Friday, October 31, 2008

Tiny etchings

I've always loved tiny things, but my tiny etchings were inspired by two things: laziness and thrift. I was in a weekly printmaking workshop where we had no lockers or anywhere to leave our tools and plates during the week, so we had to schlep everything each time. Zinc plates can be heavy, and I didn't like carrying around a heavy bag. There was a large metal cutter called a guillotine in the studio, where you could cut a plate down to the size you needed. One day I noticed that there were long narrow strips of zinc on the floor beneath the cutter, so I picked them up and cut them into pieces about 1x1 inch or a little bigger. Not only were they free, they were lightweight! So my long series of miniature works began.
This one one of my first minis - it's loosely a portrait of my friend Mo Lea, who was in the workshop with me. She had an outrageous blond mohawk and a penchant for skulls and bones, both in her work and her jewelry.
I always liked doing sketches of girls wearing sunglasses, and this girl has miniature sunglass pin on her within mini.

When I was in high school, there was a phone on a small shelf in the upstairs hallway of my house; we used the wall above the shelf for notes and phone numbers, but sometimes I would draw these silly-looking birds. My mother finally painted over the notes and numbers, but she left the birds. When I did this etching, I thought my birds were not really serious enough for an etching, but my papermaking mentor Harriet Germain loved this etching best of all of mine - she called it "the chickens." It has a special place in my heart because Harriet is long gone and she meant so much to me.

1 comment:

  1. I knew Harriet as well in her late paper-making sculpture days. She was a good friend of an artist about whom I am writing a dissertation (Maude Kerns). I'm working out how I can include her friendship with Harriet in the dissertation.

    I'm happy to find another artist (of so many others, I'm sure) whom Harriet inspired.