Etchings

This semester a decent amount of my graduate work has involved printmaking instead of just traditional photography. For those of you that may have some knowledge of printmaking, the process I am working with is essentially a mix of lithography and etching. I have had a request to show some in-progress and process work (which will hopefully be happening soon), and so I will be waiting to go into too much detail about how it is done until I have some images to share of that. For the time being I thought I would share some images that I completed at the end of last semester and beginning of this semester.

My graduate photography since I started here at Kansas State has dealt with issues related to memory. These prints are more or less extensions of that, and each print has resulted in a new spin-off of that central theme of memory. The etching process inherently deals with memory, since more often than not the copper plate is worked back in to, leaving a history behind on the copper. It is partly because of this that I am so fascinated by etching at the moment. This first image was the first I completed using my current process. The one on the left is the original image, which some of you may recognize from one of my 365 photographs, as well as from one of my weavings. In the print on the right I forced myself to work back into the plate, scraping things away, burnishing, and drawing new lines. It was difficult for me to allow myself to make changes on the plate because I saw it as this precious object and the thought of destroying it terrified me. I realized recently that this holds an interesting parallel to memory, and has drawn me to the etching process even more. This image sparked the realization that a lot of my images deal with collections. Collections can serve as placeholders for memories at times, and so my newer work is focusing more on this aspect than before.

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The next print unfortunately got cut off on the scanner; if I get a chance to rescan it soon I will replace it here. This plate was my first experiment with things in multiples, and has started me down a potentially frightening path. The print shown here is the third or fourth state of the plate (meaning I had altered it three or four times before this). It is not one I was very happy with, but it has grown on me and my professors seem to enjoy it.

 

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And finally, yet another experiment. I have been playing around with the circular format recently, in both my prints and photographs. Because I am referencing memory and perception I felt that the circle was a better fit. We don’t remember, or see, in rectangles and so I didn’t feel that I was able to get what I wanted from that format. Also, some of the first photographs were circles. The first ever consumer camera, the Kodak Number 1, produced circles. Being able to make a direct reference to the history of my medium is rather exciting to me.

This particular image has spun-off into its own branch of my central concept. It has turned into a collaboration plate, which allows me to let go of any control over what happens to it. I gave the plate to one of the printmaking graduate students here, who worked into the plate. I recently printed it (image to come soon), and now will be handing off the plate to someone else. The thought process behind this collaboration is that we each remember the same event (or object) different from someone else. Each person’s edit to the plate will be their “memory” of the object essentially. I am in the beginning stages at this point, so we will see where it goes from here.

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And just for fun, because I have been obsessed with circles and the history of them in photography, a photograph of the Kodak Nr. 1 that I recently purchased. Isn’t he cute!

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Colorado

The second part of my spring break involved a quick trip out to Denver, Colorado to visit my best friend, Blair, as well as my brother and his family who came down to visit. It was unfortunately cut short because of the storm that hit out there, but I still was able to have two solid days of spending time with some of my favorite people.

The first day out there Blair and I drove to Boulder to do some hiking. It was raining when we got there, but right when we started out hike it cleared up and left us with some awesome clouds.

595web 608web 628web boulderwebFriday (my second day there) I met up with my brother, his wife, and twin boys who were in town to see me. We spent most of the day at the aquarium in Denver. I didn’t shoot nearly as much as I expected, since I was more focused on just enjoying my time there with them, but I did get some images of jellyfish, which I have always wanted.

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107/366 – Collection

When my oldest brother (who is now 29) was little he would collect agates (and many other rocks for that matter). Most are in jars in my parents’ garage or have been put back in the ground, but my mom kept a handful in his old room.

Oh, and my brother is now a geologist, so all of his rock collecting days make sense.
And, for some reason my 366 has been about memories for the past few days or so, this one especially.

48/365 – Green

I went for a short hike today at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary. I was originally planning on going for an extremely long hike at the Red River Gorge and so I had packed a lunch and such, but decided last-minute I wanted something a bit more relaxing and a place to just sit and breathe with nothing around so that I could clear my head. I stumbled on this spot, and ate my lunch on some rocks just to the right of this picture. It was a perfect spot and was just what I needed.

And of course please remember to go vote for my portfolio and tell everyone that you know! You can vote once a day. I so appreciate each and every vote I can get, thank you for the support!

 

43/365 – Rocks

Just wanted to give a reminder that I am always selling prints, so if you are interested in purchasing some be sure to email me at abigail.thompson46@gmail.com.

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And of course please remember to go vote for my portfolio and tell everyone that you know! You can vote once a day. I so appreciate each and every vote I can get, thank you for the support!