Thursday, December 15, 2011

Screenprint Greetings!

Becca and Marty assist 2 of the over 500 people at the popular event.
Crystal Polis holds her screenprinted card.

This month's "MAKE + TAKE" event brought out many first time screenprinters. Over 500 guests streamed through the studios—each had a hands-on project to make and take. Screenprinting offered a 2-color vintage inspired reindeer postcard, printed on French Poptone "Snocone" paper (coincidentally the same sheet as the 2012 Letterpress Calendar covers). Photos by Anqixue Xue.

Anqixue Xue and Marty at the teal station.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Walk on Warhol

"Daily News," c. 1967, screenprint on paper

Run, don't walk to Headlines, the Andy Warhol exhibition now on view at the National Gallery of Art. Warhol's fascination with the news, celebrity and tabloid headlines is the central theme of the show, but there is much more to see for fans of screenprinting. The artist consistently and adeptly pushes the boundaries of the medium. He printed on crumpled mylar, in gigantic proportions and in unexpected and delicious color combinations, as seen in the "Daily News" promotional poster image.
The show is up until January 2, 2012.

Print portfolio cover, an exquisitely simple design of 2 hits of silver on white book cloth.

A self portrait starts the show.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

MAKE + TAKE: A DIY Evening of Cocktails and Creativity

When: Sat., Dec. 3
Time: 6 pm to 9 pm
Where: Pyramid Atlantic, 8230 Georgia Avenue
Cost: $10 (Only $5 for Pyramid Atlantic Members)
Admission includes a print, two drink tickets and admission to all the studios.

a monotype print for your "secret santa"
paper garlands to "deck the halls" & Furoshiki japanese gift wrapping cloth
2 color holiday postcards in the screenprinting studio
2 color wrapping paper in the letterpress studio
Ornaments from old book pages in our book bindery

TAKE them home and impress your friends and family with your art skills!Purchase gifts created by Pyramid Atlantic artists including: our3rd annual Letterpress calendar;
"Drink Me," our recipe book containing 13 linoleum block prints & 13 winter beverages recipes; and
our Pyramid Atlantic sketchbook (8"x 9.5") packed with handmade paper!

Tis The Season To Celebrate Your Inner Artisan!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Save the Date: 12/3 "Sampler" Evening

Laura's tools and set up for the sketchbooks
Laura Kinnenberg shows off a handmade paper screenprinted sketchbook, which will be one of the many offerings at Pyramid's "Sampler" evening on December 3rd, from 6-9 pm. The event will have a gift theme, with many handcrafted and printed goodies for sale, as well as live hands-on demonstrations. Each area of the studio—papermaking, letterpress, book bindery, printshop, and of course, screenprinting will offer attendees the chance to try every discipline and take home their creation, guaranteed to come in handy for the holidays.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Intern Interview: Katelyn Kronshage

Meet Katelyn Kronshage, one of Pyramid's fall interns. At October's board meeting, she showed her beautiful work in the Kunst vault. We were struck by the luminosity and organic quality of her screenprints, which she calls mix media monoprints. Screenprinting is a jumping off place for Katelyn. Each unique print is adorned with unexpected details, such as threads or a hand-carved rubber stamp. We caught up with Katelyn, gallery sitting at Washington Printmakers. 

Interior, mixed media screenprint monoprint diptych, graphite, thread, 2009

Screenprint Society: What brings you to Pyramid, and how did you hear about us?
Katelyn Kronshage: I am originally from Calumet in the beautiful upper peninsula of Michigan, I am a Western Michigan University (WMU) alum, I received a BFA in metals/jewelry. I found out about Pyramid Atlantic through a really great online networking group called Crafthaus, Participatory Sport for Craft Artists. There was a link to the PA site calling for interns and key holder residents. I decided to apply for a fall internship!

SS: What do you hope to accomplish during your internship?
KK: During my first month and a half, a number of my goals and aspirations have already come true. I wanted to learn to make paper and experiment in the book bindery, and I have! I also looked forward to meeting new people and experiencing life in and around Silver Spring. I hope that this creative new environment will give me some insightful direction as to where life and art will take me next.

SS: Why do you like screenprinting as a medium?
KK: I enjoy screenprinting as a medium for the movability and squeegees. It's like a dance when you really get involved with the printing process. Moving from screen, to paper, to drying rack, back to screen, over to sink, and back to screen. I like to move quickly, and imperfection is important in the art I create. Screenprinting can be very tight, fluid, or organic, its what ever I desire.

SS: Tell us about your screenprint monotype process, specifically how you made "Interior".
I started with an open matrix and a few different color inks. I run the ink through onto a paper, then I re-flood the screen with transparent base and print the next paper. By doing this second print, I can achieve a softer quality to the colors and capture the squeege marks that were left behind from the first print. Each print is unique because I am flooding the open area differently each time. After the paper has dried, I go back in with some hand drawn imagery, (now exposed on my screen) sometimes choosing to create a transparent image. After the printing is done, I did a graphite transfer image, and hand drew on the paper. The small folded and stitched piece that hangs from the bottom and the small floating pieces were the inspiration pieces for some of the printed imagery.

SS: What ways are you hoping to experiment and push the boundaries of screenprinting?

KK: I enjoy printing on untraditional materials like plastic, aluminum, and patched together recycled papers sewn on the machine. Something I've been wanting to try is chine colle. I don't know if it has been done with screenprinting. It would have to be the basis of chine colle, probably a bit different, but the idea of patching two pieces of material together while screenprinting is great.

Superior, screenprint monoprint and mixed media

SS: Who do you admire in the art world, and who do you think is producing the most interestign contemporary screenprints?
KK: One of my favorite groups of innovators in the print world, Drive By Press, have been driving their press loaded vehicles around the country to custom print on clothing and share enthusiasm about printmaking with college students and customers. They visited WMU when I was taking my first screenprinting class. These two printmakers, Joseph Velasquez and Ryan O'Malley, shared so many techniques and alternative ideas with us. This group is very inspiring to say the least. Jay Ryan is also a really fun and quirky printmaker, he designs amazing posters for musicians and concerts.

SS: Thanks for talking to us, and look forward to seeing how you integrate screenprinting into your work at Pyramid.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Trimester Tee

Miranda Anderson created her own cross-off-the-weeks maternity shirt during her second pregnancy. She painstakingly cut 40 numerals out of freezer paper and then stenciled each one by hand. She wore the shirt while expecting her second child, and crossed off each number with a fabric pen as the weeks progressed. Soon she was asked by other mothers-to-be for their own.

Not wanting to repeat the laborious stenciling, Miranda attended Screenprint Society to print some more shirts. As a letterpress printer, she quickly picked up the processes, and was especially good about keeping the studio clean! The shirts turned out beautifully as reported on her One Little Minute blog, where she also takes orders. As it seems she has a "hit" on her hands, we expect to see more of Miranda and her go-to green shirts.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dog is God Spelled Backwards

Our exposure unit was donated by Martha Tabor, who had decided to give up the labor intensive and messy work of screenprinting to focus on sculpture and photography after learning she had cancer.

"I also continue to work with photography and printmaking, but am now focused into making prints on a computer using scanned images of my own photographs and combining and layering them using Photoshop."

Martha died in 2004, but her memory lives on. We would be lost without the essential exposure unit. Her "My Dog as Art" screenprint series featuring her dog Maggie are still fresh and poignant. Here's to Martha and Maggie, looking down on us from the heavens and the stars.

On the Road Again
Dog Dreams

Monday, August 29, 2011

Screenprint and Meatballs

Judith Johnson (wearing a matching shirt) watches the process.

Screenprint Society regular Elliott Negin (aka Groover Cleveland) pulled the last plate on One Meatball on August 18th. The normally wry jokester was all about the business of finishing his ambitious large print. Stay tuned for upcoming shows to view it up close. Congratulations, Elliott!

One Meatball, Two Meatballs

Elliott on Groover: "Groover is the love child of Robert Indiana and Judy Chicago. They inspired me to adopt my nom de guerre. Like them, I’m from the Midwest and I took the name of my birthplace. And like them, a lot of my work has a political edge. I call it “Agitpop.” Groover is obviously a play on Grover Cleveland, who, as it turns out, was distantly related to Moses Cleaveland, the founder of Cleveland, Ohio."

Elliott Negin at Screenprint Society

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Local Color, Take 2

There's one week left to catch two excellent examples of contemporary screenprinting on 14th Street. "Tribute 2" is Irvine Gallery's last show at its present location. Mum's the word on where they will pop up next. Political propagandist and graphic designer  Shepard Fairey's flag prints, called "HPM" (Hand Painted Multiples) are multi-layered masterpieces. And don't miss the city's best mural in the alley behind the gallery, with more of Fairey's trademark patterns and revolution imagery.

Wonder Street

Just a couple blocks walk is "Local Color" at Plan B, featuring the work of another graphic designer turned screenprinter. Michael Crossett's freeform collages are peppered with local landmarks and screened onto paper and board, the latter sometimes dipped in a thick coat of reflective resin.
Both shows close at the end of the month.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Screenprint Specimens of Pyramid Atlantic

Laura Kinneberg
On a lovely summer evening in August, a group of Pyramid artists gathered around a table of wine, cheese and stacks of prints to participate in the time-honored tradition of the artist print exchange. Resident artist Sabeth Jackson—the mastermind behind the glorious Peace Mural panels gracing Pyramid's entrance—organized the trade. The portfolio included three screenprints. Laura Kinneberg's "Specimens of the Mid Atlantic": too-many-colors-to-count on handmade charcoal colored paper with letterpress lettering; Sabeth's "Over the River and Through the Woods": 2 colors with a hand colored wash; and Grant Dickie's much-anticipated "Beer Print", showing the many steps to that frosty brown bottle o' beer. Grant stepped up to organize the next exchange. And a big shoutout to the summer interns who brought it all together with a custom screenprinted portfolio.

Grant Dickie
Sabeth Jackson

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Dianne (left) and Cynthia in their office at Pyramid

Tucked in a light-filled office overlooking Ripley Street construction on Pyramid's second floor is Copiosity, a small publishing business. Headed by the duo of Dianne Harrison and Cynthia Clarke, the company will be producing a line of greeting products, business publishing and other small wares. 

Assessing the digital artwork.

Dianne and Cynthia became interested in the goings-on in the studio downstairs, specifically screenprinting and papermaking. They decided to print their own stationery as a way to learn the processes, and booked an introductory lesson with Screenprint Associate Marty Ittner. The first challenge was creating the digital print for making the screenprint stencil. The threesome adjusted the Illustrator file and were ready to print to acetate.

Franc assisted with transparency printing
In the opposite corner office sits Franc Rosario, keeper of the high end Epson printers. Fortunately, he was on hand to output the files. Then it was time to hit the darkroom and screenprint studio. Cynthia and Dianne were open to experimentation, including a split fountain and powdered pigments. Both proved to be problematic. So the pair returned to Screenprint Society to try again. This time, they were more experienced and ready to print in straight colors, including their beautiful green. They left with prints in hand, and will be back to print the second color.

Smiles at Screenprint Society.

Friday, July 22, 2011

All About Annie

A familiar smiling face in the screenprint studio is Annie Albagli. She has been working long hours in preparation for her upcoming show "Greetings from Paradise". We caught up with Annie to talk about screenprinting, paradise and the Pyramids.

SS: Tell us about your background, how you came to DC, and found Pyramid.
AA: I am a traditionally trained painter and sculptor, and studied at Boston University. During my time at BU I had the privilege of studying at the Scuola Internazionale Di Grafica in Venice, Italy—where I studied Itaglio and bookmaking. I moved back to DC after living in Dallas, Texas for close to a year, where myself and a colleague started a residency and gallery. My family lives close to DC so I thought it would be nice to be a little closer to home. I found Pyramid Atlantic through a friend of mine, Lindsay McCulloch—who knew I was searching for an artistic community. I am really lucky she pushed me to check it out!

SS: How long have you been screenprinting, and where did you learn?
AA: I have been screenprinting for the past year and learned at Pyramid, actually.

SS: What draws you to the screenprinting process, over other print media?
AA: I am drawn to many aspects of screenprint. I like the process—how the image changes from what you start with to how it exposes on the screen. I like trying to push the process and create space in my prints—which contradict the flatness inherit in screenprinting. I like the idea that the images on your screen are at your disposal —and I often find myself layering the same screens over and over and over again to create my image. The fact that once I have arrived at the right imagery on my screen I can layer those images with such an immediacy is very rewarding.

Annie's Screens
SS: Your upcoming solo show is about exploring the creation and invention of Paradise. It is exciting to see the pieces being created in the studio. How do you overcome the challenges of working large? 
AA: When working large—especially in a communal space, I try and break down the work into smaller pieces. Especially in screenprint you are limited to certain dimensions—the dimension of the screen, the exposure unit, the table etc. I have done my fair share of joining tables together, when no one else is working. But a lot of the process comes out of having to think like you are creating a puzzle—how can you maximize the space you have to work with, how can you fit multiple screens together to form your image, etc. Most recently I created a 54” x 44” screenprint and the only way I could achieve this was using five different screens and a very elaborate set up.

SS: Do you embrace "mistakes" in your work, or are you a perfectionist?
AA: Oh boy do I embrace “mistakes!” These serendipitous events help me understand another way I can create something, or other times how to improve my process—but once I have gone through a process and learned from it I become very obsessive over doing it correctly and methodically.

Annie in the studio
SS: People are always curious about success stories in the studio. Do you have any tips for those working at Pyramid?
AA: Yes! Watch the artists around you—learn from their process. One of the things I love about Pyramid is that there are always fresh faces around you and this means there are so many opportunities to learn something new about the way to approach the medium. We had one artist from Spain last year working in screenprint. Watching her print, I learned to be much more careful and particular about my process. Then earlier this year, I had the opportunity to see how one of the keyholder residents screenprinted—how she layered her prints, both with intention and to see the serendipitous affects it had on the work. Both of these experiences were equally influential in how I approach my prints now.

SS: Screenprinting is a versatile medium that can be applied to or combined with many surfaces. Your 2010 Eden tree series combined screenprinting, plywood and LED lights. What other screenprint artists do you think are pushing the boundaries of the medium?
AA: I recently saw some screenprints by Robert Rauchenberg and I was intrigued by the medium he printed on and the inks he used. I also had the privilege of assisting Charlie Cohan late last year with a large print installation he was creating for the Raleigh-Durham Airport. He spent a week or so printing on 2200 lbs of glass. That was pretty amazing.

SS: And lastly, did you experience a synchronicity using the pyramid metaphor in your art while working at Pyramid Atlantic? We hope this means you will be with us for eons. 
AA: Its so funny, it took me a while to realize that I was creating all this Pyramid work at Pyramid Atlantic! I have this dream of building a large lit up Pyramid that slowly rotates and installing it on Pyramid’s roof...
But yes, I guess Pyramid definitely gets into your head (or mine at least)... in ways you could never have foreseen.

Greetings From Paradise
Screenprints by Annie Albagli

Opening reception: Friday, July 29, 6-9pm
July 29 - August 27, 2011

Pleasant Plains Workshop
2608 Georgia Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001

Metro: Shaw / Howard U on the Green Line; Metrobus: 70, 71 ; or capital bikeshare (station across from PPW) Gallery / Shop hours: Friday 2-7pm, Saturday 1-6pm and by appointment

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Baltimore's Best

A trip to Baltimore's big bash Artscape was further proof the art of screenprinting is thriving. Our own Sarah Hanks (below) displayed her "Gee Whiskers" screenprints at the Pyramid Atlantic Letterpress Printers booth.

These fantastic posters by Grand Wazoo are pure modern DADA: 
praying mantis scissorhands.

Powerhouse printer Jeffery Everett aka El Jefe Design has been producing limited edition screenprint posters since 2005.

Bright and bold color field posters from Briana Feola and Jason Snyder of Philadelphia's Brainstorm Print & Design.

Handpulled poster prints from Open Eye Press
They also produce "Eco-friendly and Handmade Goods".

And of course there were tee shirts and printed fabric galore. Baltimore and Brooklyn based Natty Paint had some excellent examples.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Becca's Box

"Kindness to Animals" streetbox by Rebecca Katz
Washington City Paper's Molly McGinley decided to commemorate the publication's 30th anniversary artistically. "As the paper’s circulation manager, I don’t get many opportunities to exercise my creative chops....I decided it would be an excellent opportunity to redesign the places where the papers live." she says on her blogpost. Streetbox Named Desire was the ideal challenge for Pyramid Atlantic. McGinley agrees: "after seeking advice from other newspapers, I decided to recruit an art studio, and found the perfect partnership in Silver Spring’s Pyramid Atlantic." 10 artists from our community were selected, including Screenprint Associate Rebecca Katz.

The versatility of screenprinting allowed Rebecca to transfer her trademark animal images and text directly on to the box. To create the bobcat, she screenprinted two colors (black and grey), and then painted the panel with water-based acrylic. Rebecca still cuts Rubylith—a plastic 2-ply sheet that can be peeled, leaving the shapes on an acetate ground—to create some of her screenprinting plates.

>See all the boxes and vote for your favorite here.

The finished box, at the Smithsonian Metro stop.