Friday, October 30, 2009

Steamroller Prints in Fargo

A few weeks ago, on a rainy Saturday morning some of us print students made a 70 mile drive from Grand Forks to the Plains Art Museum in Fargo to watch a group from Minnesota do steamroller prints...which as it sounds, uses a steamroller to make large scale prints. As part of the museums Day of the Dead series, worked with ArtOrg from Northfield, MN.

While we only saw them pull this first print of the color fields, it was fun to see this large scale operation. The next day, they were planning on printing the 2nd "plate" seen in standing in the background of the second image. Once inked, the image is wedged into the wooden runway, paper carefully rested on top, covered, and steamrolled. The drive of the steamroller needs to deftly maneuver the machine as moving more than and inch or so to one side or the other will crinkle the paper. The first print, as you can see and know if you are a printmaker, is always a test until the ink builds up enough on the plate. On a scale this large, it takes a lot of ink!