Today on The Print Cast, it's the fourth edition of our series Press On, something we launched as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to talk directly to printmakers about how this situation impacts their lives, their businesses, and how they'll keep busy through the shutdown of daily life. Each iteration of the series will bring you stories directly from artists and we'll keep them coming as long as this situation persists.
Today's edition was wrapped up on May 1st, 2020. In Part 1, Robynn Smith from Print Day in May tells us of the upcoming print holiday on May 2nd. Join in with the celebration and share a print your making, and if you hashtag sponsors, you could win a rad prize. More info here.
Part 2 of today's episode features screen printer Luther Davis of Powerhouse Arts. I had Luther on to talk about a recent Jenny Holzer print he did while under quarantine with fellow artist Leslie Diuguid. Together they pulled the B.A.T. while wearing masks and gloves, so that the edition could be sold to raise money for Earth Day.
Also starting us off is my news service that I'm now dubbing Feed and Delivery: News for the Graphically Curious. You can look forward to this as a component of future podcasts, and maybe after COVID-19 it will become a stand alone podcast feed for mini episodes each week. For now, check out Press On while it runs on The Print Cast feed and you'll hear the latest each week.
More to come and let me know if you want to share anything via the Press On series.
Check out the Print Cast website here for more info.
London Original Fair
Ladies of Letterpress Conference Survey
Houston Art Museum - Documents of Latin America and Latino Art
Geoff McFettridge Drawings About Pandemic Life
Join Print Day in May
NMSU University Art Museum - Channeling the Nuances of Motherhood Into Art
Artist Mother Podcast - Episode 55 with Curator Marisa Sage
Hyperallergic review of Channeling the Nuances of Motherhood into Art
Artist Relief Fund Grant Application
you're listening to the print cast of podcast about the expanding world of printmaking today. I'm your host. Nick, not the print Gas brings you interviews with some of the best contemporary printmakers, sharing anecdotes, business ideas and technical tips with listeners everywhere today on the podcast. It's the fourth edition of a limited Siri's called Press On, launched as a response to the Cove in 19 Pandemic. Each of these bonus episodes brings these stories from the print world specifically about how people's lives are being affected by the pandemic shutdowns and how people are adapting to new challenges. Today's edition of Press On was wrapped up on Friday, May 1st in the year of 2000 and 20 over a month and 1/2 into our state home shut down. So once again today, I'm gonna start off with some print related news partly because I like doing it and partly because I hope you get something out of it. I've decided that I'm calling the news black for the show that I've been doing, um, feed and delivery news for the graphically curious kind of an elaborate thing. I think I'm just bored and you know, further evolving everything ideo into more and more refined detail. And so I give names to things after I do them, like three times. Um, after doing this for a while, you know, I've found that I'm really enjoying it. And anyway, after the news feed, I've got two interviews to share. The first is with Robin Smith. She runs Print Day in May, which is coming up tomorrow on May 2nd. Also on this show is Luther Davis from Powerhouse Arts in Brooklyn, sharing about a recent print project that he did for Jenny Holzer to raise money for Earth Day. So that's a really interesting 12 and, yeah, let's get started with the feeding delivery for today's press on with the print cast. For links, check out the show description for today's episode on the print cast Podcast Feed and on with the show. The ladies of letter press have put out a call for feedback on what to do about this year's Ladies of Letter Press Conference theme yearly. ST Louis based Conference is considering options given our pandemic situation, and they're asking for your thoughts. Should the conference be in person this year, should they redesign some things about it. Should it be remote? Any feedback is welcome, and a link to their survey is in today's episode show. Notes three Houston Art Museum has made their archive called Documents of Latin America and Latino Art Frito Access Online. It's a great resource of rare Spanish language print materials, and you can dig into all kinds of stuff, including flyers, articles and more. Lots of cool graphics in there. Honestly, I found a bunch of things that I thought were really great. So check out this rich cultural archive online at the i c. A dot m f h dot org's. That's the Houston Art Museum. You'll find it. Los Angeles illustrator Jeff McVeigh Attridge has done a poetic Siris of illustrations, lamenting on loss in our current world and projecting how he would like to keep some of the new ways of life that we have now when we return to some sort of normalcy, How nice would it be to have a lot more walking in a lot less traffic so you can check out his drawings at The New York Times and white times dot com Saturday This week. Tomorrow is May 2nd which is print day in May. Artists from around the world celebrate this impromptu print holiday by collectively pulling a print for the simple fact that they love it. It's kind of like the best thing I've ever heard of. Everyone is welcome to participate, and there's no entry fee or other requirement. Additionally, when you post your prints online this Saturday, you can hash tag a number of the print vendors that work with Print Day in May for a chance to win lots of different prizes. That's really actually like quite a haul of, like, good stuff. So it's really simple. Get your best work ready to post and learn more at print day in may dot com. I've got three bits of news about a show that I'm excited about. It's happening in the southwestern United States. It's a debut show at the New Mexico State University's new art museum that's opening online due to the coded 19 pandemic. The show is called Channeling the Nuances of Motherhood into Art and was curated by the museum director Marissa Sage and New York artist Laurel Metadata. Animus You is my Oma mater and really animus you is kind of like a giant state school that spread over a huge amount of territory. So it's actually not all located in one place, like part of its unless Cruz's parts in Alamogordo it like, you know, animus. You extends through a good portion of New Mexico itself. And so really, for having a giant college in Las Cruces, New Mexico, like It's also very much like a small town and a border small town. So the culture there is unique. If you've never been to the very like, you know, Southern border kind of towns of like New Mexico and Arizona and Texas. It's really like a different world compared to the rest of United States, and I really love it. I loved living there and going to school there, so I'm excited for the show. For the new Art Museum. For Marissa Sage being there, I hope things continue to develop and grow. It'll be a huge asset to the Southwest, including less Crucis in El Paso, Albuquerque. It'll be great. Learn more at um dot animus you dot edu Ford's last current in the show. Notes also be including a write up from hyper allergic website where you can read about the exhibition on a related note to the artist mother podcast had on the curator of the exhibition, Marissa Sage, and it's a great listen, and you learn about how the show came toe happen and more stories from the curator. It's just great. So check out the artist mother Podcast on iTunes. Episode 55 called Everything Begins with the Mother curating labor, motherhood and art in 2020 with Marissa Sage Links. For that, the hyper allergic and to the museum itself will be in the show notes. Just so you all know, I'm now holding my cat as I finish this up. That's it for today's feet and delivery. Look forward to more news in the coming weeks. Let's get on with the rest of the show. What's that? Yeah, you're listening to the print Kast. Season two on You thought we wouldn't make it this far? Part one on today's press on features Robin Smith from Print Day in May. This de facto print holiday is coming up fast tomorrow, Saturday, May 2nd, and I wanted to ask Robin on to talk about this unique celebration and how she got it going. It was really, really organic. And now is the thing that's happening worldwide in, like, 70 countries. Let's check in with Robin and see how she's preparing for what's gonna be an epic print day in May for 2020. I'm on the line here with Robin Smith from Print Day in May. Robin, how are you doing? Are you guys doing all right up there?
We're doing all right here in Santa Cruz. Yeah. Flattening our
Yes. Yeah. I think Californians air pretty accommodating to all of this and have worked together to flatten the curve collectively here, I think. Um, yes. So Print Day in May is coming up real soon. It's like the end. Like what? This week? Right.
It's a Saturday. Saturday next. Coming Saturday. Frightening. Yes.
Yes. Saturday. May 2nd. So are you Are you the founder of it? Are you the first?
Yeah, I am. So Yeah. When did it? When did you come up with this? This idea for, like, a print holiday. And what what spawned it And like, what's been keeping you going doing it all this time?
Well, it started very organically. I was teaching printmaking at Monterey Peninsula college where had been for quite a while was 2007 I believe. And, um, we had quite a wonderful program, and a lot of people got really serious about printmaking and started getting their own presses. So after about maybe five or six of my students hard gotten their own presses and and sort of left the fold slightly, we were having, um we had an organization called the MPC Printmakers and we had ah NPC playmakers meeting, and I said, You know, it would be great if we could pick a day and all come down to school, do it on a weekend, and people can come to school in print. But you guys can all be printing in your studios, and at that point, the technology was pretty limited. But you know, we'll talk to each other on our cell phones, will send pictures back and forth, and we'll just have a big print day. So then we were like, Oh, that sounds good. Well, we did it May. It would rhyme Print Day in May, the first Saturday in May, and we did it and it was super fun, and we toasted each other with mint juleps derby time. And then it continued, and it grew every year, and people that had come to the college to do visiting artists, workshops in support. We extended invitations to them and they started doing it and it just became a thing. And, um, about two years ago, I, uh, a little longer than that. Maybe three years ago we started asking for sponsors, and we way started this hashtag campaign so that people could post to social media and with specific hashtags and then places like Speedball, Akula, McClain's printmaking and specifically Cranfield colors in whales. And and in the UK they would give prizes randomly chosen after the event for people who had hashtag their companies. So that really allowed us big mailing lists. And because the companies all started advertising us,
right. And so at all of this, honestly, was very organic, like a student would mention this or friend would mention Have you thought about doing that? Meanwhile, we had a website going and we started Facebook pages and instagram accounts, and most of that was because, you know, I would have like a student every year who would help and so it would advance depending on that students skill set.
right, Because I was just too busy. And, you know, I'm teaching and running a program and being in my studio, I was like, Yeah, great. I'm really good at delegating. But then I retired. And so the last couple of years has been me, um, but because I haven't had student help. But the event has gotten huge, and it's sort of organically snowballed. And two years ago, Cranfield Colors became a huge sponsor. So they have afforded me a social media person to work with each year. Wow, Aziz! Their contribution to print a May
And so everything has become much more professional, much more, um, much smoother. I don't have to depend on students in between their projects giving me some time and everybody that at the Cranfield teams just amazing and super helpful. And then I don't know how you found me, but clearly this is working because it's it's grown exponentially. We have. I just added three more countries participation yesterday, So we're up to almost 70 countries, all 50 states for years, and and that's just the people we register on the site. So other people are facebooking and Instagramming, and I think we have, I would say safely, tens of thousands of people printing every first Saturday in May across the world. So so
when you see register on the site, like are people do they log in and create, like, a profile or something to become part of everything? Yeah,
yeah, And that just allows us to mail chimp them, send out a newsletter every once in a while, Keep keep track, I guess you could say, But really, it's just us saying, Well, look at that. Somebody from Slovakia registered yesterday off, and ah, and so also, what it allows is if they're not on Facebook or Instagram or other social media platforms, they become an author on our block immediately upon registration and it's free. Nobody has to pay anything, and then they can upload their images and right about their experience and share with the website, and that's available to anybody who's registered. So that's maybe 2000 people right there. Yeah,
that's awesome. Yeah, I was looking at the blogger earlier, and I saw, like, you know, just people from like wherever they are located just like showing off their shop. But it was like shops and all all parts of the world just in the first few posts that I looked at, you know, and ah, And then even in the comments, yeah, like the comments even on the website were like people from, like all around the world just being like, Hey, I'm in Australia and I want to be a part of the club and your and your answer is just like you don't have to do anything to be a part of it. You don't have to pay or become a member. You just are part of it because you want to be, you know?
Yeah, Just make prints. And and, you know, like I was in Bora Bora a couple of years ago, and I met this wonderful guy who is the artist. He ain't on coconut shells and things. And and I said, Hey, you know, this is coming up in a month. Why don't you participate? And so he sent us like crab prints of a crab in the sand, just kind of like crabbing along. So here's my I didn't get a chance to print, but this crab did. I mean, how great is that way? Actually, got we About four years ago, we completed the goal of having people printing on all seven continents because scientists in Antarctica sent us penguin footprints. Wow. Whoa!
That's so cool.
Yeah. So what's, like,
the ultimate goal? Like I mean, it seems like you're achieving what I would think the ultimate goal would be. But, like, where do you want to see this all go or become, like, How would it become bigger? What's what you gonna do now? They have more time to put into it, too.
Well, that's been interesting. Um, you know, my goal seems to change every year as it gets bigger, my goals get a little bit bigger. So I think ultimately what I what I would like and what does occasionally happen is people will say to me, Oh, you're printmaker. Have you heard of this thing Print in May, and I'm like, Yeah, I have so great. So I just wanted it to kind of take off on its own and for it to mushroom into this thing that people just do. Everybody looks forward to it. People do it. I don't have to think about it that much. I mean, I will certainly man the Blawg and work with my Cranfield sponsors and all of that, cause it's just a wonderful relationship, but opportunities keep coming. And, um, I love the idea that all these pre makers can't they have a way to contact each other. That's very organic. If, and I do a lot of travel ings. If I end up in New Zealand, I can look at my list and say, Hey, I think I'd like two prints in Auckland. All contact this person and then there's an opportunity, So it's kind of built in residency situations for people. It's opportunities that happening. Oprah makers are communal people. We don't particularly like to work in a vacuum, and we do, and we don't, um, if we like to work in that vacuum, we like to let the word go somewhere and have people see it. And so I don't really have a huge. I certainly don't have financial goals. I don't have corporate goals. I just want this thing to live on and live beyond me. You know, if I decide I want to step back, I want someone else to take it over and and I just wanted to live on.
It's like the most purist thing like it really is kind of beautiful like that. There aren't any agendas floating behind this, you know. It's just like it's a rare thing in today's world that, like it's really just truly for the good of it. And because obviously, it's something that people want engage with too. You know, um, I could see, like, you know, since you're mobilizing such an audience and like a network like and in like and like, I'm kind of mobilizing the same network, you know, it's like more and more like there's a bunch of little things like threatening us all together together in this beautiful way. And I think, you know, you could think about doing like, a festival or something where you could, like, have parts of this group come together and like become part of an event that within spread print to like people who don't know it. You might buy some prints or something, you know, I don't know
absolutely, or people who just you know, printmaking is a very magical thing because it's it's ah art form where you have an instant collaborator with a press or with just whatever pressure you're using to transfer a new image from one surface to another out of your hands for a short time. And when that happens, you're engaging something other than yourself to to have that trust and Teoh, except what happens on the other side and to have that make further your work, make you a better artist so that magic is something that is fantastic for everyone, even if it's just for a second. And I, you know, from New York I'm kind of a cynical person. Ultimately, I'm very discerning, and Jum wouldn't say I'm a pessimist, but I'm very cynical, and this is something that really balances at me because you can't be cynical and do this. This is just about the love of something, and I've seen the power from teaching, um, of what happens when people make a print for the first time and how they get hooked. And it's just such a powerful thing that changes live so positively so absolutely in that as well.
I totally I totally agree, Um, I want to clarify one last thing with the sponsors because I don't think we, like, said exactly what that could entail for, like listeners out there who want to participate. Basically, it looked like if you hash tag like, sort of a specific hashtag for each different sponsor, because they're all offering different things, like paper companies or ah, speedball or Japanese paper Place was one, um so basically, by tagging them by using a hashtag and showing what you made, like you're kind of entered into a drawing for paper or printing kits or all kinds of different things, right?
Yes, yes, we have residency is the amaze studio in, UM, that's juice? It's list. Shelton has offered, Ah, class there. Last year, Anderson Ranched offered a class and somebody won it and was so excited. And now the ranches closed for the summer. Some things for this year I know said it is so, yes, and you can find out about those hashtag in two ways. You can go to our website www dot print day in may dot com. Click on the sponsor Ah, link, and you'll see all the specific hashtags and all the sponsors so you can selectively have tagged. You can hashtag everyone You can also get that information off of our Facebook and Instagram accounts. I think it's easier in one place at the website. Um, and, uh, we've been doing it for a number of years. It actually started with a cool color of Christina promo who works at first speedball Nakoula. She suggested it, and I was like, This is brilliant. It works for everybody.
No amazing idea. Yeah, like everything comes together. And then you have this just massive like like worldwide audience. You know
this trouble when you tune into this experience, people start in Australian New Zealand and it moves across the globe like watching the ball drop on New Year's Eve. You know, you're like, Oh my God, Israel's printing holy moly, they're printing in Egypt. I mean, it's it's incredible, And people just keeps its waves that keep happening over that 24 hour period. So, um, so that's pretty exciting. And I love geography, So I I'm sure that this is part of that for me, that I get such a thrill. I registered someone from Brunei the other day and I had to look it up. Where is it? I now know nations stayed on the island of, you know, one of the Indonesian islands. I mean, who knew? So it's it's fabulous that way. I really learned a lot about these countries and people and, um, and have communications with this artist from Eritrea all the time. It's It's amazing that super. Yeah, it's great.
Yeah, well, I'm glad I got to talk to you, and I'm glad I caught win that it was happening real soon, but we had room to, like, maybe record and talk about it. So I'll share this this week and we'll see.
know, it'll reach another little chunk of people for you and place. And how
did you find out about it? Um,
somewhere in social media I caught, I must have seen something, but I've actually just been tuning in a lot more and being more present when I see things. Because I started doing this little serious is kind of part of like what I've done to adapt to the pandemic happening. And then what ended up doing was second or third iteration of that? I added like a news feed at the beginning. So I started just like putting in, like all the email blast info have been getting and like stuff have been stumbling onto. And then yeah, so now each week I'm just like chasing that and like everything I see, I put on a list somewhere, and then I saw this and then I thought, You know, like, this is happening like, really seeing I should just talk to her. And so also been motivating me to be this, like print journalists or something that I haven't really wasn't planning on doing. But, yeah, it's been really fun.
It's great. It's It's very similar kind of organic growth of an idea. Um, and, uh, on and pretty wonderful at that, Um, I think one of the things I want to say at the end, if you don't mind, is just that I couldn't believe how relevant the event is this year because of the pandemic, that this is something that's been done in print parties, but also in a very solitary way all over the world for over a dozen years. And this year, suddenly we need it. You know, everybody is craving the connection, and I was like, wow, print and print and may now more than ever on and eso we've been kind of putting that out, and at first I wasn't sure people would just say, I'm so inundated with stuff on the Web about all how creative I can be and I don't want You know, me and it's overkill in a lot of ways. And so I was worried about that. But the last few weeks I've seen that this is something that people are. It's gonna be huge this year. People are so excited.
prepping their plates for weeks. And, um, you know, and I hope that somehow it can get out to people who are not printmakers, because that's been a big part of this. But I think maybe next year, you know this year I really think it's gonna be a lot of serious printmakers in their own studios doing their work, and there's that's pretty wonderful.
Yeah, I think the way social media functions these days, I think the word will just spread through just like so many images and that hashtag popping up in like all of them for like, a good chunk of days, you know, it'll just be kind of dominating social media, so it should be really cool to see what happens. And then that recognition will just keep repeating. And people will see it next time to, you know,
that's the hope.
Local Great to meet you and have you on the show.
and Ah, yeah. Keep up the good work and good luck this week. I'm sure you've got tons of work toe juggle all the promotions and organizing and everything to get it going. But but good luck with it all. Yeah.
Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. And one day we will need in person because we're not that far away.
Yeah. No, definitely. Yeah, that'd be great. I would love that. So All right, we'll make a point to do that. And you take care and have a good day.
Thank you so much. And
for part two today, I invited New York screen printer Luther Davis to come on the show and share about a recent edition. He did while under quarantine. He and Leslie do good. My guest from season two episode for the print cast worked together at Powerhouse Arts in Brooklyn. You may have seen a recent screen front. They did to help raise money for Earth Day, which featured a silver background with gilded palladium leaf script lettering stating that all things air delicately interconnected. The print was designed by artist Jenny Holzer for Earth Day and features one of the standards from her iconic truisms. Hauser and Wirth released a special addition to raise money for the conservation group Art for Acres and the Wh Ose Cove in 19 Solidarity Response Fund. The print, sold out in just a day after being promoted, was just like a humongous hit. And um, yeah, let's check in with Luther. And he'll tell us about the community effort behind this trance and his current home life in Brooklyn. Sorry, I forgot to record.
That's all right.
Like rookie move. Um, alright,
All right, we'll start again. Try to act normal. Uh, Luther Davis. Welcome to press on on the print cast. Thanks for making time today.
Thanks, Nick. Thanks for having me.
Yeah, I wanted to start off today talking about a print edition that I was just seeing in social media that you and Leslie do good. We're pumping out this past. Was it this past week or when did you guys make that?
Uh, we We did the proof. The B a t, uh, this weekend or last weekend. So it's something we've been in dialogue with and with Jenny Holzer studio, And she's been working on the file for a while. And so it was an ongoing project where we did some color samples, um, and maybe eight different color ways and sent small samples to her, and she responded to what we sent. And then we had sort of a game plan. So it was. First off, it's just great to be able to make something. This is our fifth week, uh, ending. It's almost six weeks in isolation. I'm here with my family, um, home schooling and cooking. And my wife is making masks. She's made about 150 masks. Uh
So you know, So my Chavez Brit maker has been Teoh. Imagine what? You know. Imagine Prince. So it's nice to actually be able to make something. And Leslie is part of the print team at Powerhouse Arts. And she doesn't. She lives a short way from east, and remarkably on wonderfully. She has her own prints studio in her apartment. Eso it was this, uh, forever experience We forever tattooed in my brain because it was just you want toe. So long since I've seen Leslie, we went from see each other every day and spending all day with each other to, uh, five weeks being apart. I just wanted to give her this big hug, but you couldn't. So that's what's nice about that. Print is it's a benefit print. How's your worth? And, uh, Jenny Holzer put together Teoh. 100% of the sales of the addition goes Teoh Art for Acres, which is part of the 50th anniversary of birthday, which was on April 22nd. Um, the screen print it's called All Things or delicately interconnected is a sort of script cursive, illustrative, cursive script. Uh, and all the words are interconnected, and she has been doing some silver on silver prints. So we made a pewter colored background of aluminum and then silver. Well, actually, palladium lyft the type and pulling out palladium leaf way have an artist. At least Stimpson, who does a antique nearing process called Eagle. Um is a and she uses played him with me. So Lisa, walk, you know, walk sample books over to us. Put in our mailbox. We telecommuter with her about the palladium leave. Um and, uh, you know, it's it's this amazing sort of neighborhood get together where no one actually gets to see each other. So, um, yeah, it was a remarkable process. And then working with Leslie, you know, with masks, screen printing. Uh, you know, she has all of our studio down, and I'm out of my element it So I'm not in my studio, so I could get to be the assistant and she started telling me where to go, and I'm just trying to stand out of our way. It was just it was so much fun.
Ah, that would be great. I'm with the man. I haven't made anything. I mean, I've been making little things or whatever, but not the normal things I do. And it's just like it feels so weird to not do these activities that we do on a daily basis all the time.
Absolutely. It's so hard. So you know. And I am trying. Teoh master some new kitchen kitchen chemistries, which is, you know, I think the whole world is making Sardo and the other way and just tried to make a perfect, like white bread sandwich loaf and that I had several fails. And now I finally got that. I'm making tofu from scratch from soybeans. Ah, and that's getting some progress. And today I'm making crackers from from scratch with all this, uh, car, which is the byproduct of making tofu. So but I am getting to creates but on a making homebrew. But it's not the same. That's not the same. And part of the reason it I love print is working collaboration with people, so feeding my family. It's not the same. But yeah, I would have to say, though, that the it's amazing to see everyone pulled together in New York City was. Obviously, everyone knows New York City's extremely hard hit. Um, we are at this point hitting a plateau in cases, Um, and you know, there is a huge movement to make mass surgical well protective equipment, and that it was amazing watching through the months knowledge come out about best practices for making masks and how quickly things change day to day and like, no, that material is positively charged, or Dr Iris to You and you know this. Like how People how deep down the rabbit hole mitt in Mass. Quinn. It was really some. Every day there's new mascot folk coming out and, uh, you know, and this giant groupthink and, like trying to get the mass to the people who need them. Uh, that part of you know, witnessing and collaboration is live and well and obviously very important.
Yeah, it's been it's been heartening to see, like all of that. And I've I've been with you, like following different mask like templates and designs. And this was like before they even made it that we all have to wear them now all the times now, like everywhere I go outside, I basically where one except when I'm like reading my bike or something. But, um, you guys have benefited a lot from just having really strong leadership in Governor Cuomo, and
they don't back down. They stick to stick to their guns and, you know, and and the ah, they're not politicizing it here, which is really important because, you know it is the curve will be flattened by not by government, and lives will be saved, not by government. This will be. The people were sacrificing in some cases everything all their livelihood, their businesses to keep this Ah, curve down. And so you know, it is the people and their hard work and their sacrifice and the government, you know, they're used Teoh. I don't want my going Teoh like some kind of Oh, yeah, I should keep it in check there. But you know what?
I don't want to open the door to that stuff, but I I'm with you, though. Um, yes. So what else do you so, besides, powerhouse or you're also a professor?
I teach at a new school, parts of school design on teaching, advanced screen, Kratz screen putting class. And that's Ah, it's Friday night class. I love my class. It's Friday night. So the students are generally the type that will give up their Friday night in order to take screen burning class tonight. And I teach it as if they're collaborate, were collaborating with artists who know what they want to make. And so we're trying to build up, uh, Parsons School design has fashion and illustration and product design. So we're really trying to screen print as part of their their portfolio building practice, so every single student happens in there with a different goal. Now that we don't have access to studio is really difficult to come up with a game plan. And part of my personal thought is that, Ah, my students said the utmost respect for their want to continue. But many of them have, You know, they were all in for last semester. They put all their all their money was in that semester, right, and maybe they have parents who lost their jobs. So I think it's I I personally would feel bad about asking them to put any more funds out into the world to purchase screen printing kits or whatever. So what we're trying to do is what can we do with what we have and what you know? Let's not concentrate what we can't do. Let's concentrate on what we can do is what we have. So some of them are just doing separations in photo shop. We were talking about best practices there, theoretical best practices, and we're trying make a body work that we can get back in the shop and make others are you know, when I learned screen printing we made. We made a screen from scratch with wood and mesh. And so I have a student who made her own streams using two to fabric. And so we're talking about now. And next up is how do you put an image on there? And you know, luckily, most people have access to white glue Elmer's glue, and that is our That's what our emotion is. Basically, it's owners glue. So we're working on how you do that. Uh, I have a personal project. I'm trying to make screen printing ink from the starchy water from my kids, Mac and cheese that I make every other day. So that's an ongoing. So how do you make How do you make think if you don't have to think so and that by what that is? The sticking point for a lot of these students is like I can get everything I could make everything. That ink is just too expensive. So this is our report back on how this is going. But I've been producing starchy water from whenever we cook pasta knobs. I could throw cornstarch and picking up, So then you end up with a Groupie Inc with no color. Then how do you have? The king had the color to it so we can work on that step. And then how do you make it actually flow like ink? And I think the solution there's gonna be some, like molasses or something thick. So it it will be an edible ink. I hope when we're done. But
I tried one time using it was that it was, ah, a normal kind of Ah, you know, like transparent base. But I tried adding chili powder to at one time and made some really beautiful red color pigment prints. There were three color was, Yeah, I would look to like the dying world, you know, like people are dying stuff using like onion skins and, you know, inks just made of burnt bone. But maybe you could burn things to the point that there's so brittle and dry that you could, like, blend them in a coffee grinder and make a pigment sort of, you know, maybe not light, fast or anything, but, um,
yeah, absolutely. Well, that's That's exactly if we can get it through the screen. The screen can be a city. It could be the filter we can get it
screen what you're left with. I have tried to make dirt, thanks, but in the past, and that was really frustrating. But, um
I should say so. It's oil based inks and, you know, Moss growing projects. So this is, you know, it's a chance to be invented. Also, what I really like is that, um, the students that I'm teaching, they have a say as far as I'm concerned, you know, date, and as far as the school's concerned, they have in a where they have an A minus. And so every day they get to work on something they want to work, and at their pace, many of them are spread around the world so some of them can't check in because the time zones wrong. So we're doing it over email. But you know, they're being judged on a metric that is solely their metric. And that is that's that's That's a great that's a luxury that most students don't get. So what makes what makes a successful project is your is your definition. That's a last week.
That sounds like a good like a good approach. I mean, everyone's working with what they have, and Ah, and you can't do much more in that. Yeah, like other people have talked to. It's like Ink is the thing. Inc is the stickler item that, like, there's probably not enough. If we all had to go buy some right now, like it would all just, like, run out because they don't have a can for every single person who would want to use it right now anyway. So no.
And, you know, hindsight. I would have have so much Spare Inc. I would have packaged it all up. Kids do all the students I could get my hands on. And, you know, maybe that's an option. You know, maybe if I can get some access to some small containers in the next few weeks. If there's some, uh, if we become a little bit of isolation, maybe that's something I can start thinking about doing this, making kids. I know Shoestring press. Here in Brooklyn, they made some really nice relief printing kits that they sent out to people, so they're having a remote relief class. I lanes lane. There's was very quick toe like use the time you had to capture resources. I admire that. Um, yeah, there's I mean, I think with the news being as, uh, nonstop is it? I guess it always has been. But with the things being as bases are, it's nice to have dreaming. Still allow place for dreaming.
Yeah, well, I want to ask. I mean, I wanted have a longer interview with you to at some point, but, like, how did you get into all of this? Like, where did you come up? Are you from New York? Like, where did you study? You know what? Your what? Your brief brief history of Luther Davis.
My my brief history is that I'm from Cleveland. Um, I went to school a smaller bill Arts college name Grenelle in Iowa.
Oh, yeah, I applied to Greenoe.
Yeah, it's a good school.
I'm from I'm from Dubuque. IOS. So it's like, yeah, right down the street. Yeah.
Yeah. So you know You know Grenell Well, then, yes, it's a good school. It has a lot to offer in that it is a small school with a huge endowment, and, uh, they have really good faculty and good facilities. But when I was there, they just had a trick. So actually, I was there in this weird moment where, um where there's redoing the art department. So I fell in love with jewelry first and jewelry making and thought I was gonna be a jeweler. And then right as I was getting ready to buy on my own equipment that can't sold the full programming like we're gonna restructure this. So it's less arts and crafts oriented mawr Fine art. You know, I m f a track oriented. So
is that? I was the loss of what to do. So I took my first acting class and because someone said, Well, you could work with copper and zinc in that class. I think you like it. But my faculty, uh, factly number I had Tony Crowley, my first for making teacher, was extremely top. I only ever gotten a on one prince. I fell in love with the chemistry we're now being on the black school. I applied to graduate schools, and if you get into a single one, I was competing against art student. I was naive at the time, so I went Teoh, I'm from Ohio, so I went to Columbus. I took continuing education, adult classes in printmaking, um, and learned the other processes. And the faculty. They're encouraged me to apply to the graduate school there so that I got my M f a from Ohio State, and then I moved to New York. Then I painted houses profile, but I moved into having one principio moved in New York, and I got a job, uh, with Johnny of Noble A at a print shop called No Blaze Serie Griffey. And, um, yeah, I mean, this is his sole employee, And so he taught me everything he had learned from his father and everything. He how he wanted to run his shot. And so I learned one person's take on everything. Um, and there what it was. It was the French way, too. So it was like we were I don't know if there is a French way, I might be making up the French way, but it was we're going to do once again with what we have, right, And we're gonna make the best possible work. Um, you know, in that case, using the fewest colors you're using, you know, uh, breaking the best possible way and you know, there was a dark room. There was pre computer. A photo shop was pre a lot of the way we do our business now. And, uh, I learned from a master, and, uh, yeah, I'm there. He right. When the dot com bubble was at its biggest, his rent tripled and his wife died at the same time. So she sought his business, and I went with with all the equipment, and I've been sort of following the equipment now. So now with Paris Arts in the interim shop was called Accel Additions. Um, and so, yeah, filing equipment from shop to shop. My team has been pretty stable for the last 20 years. So we have a crew of 77 printers plus myself. Eight people. Yeah. Yeah. We work on about 100 projects a year. I'm sorry. We work with 100 artists year. We do about 300 projects a year, so it's every single day. There's something that we're working and like a one off giant prints on a huge panel. Or it might be we just finished the New Orleans Jazz Festival poster design. Um, which is really beautiful 18 color. You can see it on website called Art for now, the number four we'll see. I don't know if jazz trust will be happening. It's a beautiful Pallister, very proud of our agent poster.
18 Colors is insane. Um,
record. I record it weighs 220. So, uh, starts at 120. I might be over. I might be exaggerating its 100. You know, until Adam. I've looked at about the fact check myself.
I even just like that, that exists as a thing in the world. Man like that's just like I came around my head around, like approaching that, like how how much waste you would need or like, you know, like the amount of mistakes that could come up like anywhere along the way. It's like it's
That's the beauty of having a a print with a ton of colors is it actually reduces the waste in some ways because you can always put another car and fix something right.
That's true. Yeah, that's true.
It's a one in two color prints that you always get screwed on it when things go wrong. If it's like when it's 50 colors like, well, we'll just fix it later, right? And the paper eventually stabilises to such a degree because it's been through the press so many times. It's so much ink on it that the registration really, really locks down. Um, so it's if you have the time and someone's willing. Teoh finance many, many color prints. It's almost easier.
Yeah, that makes sense, actually, yeah,
however I will. I will warn you that if you ever still screening an addition that has a subtle, very transparent wash that maybe it's like a skin tone Will Al Stelly. I learned this when I did a skin tone. On addition of 300 there's a 1% nice wash and we weren't paying attention because we're trying to print before the end of the day. And slowly the die from our emotion migrated into the ink. So the person end up late looking like the whole look at the end, and we were just like, printing as fast as we could, right? We weren't really watching this. This, uh, this washed become greener and greener, greener the color by bullshit.
Oh, my God.
Ever have to do something like that? Just keep your emotion color in mind or keep adding new ink.
God, it's always something like how maney levels of detail. You have to pay attention. It's insane, you know?
Yeah, I tell my students I have a title master printer. That means that I've made more mistakes than anyone's ever likely to make in their lifetime. And I've learned from them and still make mistakes every single day. Like if you think if you're honest with honestly that you don't know everything, you can start to learn no bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger jumps, right, Like I'm like, Wow, that that leads to this. That mystic leads this full bunch of new knowledge for me at the problem solved whatever it is. So yeah, it's
Yeah, it's like it's like a tree of knowledge. You know? It's like you like you realize in this one job that, like the die from emotion, can be a factor at some point. And then it's just like one more thing. You can extrapolated your like thinking through every job in the future and like you just rolled through all these like boxes to check sort of troubleshooting. Um, when did you feel comfortable like calling yourself a master printer.
Well, I have to say that I was deemed one by one. So anyway, I think he did it like without thinking. Serjani was introducing me to a crowd of people during a shopping. And this is master printer Luther Davis, Um and so I'm like, Well, I'm a master printer like that. I think that's out like that's how that happens. Um, I think that the term ah is important psychologically. For a lot of people, it's a distinguishing term. I don't There's no there's no like test right
yeah, there's no test. Uh, so, um, I think what it is nice is to consider the concept of masterpiece, right? So in order to become a master, you have to create your piece that says, Do your masterpiece, your masterpiece proves your master right? So I think it's important for my staff to get a few other print masterpieces under their belt before, like, I'm like, that is a masterpiece, right? So that's expressing your master craft person ship, um, and your master making ability through a series of pieces? Um, no. And knowing you know that nothing will ever be perfect. So you have to know how toe work around that. Um, I don't always feel comfortable telling certain crowds that I'm a master printer because they're like, what? You know, there's that aspect of it.
Yeah, sure, Yeah,
but, um but, uh, it's an odd It's an odd distinction. No. And, um, now it's been, ah, 20 plus years that I've used that term so and I just kind of forget about right. But I think what's important as they are already broke lies is that, um, the one never stop exploring right and never stop asking questions. And that's that's That's the beauty of the process and that of princes, that there's always more more to seek out.
Definitely. Yeah, now it's endless. Um, and I think for those of us who are like, devoted to it for life, it's the exact thing we like want to dio, you know, it's like I can't think of any other field. Maybe, actually, I could cook because I think like you're saying it's like there's like, level upon level of cooking to understanding chemistry and ingredients and flavour, profiles and cultures. And it's it's just a big in a different way. I don't know if you feel the same way about that, but
yeah, it's true. I've been trying up My, uh my wife is an excellent cook, and I have been doing all the cooking and some trying to up my game during isolation. But she is so just making mass, like at least 8 to 10 hours a day, if not 12. Um, and so I'm trying to really get back to, like, what makes a perfect omelet, Right? So I have to tell you everyone I know it's sick of me talking about omelets. I'm not gonna bore you with it, but just mastering the one thing is like and I watched maybe 30 different videos on making an omelet, right, And they all came from different sides. And that's also true about screen printing to write. You know, I was taught in school. This is the way it's done. And from my naive perspective, there were rules that could not be broken. And now I'm like, but they're all it's all up for grabs, right?
Yeah, no angry. I think it's almost like I believe there are rules, but they're all under, like, conditional reasons to use them. you know, like some of them will be like, don't ever do this, but then they'll come times when you need to know how to do this. And so you should know. Anyway, I,
uh just a screen printing on ceramics class at a fellow, uh, screen printing, shopping, Kingsland here in Brooklyn. And, uh, they have a kiln. And so I really wanted to pick up this new skill. And, uh, I was entering it as one of three screen printers will to master printers, but three people with knowledge and every Nelson classic, no screen, pretty knowledge, but some ceramic knowledge. So the first class I was really focused on, like, here's how you hold your squeegee. Here's how much lift you need and we're working all those variables. But then I quickly die Greste into, like, um, this screen. What if I just push this through with my hand? Right, Because I was I was trying to print, slip and slipped directly colored, slip directly on ceramics, informing them, and I ended up getting the the great results, just like smashing with my hand. And everyone was calling me out of there, like, you know, two weeks ago. You're saying you're giving all these lessons on how you had to hold things. And now you're using your hands like I don't know.
Well, you were there. You saw something, though, that they wouldn't be able to see you saw something the way everything was functioning. You were just like I think this would be, You know, like, I totally understand what you're talking about. Um, but you wouldn't. Yeah. There's no way to explain it to someone who wouldn't
to have the background. Um, well, that's interesting. Well, it sounds like you're keeping busy at least, and ah, making the best of things. But, ah, you have anything else you want to share with people? So that pretty and I was looking up the print, so it looked like it sold out in like, a day
it sold out. Its it
raised like 100 grand for for the cause. Yeah,
and so, yeah, that it's a It's very It's a wonderful feeling when you make something that the world wants. And if you know, I can count the number of selling out one day additions on my fingers and toes after 20 years, um, and it seems like people want to believe right. People want to, uh, they want to believe and honestly, you know, it's a great print, and it's by a great artist, and it's, you know, I'm really proud of it. So it's great that we can use great one more time. It's great that it's a lot, Um, and I hope that will be able to do more work with Jenny Holzer. I I've been a fan my entire artist career. And this is our first print, uh, with her. So I'm stoked on that.
Yeah, that's awesome. It's very fortunate to be able to work with, like, top level amazing thinkers and artists, because they're gonna push you to, like, do things. Like what? Like like hand leafing a print edition which I saw, like, at least you do in the one like sample one. It was like I thought you did the whole addition. And so you were, like, literally, like, with with masks on like hand hand palladium, leafing like all that
will that will be happening on. And Lisa Stimpson, my fellow red hook. Uh, my master Liefer is I'm like, Lisa. Can you come and teach us the right way to do this cause I feel like I'm a child with this stuff. It's kind of a valuable stuff to be wasting. And she's like, I'll just come in and do it with you and up like she just wants to be doing to, like, there's this this moment that we're in where, like all bets are off. No one knows the future like that kind of sense there, but we know what we want to be doing. Eso she's just leased was just volunteering to come help me out, you know, And I can hardly wait to the day we get back in there and get to do this, which hopefully will be, you know, in a month or two.
I know. Yeah, we'll see at least your state in my state like New York and California or both, seemingly a little more like level headed. So I think you will be here for a little longer than then May or whenever they've currently set the deadline to. But, um,
there was there's an art article. I'm not to give any misinformation cause it was given to inflict this information passed to me by someone else. But there's an article today that, uh, some random testing at a big box store, uh, yielded to people with 20% of people tested had, um, been exposed and had some immunity. So they had, you know, we're at 20%. We're so we're, like, 1/4 the way their toe hurt immunity in my mind. So, you know. Well,
that's tough month. Yeah,
I think it's important.
Totally. Yeah. I've been connecting a lot with more people and just, like, feeling more more grounded with things that I ever normally would have. But we all need this room, obviously toe like do this. And like the normal world we lived in, didn't have the room built in, you know? And I hope I don't know what will happen with all that, But I hope I hope we can maybe adjust life that we return to to be a little more. Ah, like human, I guess. You know.
Yeah, I want some too. But do you have Do you have? I know you ask this question, but do you have a favorite isolation tool? A tool that you're on the
turn? The tables? Um let me think like you know, you know, honestly, exercise. If I were to name the thing that I'm most consistently doing and invested in its it's been like keeping active and like getting out, like, probably four times a week or something. I d like a good workout, and it's been just like mentally grounding some of them. I do live on Zoom with our trainer. So, like a trainer that I normally meet in a park three times a week, he's been running like online sessions. So I still get to see, like, the crew of people who I normally would work out with and like, have someone like yelled my name every five minutes. You know, while I'm doing a push up or whatever, Um, that's great. That and cooking. Yeah, like cooking has been my other favorite thing. And just like trying out different recipes, mastering recipes that have kind of stumbled into, you know, it's like I can kind of remake them over and over. So I have this, like, amazing cauliflower recipe that I've nailed down, and, uh, yeah, and it's just stuff like where it's like I saw Meyer Lemons, you know? So I bought Meyer Lemons and realized like they're the superior Citrus fruit for cooking like they're so amazing with everything. And, uh, yeah, there's been a lot of stuff like that and also drinking a lot of wine, just exploring, like, every becoming a connoisseur of, like, Where can I go buy wine right now where I can walk in the door and do it versus waiting in line for an hour to do it. You know, our ordering ahead so I can pick it up like three hours from now are you know, it's like there's it's weird. The negotiation of a day is just different now, but, uh, yeah,
we started eight. I've got this four of us here in a 900 square foot apartment. So we started early on a weekly push up contest to see if we could get struck with stronger and it quickly, like, uh, you know, there's a eight year old 14 year old and into 40 plus year olds on, and it didn't work out like it worked as a concept for a day, right? Really? We're not getting stronger. So, uh, Nellie and I are, uh, last like me. We danced, you know, that's what We try to get our kids dancing, but they weren't into
I think it's important. As you say, it's important to stay active and not. I know my I have one son who's perfectly happy. He has not been outside because there's not much reason to go inside. I'm telling a terrible parent, but he has not been outside in. I thought Think three weeks. He's staying focused on stuff. But, um, I'm this weekend. It's over. He's going outside. He's please, 14 is 13 and you know, he knows he knows what he wants to do in life already. So
which is Yeah, but
that's impressive. Yeah, I think lots of people can kind of restate the same claims like people in my building, like I've barely seen them and like, I can't stand it. So I'm like, always sitting outside and like doing. I'm like, I can't just, like, be inside my apartment all the time. So half the time I'm like sitting in our parking lot behind our building. Just get this right there, But also no one else is sitting out there, so it's like I could go out there and be alone But then I wonder like, is no one else coming out because I'm out here? You know? Am I being e I don't know. Because people are all approaching it differently. Some people scrubbed down like when they enter their apartment and you know, it's Yeah. Yeah. You know each person team?
Yeah, We have our routines dio When When the groceries come in, How things are, uh, And it we have, ah, repackaging thing. So we have boxes we know are fine and and black bags for your Fine. So we have this very elaborate of decanting from one set of packages into these packages that we re used over and over again, Like the egg carton is always the same. A carton like the old a curtain goes, That's that. It's
now it's bizarre. Hopefully, we can all look back in 20 years, and this will be the one time like the one year of our entire lives. This, like weirdness happened. You know, I really hope, um so to Well, cool man. Well, thanks for thanks for making time today on the on the quick on the fly. I appreciate
it was my pleasure. Now you go back to making my crackers, so yeah, lets you know that. You know, how about you
Let me know. I have not even heard of such a thing Is making
like tofu byproduct crackers. Yeah.
Why would anyone make crackers? Just like there's no way I can make them as cheaply as they are made by machines that efficiently extrude them out. Right. But, uh, which is frustrating, I have to say. But
accomplishment when you make something and you're just like, you know, it's not the same thing, but, like, it's not bad. And then you just like, Follow that. Maybe you can. You tweak it and you'll make something that you like. That's, like truly or is. You know. So
also, you know, we aren't buying soda. We aren't buying like cheese. It's so
have. It's like it's a luxury. It's a luxury. Oh, yeah, We'll take care. Take care of yourself, Nick, And stay still on, you know? Well, we'll get a chance to talk each other on the other side of
this. Yes. Yeah. We'll definitely talk again soon. So All right, Lisa. Thank you. All right, that's it for today's press on Thanks again to all you newsmakers like hyper allergic for giving us awesome stuff toe look at read and share. Thanks also to Robin Smith from Print Day in May and Luther Davis from Powerhouse Arts for coming on the show. If you have time, give us a review on iTunes, which helps other listeners find the show. You can also help the print cast by supporting the show on Patri on at Peachtree on dot com. Ford slash the print cast for as little as $3 a month. As always, if you have something you'd like to convey to a print community, don't hesitate to reach out to me with a D M on instagram at the print cast or via email using info at the print cast dot com. Everyone is invited to come on the podcast and take part in this press on Siri's, so don't hesitate to hit me up. Thanks everyone for checking out this addition to press on with the print cast. We're about a month and 1/2 into the shutdown, and things are going to start opening up soon, so we'll see what happens. Um, so pressing on everyone and I'll talk to you next time. On the print cast you've been listening to. A special edition of the print cast called Press on Press On is a Siri's that looks at the impact of Covered 19 on the printmaking community. Episodes of Press on our bonus content for the print cast podcast and are hosted by Nickname. You can look for more from this Siris in the coming weeks, so make sure you're subscribed to the print cast. If you like what you're listening to, help us get the word out. By leaving a five star review on iTunes and sharing with your friends and social media, you can find the print cast on Apple podcasts. Spotify and Google play as well as online at the print cast dot com. Music for this special edition is by Blue dot sessions and jazz are so take care of yourselves and each other. Wash your hands, wear masks and we'll see you on another episode of the print cast by for now