Tales from the Co-op:
John Pearson

Dot, Dot, Dot polymergravure

I studied intaglio printmaking at MCAD as a side dish to my design major, and, perhaps predictably, drifted away from the practice until years later when I took a class at Highpoint to fill some dull winter evenings. The first night I walked in the door and inhaled the smell of ink I thought: I’m home!

That was 10 years ago.

Fast forward to today:  It’s 9:15 on a Sunday morning, and I’m at Highpoint. (This is earlier than I show up at my “real” job.) I pretty much trot from drawer to sink to cubby to hot plate and the press. How much can I get done this morning?  I’m working on a couple different images in different states of done-ness; one is 2-color, the other just black, so I’m juggling three copper plates and muddles of ink. After a week of handwork at home--drawing, tracing, scraping, engraving, burnishing--when I get to the print shop I can’t wait to see the results.

The results are, um, not quite there. Which is typical. My prints go through many states. Because I work for so many weeks on a print, I’m careful about the subject matter I commit myself to. On this recent Sunday I’m working with the natural history imagery that is typical for me: shells, ice formations, feathers, landscape. But waiting in my drawer is an utterly failed experimental aquatint that has potential to become an intriguing abstraction, so I think I’ll give that a shot next.