanding with photocopies on transparency film.  She says, “In order to draw and paint on certain acetate it becomes difficult, due to ink ‘crawling’.  Dan Welden came up with the idea of rubbing saliva onto the film, which helps hold the linework of India Ink better.”

Susan was introduced to the print medium 30 years ago, and for the past 10 years has been totally passionate about it.  Historically she worked with zinc plates, but solarplate has been occupying her energies and interest for the past 2 years.  “I have been fortunate enough to travel to New York to study and work with Dan.  He has just left New Zealand where he had a solo show, participated in a Forum, and facilitated 7 workshops (last of which was done with all the participants and Dan in bare feet!).  It seems as though the country now has a breath of ‘fresh air’.”

If you are interested in submitting an entry, please send it to solarplate4@aol.com (jpg, maximum 150 dpi, up to 3 inches).  Include a brief sentence describing the process. Selected entries will receive a free 8×10″ Solarplate accompanying their next order of this size plates. Just remind us when you place your order!

UNDERSTANDING PRINTS

Remember to ask for your copy of Understanding Prints by Dan Welden and Lorna Logan, a useful booklet on prints and printmaking -a collector’s item available for FREE with your order.

Check online at solarplate.com for all available materials and pricing.

Join Our Mailing List!

Send to a Colleague

INTERESTING REFERENCES

It is always a pleasure to share notable news and information that might come our way from fellow artists and other colleagues in the field.  Here are two online presences worth mentioning:

For a great online resource and guide to non-toxic printmaking methods, visit Non-Toxic Printmaking. Created by Friedhard and Jennifer Kiekeben, he a Professor of Printmaking at Chicago’s Columbia College, the site offers “recent research into alternatives to the toxic hazards of traditional printmaking. New printmaking systems developed since the mid-1980s offer safer methods that have been backed through research and scientific testing. Nontoxic printmaking offers exciting and expanded creative possibilities, whilst being true to the aesthetic and rich heritage of printed art.” You will also find a complete and useful introduction to Solarplate there.

Another helpful resource for printmakers is the website World Printmakers created by Mike Booth and his printmaker wife, Maureen, who are based in Granada, Spain. It is their “hope that fine-art print lovers and collectors will find it interesting to encounter in this one specialist site an ample representation of contemporary graphic work being done by live artists from all parts of the world. For real enthusiasts they have also included a bit of background on printmaking history and techniques and the conservation of works on paper, as well as explanations of fundamental printmaking concepts like ‘limited editions’ and ‘print numbering’.”

SPECIAL NOTICES & OFFERS

Iowa State University’s Print Club is hosting the 9th Annual Postcard Print Exchange.  Each year artists participate with entries from across the United States and as far away as Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

The theme for this year’s exchange is “Two of Five”
Pick any Two of the following Five words as the basis of your print:
Star
Imposter
Hallucinogenic
Monster
Fast
You can use any form of these words such as monsters, monstrous, monstrously, monstrousness, monstrosity, etc…We encourage you to consider all possible meanings for the above words.

Requirements:

1) Any EDITIONABLE printmaking technique may be used. (woodcuts, litho, intaglio, photography, silkscreen, digital printmaking, etc) Please Do Not send monoprints/monotypes. Each of the prints sent must be identical to the others.

2) The post cards must be 4″ x 6″.

3) 13 identical prints should be sent individually to the address posted below. (Each card must be stamped and will bear the markings of travel and the postal service. Do Not send the cards together in one envelope.)

4) Include the following information on the back of the card:

a. Your return address

b. April Katz’ address (details below)

c. A list of the process(es) used

d. Optional: your e-mail address

Donations Requested:  Please send separately a donation to help pay for postage. Send cash or checks payable to The University Print Society. Suggested Donations:
$2 students, $3 others, $4 international. Send more if you can, less if you can’t.

ENTRIES DUE: Friday, APRIL 10, 2009

After receiving everyone’s postcard prints the University Print Society will randomly divide up the cards and you will be sent 12 new and different prints from other participants. The University Print Society will keep one of the 13 for its collection. Postage for returning the 12 new prints will be paid for by

the University Print Society. Your donation will help us out tremendously however.

Please be sure to put your return address on every postcard sent.

Send postcard prints to:

April Katz

University Print Society

158 Design

Iowa State University

Ames, IA   50011-3092

*Please send questions and comments to the University Print Society president, Kris Engle, redninj4@gmail.com

Happy Printmaking!

Dan Welden

Hampton Editions LTD

About Solarplate Printmaking

The solarplate technique is a new printmaking process, developed by Long Island artist and master printmaker Dan Welden, which uses the power of the sun and non-toxic materials rather than the chemicals of traditional printmaking.

The solarplate technique uses a transparent original – created digitally, photographically, painted or drawn, or any combinations – to make the plate. The film is sandwiched between a glass plate and a light-sensitive polymer coated steel plate and exposed to UV light. The plate is then washed with tap water to remove unexposed areas. The plate can then be printed with a press. This is a very flexible medium and also has the benefit of being completely non-toxic to the artist.

Printmaking with solar plate is a safe alternative to traditional etching and relief printing and has the ability of producing a wide range of professional results. No acid, asphaltum grounds or petroleum solvents are used in any way for the preparation of the plate. The etched solar plate may be used for traditional intaglio or relief printing.

When approaching a Solarplate Workshop, Dan Welden prepares his students with the following:

Most important is that you bring your creative spirit with you. I teach with a printmaking philosophy of creating original prints. That is to say, we do not do REPRODUCTIONS of pre-existing works. Therefore, it is important that you understand the concept of creating work, specifically with the INTENTION of making an etching. You need not bother looking through your old works to see what you can use. I shall encourage you to create new pieces for this process and you may feel a lot stronger once they appear on paper for the first time.

With this in mind, you may consider working with computers, photo copiers or draw directly on acetate with India ink. You may have your ‘transparency’ with continuous tone, with a nice range of grays as well as rich blacks. Please be sure you have pure whites or totally clear areas on the film. You may also bring objects for direct transfer, however try not to use leaves, doilies and cheesecloth as they have been used millions of times. Certain objects you may best photocopy rather than using them directly on the plates….

You may also bring with you a thick piece of glass (one quarter inch or more). This glass can be grained like a litho stone and works beautifully if you draw on it with a dark pencil, conté crayon, or any dry marking tool. This is especially nice for people who like to draw and make marks in a very autographic manner.

Bring any mark making tools you wish to use, acetate or mylar and India ink, if you like. I also recommend scraping or cutting tools, such as knives or blades. There are also individuals who prefer to come to a workshop without images or ideas……This is absolutely fine. You may come into the space without expectations and the immediacy of the process will open up all sorts of ideas for you.

A Solarplate Workshop in Napa, California, September 2008

Workshop photos courtesy of Nancy Willis

An Insight into Dan Welden’s Work

My work is a playful approach to ‘mark making’ with the concept stemming from the ” landscape” of New Zealand, which has about 7 million grazing sheep. The sheep trample grass, revealing random pathways and patterns especially seen in raking sunlight. These well traveled compositions in various tonalities are clear and yet mysterious to me, creating the inspiration for many years in this current series.

When creating a work, I approach it with a variety of tools, sometimes pencils, inks, or even a screwdriver on paper. The mark making tools help me to represent the feeling of animal tracks, meandering up and down; back and forth. Sometimes direct, often ambiguous, my marks take the role of those tracks.

The works on paper, currently represented are print based, and/or mixed media. They often begin with a sense of structure and then evolve by linear strokes of color, in a free manner, to some point of satisfaction.

Brief Bio

Dan Welden is a painter, educator and master printmaker.

After receiving his B.A. and M.A. degrees in the US he furthered his education in Europe. He has had over 60 one man exhibitions and is known primarily for his hybrid works on paper involving combinations of print, paint and drawing techniques. His inspiration is derived from landscape patterns of “sheep tracks” on grassy slopes. Conceptually they form playful meandering lines and structures for him, which he interprets on paper and canvas.

As an educator, he directs a summer program in Florence, Italy and travels extensively offering workshops all over the world. As a Master Printmaker, he has collaborated with and printed for many artists in his own studio, including Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Dan Flavin, Eric Fischl, David Salle, and Lynda Benglis. Co-author of the book, “Printmaking in the Sun”, he received a Vogelstein grant to produce the film with the same title, which was released in 2006.

Here’s Dan’s Promotional Video for His Florence, Italy Workshops

An Interview with Dan Welden, Solarplate Apostle

An interview by Maureen Booth, originally published on World Printmakers

I recently ran across a DVD called Printmaking in the Sun, a solarplate demo film made by American printmaker, master printer and educator, Dan Welden. The film was so well-made and so persuasive that it immediately made me think: “Is this, at last, the painless route to less-toxic printmaking?” It made me want to get hold of some solar plates and try the technique. I was prompted to contact Dan Welden and see what he had to say for himself.

After finishing his master’s degree in the U.S., Welden, “dissatisfied with his situation and longing to learn,” decided to go to Munich for further study. According to Welden, Munich’s reputation for music, art and beer was a great lure. Thus trained on both sides of the Atlantic, Welden returned to the States, eventually making his home and studio in Sag Harbor, Long Island, a couple of hours outside of New York City. Besides suceeding in his own career as an artist, he has worked collaboratively with artists like the de Koonings, Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, Jasper Johns and Robert Motherwell, among many others.

Dan Welden is the owner of Hampton Editions and director of Printaganza, Ltd., a nonprofit center for international research and education in printmaking in Sag Harbor, New York.

Q: When did you first realize that you were an artist?

A: I actually never accepted the title “artist” until I had to write something down as an occupation. I always considered myself the “student of art.” As to when the light of being interested in art came about, that was at the age of ten, when my teacher supported my talent by encouraging me to draw.

Q: What was your artistic formation like? How does it compare to the art education we see around us today?

A: Since this encouragement was well planted, it formed the basis for a strong desire to continue studying art. But I got there by an indirect route. First I started studying education, which I found boring. It was not until I’d been teaching for several years that I took the decision to go back to art school in Munich. That was truly the greatest art education that I ever had, due to my mentor, Kurt Lohwasser.

Q: How did you end up in Sag Harbor? Is it as delightful as it looks? How can it be so bucolic, yet so close to New York City?

A: Sag Harbor is bucolic indeed. The “Hamptons” have always been considered the New York playground. The delightful part to me is being away from the scene and become secluded in the wooded hills. Although I had lived in that “other part” of Long Island, I was working and collaborating with some very well known artists, including the de Koonings, Flavin, and many others, that lived on the ‘east end.’ I rented a studio space and set up my stone lithographic presses. It proved to be a great move. At the same time, my own imagery started taking hold.

Q: What were the inspirations for that wonderful house and studio of yours?How long did it take you to do it? Any advice for aspiring house-and-studio builders?

A: My architectural interest, never left. I was inspired by a house silhouette of a beautiful shape in a Winslow Homer painting. I designed my home around that structure, later finding out that it was his own studio. It took about six years to get it together since I did a majority of work on it myself and my funds were limited. If an aspiring builder wanted to tackle something like my adventure, I could write a book on the joys of creating a space. It was a totally rewarding experience with lots of help from friends and also business people. They helped make my dream into a magical vision.

Q: Most of World Printmakers’ readers are artists at various stages in their careers. If you could offer them one single piece of advice, what would it be?

A: Consider the ‘positive pathway’ approach and realize that the artist is a creator who, with the help of the right tools, brings his/her inspiration into focus. Once that avenue is chosen, it is important that this identity is maintained until it is exhausted. If it parallels the passions of love, it will never leave.

Q: We’d be fascinated to know when and how and in what context the Solarplate idea occurred to you?

A: Kurt Lohwasser showed me a polymer plate and explained its use in industry. I took it and ‘changed’ its use from the relief principal to the intaglio technique. It was no great stroke of genius to try something new with a material, it was, however fortunate timing. People were beginning to become more aware of health and safety issues revolving around traditional printmaking techniques.

Q: What do you see as the principal advantages of Solarplate techniques?

A: Instead of using acids, solvents and grounds for etching, Solarplates use sunlight and water. The same results and more, are obtained. In addition, the plates are more spontaneous, direct and quicker than traditional techniques. Printmakers also approach the technique more with a lithographer’s directness than the etchers multi state method. The artist can also create with the positive image in mind, not the reverse, or negative sense of the intaglio plate. The speed at which the printmaker can pull impressions is also a great attribute. Since the backing of the Solarplate is steel, it can be inked on a magnetic table creating a solid, stationary surface for quick, simple wiping.

Q: After seeing your Solarplate DVD presentation, the process reminds me a bit of photographic darkroom work. Is that a fair comparison?

A: In a way, yes, although the plates are not worked in a darkroom. They can be exposed in normal incandescent lighting. Development of photographs is exciting watching the image appear, while development of the Solarplate is part of the process. The excitement of Solarplate is just like any etching being unveiled coming through the press.

Q: Are Solarplate techniques capable of completely supplanting acid etching or other etching techniques in terms of image quality, nuances, creative possibilities, etc?

A: I would hate to see traditional intaglio work go by the wayside as much as seeing darkroom development disappear. The love of process as well as certain nuances will always remain in the hearts of printmakers and photographers. Although the digital movement has made a huge impact, and Solarplate printmaking is in its infancy, artists are gravitating to both techniques, due to the qualities one can achieve. When it comes to quality of photographic work with Solarplates, it has reached the level of photogravure.

Q: What about editions. Since the plates are steel, presumably they standup well to large editions. Or not?

A: I have witnessed over 100 impressions being pulled from the Solarplates but I have also seen the images deteriorate after 50. It depends on the printer. The plates are actually made of Polymer and backed with steel.

Q: In your long experience what has surprised you about the things people have done with Solarplate techniques?

A: There is very little that people have come up with as of late that is surprising, however when I conduct workshops, I love the surprise that experienced printmakers have whenthey discover how “easy” and rewarding the process is.

Q: Do you find that etchers tend to adopt Solarplate techniques “instead of”or “in addition to” acid etching or other techniques?

A: A bit of both, actually. It is primarily concerns regarding health and safety which induces people to adopt Solarplate. Old etchers, especially males, tend to stay with what they know and are successful with.

Q: What about exhibiting and selling Solarplate prints? Are they well accepted by clients? Do they require a lot of explanation? Should they be delivered along with a manual?

A: I personally do not make a big issue over these issues. Educated people know, by the plate mark, that it is an etching or a hand pulled print. I always disclose the information and the term Solarplate etching has become pretty generic. If people want to know, I tell them but its more important that they see image and not technique. When the public wants to know the answer of the stupid question “how long did that take you,” you know they are really not paying attention to image.

Q: Having worked in both places, how do you see the differences between the profession of printmaking in Europe and in the USA?

A: I have actually worked on all continents and what is really wonderful is that printmakers have many more similarities than differences with their approaches to their art. I find the profession is more influenced by the people and their personalities. If one were to stereotype, the Aboriginal printmaker approaches things differently from the Peruvian or the Japanese printmaker. Different lands make teaching and collaborating very exciting; I would be burned out if all printmakers were from New York!

Q: As an innovative artist yourself, what’s your view of the use of computers in printmaking?

A: I believe the computer has its place and function, it is here to stay. I believe the computer print alone is something that should always be identified as a digital image. Digital imagery is similar to traditional prints up to a point. However it would be better if all prints, both those which are hand pulled, and those which come out of ink-jet printers were clearly labeled with full disclosure of their techniques. The problem I have is when digital prints are labeled with fancy names that are no more than a a cheap, mystifying marketing tool.

The Solarplate technique, I might add, represents a wonderful link between the computer and the hand-inked, hand-pulled print therefore putting the DNA back into the art.

Q: Here at World Printmakers we loved your Printmaking in the Sun DVD. Can you tell us how that happened? We want to know all about it. What prompted you to do it? Was it a lot of work? Was it fun? Would you like to make any recommendations for other artists who might like to try something similar? And last but not least, where can people order it?

A: Although I have made numerous appearances in videos and TV programs, the making of a video about my own approach to printmaking was a big gamble. I feel good that it was done, however it was a serious investment in time and money. The two year project was initiated by a grant from the Vogelstein Foundation in New York and supplemented by my own savings. It was filmed by an award winning cinematographer, Karola Ritter as her last project in Sag Harbor before returning to Europe. It was an expensive production, and I would not have been able to do it without the support of the grant.

The filming was fun, especially with Karola. The editing was a nightmare; I had a difficult time watching and listening to myself. I am happy with the results, however, and very pleased to hear that people learn something each time they watch it. As to advising other artists to create their own film, why not. It’s an adventure but not something to make money with. The Printing in the Sun DVD can be ordered from my website, along with a book by the same name, co-authored by Pauline Muir and me, and a range of Solarplate printmaking materials: www.solarplate.com

Contact

Hampton Editions, Ltd.

P.O. Box 520

Sag Harbor, NY 11963

Websites: http://www.solarplate.com, http://danwelden.com

Email: solarplate4@aol.com

Tel: 631 725 3990

Fax: 631 771 3100

Written by Michael Booth

August 15, 2008 at 1:35 pm

7 Responses

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  1. Totally intrigued.

    Would like to reconnect and say hello to Dan Welden.

    It’s time to catch up!

    Hazel [Weiner] Brown

    February 3, 2009 at 4:46 am

    • Hey Dan,
      Just wanted to say hello. I have taken a brief tour of your web site printworkshopcentral.com/hampton-ed Looks good!
      Any way I enjoyed seeing you at your opening at SCCC in Riverhead several months ago. Sorry I didn’t get to say good bye,please forgive me. I was on the run and so many people had your ear when I was leaving.
      If you are giving any workshops in NY in the near future I may be interested. I’ll keep my eyes opened as well as joining your mailing list.
      The best to you and yours!
      Joanne Forman

      Joanne Forman

      May 18, 2009 at 5:37 pm

      • Hey Dan,
        Just wanted to say hello. I have taken a brief tour of your web site printworkshopcentral.com/hampton-ed Looks good!
        Any way I enjoyed seeing you at your opening at SCCC in Riverhead several months ago. Sorry I didn’t get to say good bye,please forgive me. I was on the run and so many people had your ear when I was leaving.
        If you are giving any workshops in NY in the near future I may be interested. I’ll keep my eyes opened as well as joining your mailing list.
        The best to you and yours!
        Joanne Forman

        Joanne Forman

        May 18, 2009 at 5:37 pm

        Joanne Forman

        May 30, 2009 at 1:34 pm

  2. Hello Dan, Met you in Portland, Or. long time ago when Gordon Gilkey was alive. I have an entire
    lithography studio in Orient, Long Island, NY, and I would like to sell all the equipment….Takach-Garfield
    press, large stones, storage racks, graining sink etc. Would appreciate any interest.

    Myrna Burks

    April 8, 2013 at 5:16 pm

  3. Found this on MSN and I’m happy I did. Well written article.

    Hermila Sweigart

    October 2, 2017 at 2:19 am

  4. I am a french who is interested in this technique and Hamptone editions.
    Since then, I have started to want to perform tests on solarplate, so I order June 5 on the Hampton Editions website. Since the payment, nothing more new no package UPS nothing … I have to relaunch several times by mail. Elas dead letter without answer. I am starting to think that this man is an escrot and that he does not represent the image we make of him …
    I am really disappointed.

    FEVEZ

    June 25, 2018 at 5:47 pm


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