Monday, November 26, 2012

WOMEN - African American Legacy: The Carol Mundy Collection

Two Special Collections exhibits in one week! This post is slightly delayed, but I was actually working on this exhibit at the same time as the Nierman exhibit at the beginning of November. Just slightly delayed...

This exhibit features photographs of women from the 1850s to the 1950s selected from African American Legacy: The Carol Mundy Collection. It was curated by Sandra Varry and was designed and prepared by myself. All of the photos that are on display were scanned, reprinted (some enlarged to assist with viewing), and mounted in order to protect the originals from the UV damage of being on display for several months. The exhibit also has a selection of awesome period cameras that are on loan to us. I feel bad since the photos should be the focus, but the cameras might be my favorite thing.

This exhibit is on the 5th floor exhibit area and will be there until the end of January when it will move into the cases on the main floor during Black History Month. At the end of February it will return to the  5th floor.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Artist in Action Studio at the Maitland Art Center

I've finally been able to move into the studio at Maitland! The window that has been repaired is awesome. I now have a growing wishlist for the studio including some storage drawers and a proper workbench.

My first piece of business in the new studio - working on the swinging diptych (seen left). I've been struggling for a while with how to handle the background, and I finally developed a plant motif that I feel walks the line between pattern and object. My current plan is a four color print (black, yellow, brown, blue) and chine collé in the body of the animals (light pink or some other flesh tone). I've got the animal image transferred onto the brown and yellow blocks and I've started carving on the brown blocks. I'm keeping my eye out for some dumpster wood to use for the blue.

My studio hours are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 9am to 5pm (except holidays). Everyone should stop by! And a big thanks go out to Molly Chism, who helped me move in.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Leonardo Nierman

November 1st, 2012 was Leonardo Nierman's 80th birthday and in celebration I've curated a retrospective of his work in the Special Collections department on the main exhibit wall of the UCF Library. Nierman was born in Mexico city in 1932 and has become a internationally recognized artist. We have a large collection of his art at Special Collections, and throughout the Library in general. The nine foot bronze statue Flame of Hope by the main entrance and the stained glass Genesis on the third floor were done by Neirman. Both of which were acquired by the Library in 1987. These monumental pieces can always be seen at the Library, but the retrospective will only be up until the end of December. I recommend coming out to see it- it is rare that we pull out almost all of Nierman's artwork, especially the 6 1/2 foot by 8 foot tapestry. Now that was a unique challenge to hang!

Please enjoy the poorly pieced together panorama of the show below:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hectography and the Russian Futurists

A page from Kruchonykh's Myatezh I (Mutiny I) 1920
created with hectography.
I am currently reading Joanna Drucker's The Century of Artists' Books to better ground myself in the theory and history of book arts. As I was reading about the books produced by the Russian Futurists, I stumbled upon a form of printmaking I had never heard of before. Hectography. These books, produced in the early 1900s, are some of the earliest artists' books. They were often produced as a collaboration of visual artist and poet- free to do as they wished with no editor or publisher breathing down their necks. For the most part they were produced by hand by the artist or poet through "lithography, linoleum cutting, potato print, stencil cut, and a now obsolete duplicating form called hectography" (Drucker 49). I immediately had to know what was up with this duplication process that had eluded my detection for so long.

I found a very helpful youtube video outlining the process. I would call it a marriage of carbon paper and Jell-o with a process similar to lithography minus the gum arabic. Since the materials needed are fairly household and the process fairly easy it became the print method of choice for the underground, not to mention it was also easy to destroy without leaving any evidence of insurrection. Besides Prisoners-of-War, it was also well suited for the classroom and many test papers or school newsletters were printed using hectography. All a school teacher needed was a pan of gelatin beside her desk and her classroom was instantly fitted with a copy machine before copy machines were invented.

Hectography may be obsolete, but it is not gone from this world. Tattoo parlors still use hectographic pencils to sketch their designs and then transfer it onto skin. One of the most exciting uses of modern hectography I found are printmakers using the gelatin plate to make monoprints. Linda Germain has a wonderful youtube video showing how easily the ink is released from the gelatin to the paper with just the gentle pressure of ones hands. She also has extensive gelatin printing tips on her website.

Well, I know what I'm doing the next time I'm in the mood for Jell-o.

Photo of Shelly Thorstensen's hectograph printing demonstration from Theresa Haberkorn's blog.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Art & History Museums Maitland - Artist in Action

I am very excited to announce that I've been selected as one of the Artists-in-Action for the 2012-2013 season for Art & History Museums - Maitland. We had our first meeting to go over paper work and get to know each other last Friday (and get a very professional and fancy name badge). It was also the first time I was able to meet A&H's new Director of Art Exhibitions & Education, Rebecca Sexton Larson.

I had a blast getting to know everyone. Trent Tomengo is in Studio 1, Dawn Rosendahl is in Studio 5, and I'll be sharing Studio 8 with Camilo Velasquez. Studio 8 is under going some repairs right now, so Camillo and I haven't been able to move in yet. Dawn is also waiting for Studio 8 to be repaired because she can't move in to Studio 5 until Camilo can move out. Is your brain in a knot yet? In other words, don't expect to catch Dawn or myself on campus until this is all sorted out. I can't wait to move in and get to work! Maitland Art and History Museum Shacks Up Four Art...: The Maitland Art & History Museum has announced its 2012-2013 "Artist-in-Action" recipients for 2012/13: Whitney Broadaway, Dawn Rosenda...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Mad Hatter Tea Party

Yesterday was the Mad Hatter Tea Party at the UCF Library. Amanda Richards was on the committee that organized this fundraiser and she asked me to help out with creating Tenniel inspired linocuts for a print-your-own-print station. I, of course, said yes. Amanda and I each carved two of the four linocuts we had available, which was more painstaking than normal since the cross hatching from Tenniel's drawings is not a very intuitive technique for carving in relief. However, we struggled through and I was pleasantly surprised with how well they translated into linoleum. Especially Amanda's work- this was her first time EVER carving and printing and they look as good as I could have done them. She is a testament to anyone who is on the fence about getting into relief printmaking. We decided to depict the four characters (Alice, The White Rabbit, The Mad Hatter, and The Red Queen) in a frame reminiscent of playing cards and gave them each their own suit.

We had a good crowd at the print station - as in Amanda and I never got to sit down - and it seemed like everyone that came over had a good time. There were also several people intersted in possibly doing the linocut process from start to finish, and I'm hoping that will translate into students for the next Not Your Mama's Print Workshop on December 2nd.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Off to the Printers!

For the past month I've been working on designing the exhibition catalog for the Crealdé School of Art's next show, Keeping Haiti In Our Hearts: Interpreting Heritage in the Diaspora. I am relieved to say that after thirty-nine and a half hours of work, the PDF files were sent to the printers yesterday evening. I can now breath a huge sigh of relief and start focusing on my excitement about seeing the finished product.

The exhibit features both contemporary and traditional haitian art, and from what I can tell from the images I worked with for the catalog it is full of painting, photography, sculpture, and tapestry. Eight of the traditional paintings are from the Bryant West Indies Collection held at the UCF Libraries Special Collections Department. In fact, that's how I became the catalog designer. The two curators, Henry Sinn and Natália Marques da Silva, have been in contact with Special Collections for over a year while they've put this show together. Natália came by in July to take some photographs of the paintings and mentioned to the head of our department that they were trying to find a new designer for the catalog and voilà! I had a job.

The opening reception will be held on Friday, September 14th at 7:00pm in the Alice & William Jenkins Gallery on the Crealdé campus located at 600 St. Andrews Blvd., Winter Park. From 8:30pm - 10:00pm the festivities move to the Hannibal Square Heritage Center 642 West New England Ave., Winter Park and will feature a live Haitian musical performance. Lots of people have put a ton of work into this event, and I know they would all be grateful to everyone who can come to the opening reception. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Black Lantern Publishing

One of my older etchings, The Swing, has been published in the magazine Black Lantern Publishing Vol. III No. 8. It is a small print on demand publication that focuses on macabre short stories and poetry. The editor, Rebecca A. Huggins, approached me on deviantArt about using the print in her next issue and, of course, I said that would be wonderful. This is the first time my work has actually been published, so I was very excited- even if it is a very small magazine. You can purchase the magazine in both print or PDF form here:

Friday, June 29, 2012

AffectArt Artists' Party at Taste

One of the patrons at my table was a drunk bee- the swinging bunny did not approve.
I had a table at's Artitsts' Party at Taste in Winter Park on June 15th. I had a fantastic time and met a slew of wonderful artists and people. One of those people was Boone Fowler who set the whole thing up and did a great job of keeping all the artists happy and helping us set up.

Parker Sketch set up his booth beside mine, which meant I wouldn't have to be worried about boredom for the rest of the evening. That was a big relief. Thomas Thorspecken set up to sketch across the sidewalk from Parker and me, so I'm very excited to see that pop up on his blog since I didn't get a chance to peek at it the day of.

Richeson Baby Etching Press was there for print your own prints trying to drum up some interest in my next printmaking workshop. I had several people run prints and I'm hoping some of them caught the printmaking bug! Parker snapped a photo of some of the printing:

Boone is hoping to make this an every other month event, so keep your ear to the ground for the next one because I highly recommend going - whether as a patron or an artist with a table!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Guinea Pig Zone

I recently finished a commission for's logo. Teresa, who also runs, contacted me through my website a while ago and I have been slowly fighting with Adobe Illustrator since. I think I'm pretty competent at using Photoshop, but there is a reason I am a traditional artist and not a computer artist. That reason being that trying to make original art (not just doctoring up some images) on the computer for me is like trying to type with boxing gloves on my hands. I wanted to make the logo in Illustrator so that it would be a vector file and could be easily resized- oh how much I had forgotten about Illustrator! I spent most of my time reading through the manual trying to remember all the tricks of the pen tool that I used to know. I owe a lot of thanks to Tim Chism who helped me slay the foul Adobe beast.

I was super excited to do this logo because I am a huge fan of I used to own guinea pigs, in fact most of my friends refer to it as having a guinea pig farm because I had so many, and I've always admired the work does with informing guinea pig owners. Her new website has a strong social emphasis with petfinder listings, product and pet reviews, and shopping.  The heart is designed to change based on the color scheme of the website or to be used in several different colors to designate different website sections.

I believe Teresa found me through my deviantArt page, which was a terrifying revelation. I hadn't updated that thing since 2007 and the thought of people looking through my gallery and only seeing bad ceramics and really old art gave me the heebie jeebies. Therefore, this commission also inspired me to update my page, which is going slow and I'm still only up to 2008 as of now. I deduced how Teresa found me because she provided two of my guinea pig images as reference photos, both of which are only available on DA. One was an old sharpie drawing of my lethal white guinea pig Winkle (he was blind and deaf and had one gangly tooth), and the other was a screen print of Ginger (who loved oranges).

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Photo History of the UCF Library

Exhibit mock-up on graph paper - one square to every six inches.
I've recently co-curated the Special Collections and University Archives exhibit A Photo History of the UCF Library which I installed this past Friday. As with all the exhibits I've done with SC&UA, it was immensely interesting and consuming. The library is the first academic building on campus and one of the only buildings ready for classes in 1968, which meant the library housed many random university needs including weightlifting as well as books. This exhibit is in preparation of UCF's 50th anniversary and is installed on the 72 ft. art wall at the main entrance. It's a step up, in size and exposure, from the exhibit area we have right outside of the department. I don't usually make such an extensive plan for an exhibit (pictured above) but since we only had one day to set it up I wanted to make sure we had all our ducks in a row beforehand. I've grown quite fond of my graph paper mock-up. The only significant difference from the plan and the actual is the absence of the groundbreaking shovel and Nierman's maquette of the Flame of Hope. The exhibit would have been approximately 10% cooler with their inclusion, but we also didn't want anyone walking out with them since it is so close to the entrance.

I haven't been lurking around the wall since I've put it up, honestly I haven't, but already I've seen a group men looking at photos from the 1981-1984 expansion and pointing out all their old buddies. I hope this exhibit is causing that kind of reminiscing even when I'm not creeping around the corner.

Exhibit will be up June 1 - July 31

Thursday, May 31, 2012

FAVO market

The Faith Arts Village Orlando is an old motel that has been renovated by Park Lake Presbyterian Church to be a place for artist studios and art happenings. This Friday they are hosting an open air market full of art and local produce from 5-9pm. I will be there with a few prints to sell, but more importantly with the Richeson Baby Etching Press. I'll have a station set up where everyone can ink and print a little block and take home a piece of art for free! Hopefully some people will catch the printmaking bug so bad that they will be forced to come back for more, and by more I mean the upcoming Not Your Mama's Print Workshop.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Now is the time..

The time is now to sign up for our relief printmaking workshop! Maitland Art Center is offering all summer classes at 10% off if you sign up before May 29th. So while you're out barbecuing this long weekend, don't forget to hop on the computer and sign up here.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Today at work in Special Collections I encountered Marbling: a history and a bibliography by Phoebe Jane Easton which had been a victim of a particularly vicious act of book on book violence. It had the extreme misfortune of being shelved next to a deteriorating leather book. As you can see, neither were wrapped in mylar and Marbling sustained extensive red rot staining on its cover.

Fortunately for Easton's book, the Acquisitions Department had just cleaned out a storage area and brought me a cart full of supplies to go through and keep if I wanted. In those supplies were two packages of Groom/Stick.

My first impression of Groom/Stick was that it must be some form of book torture that in one long gone day was thought to work. I did some research and found that instead it was supposed to be a revolutionary new cleaning material:

GROOM/STICK is a novel form of natural rubber with specific properties combining to create a surface dry-cleaner of high efficiency. The rubber's natural structure has been modified to make it permanently soft, kneadable and strongly tacky. Moisture, solvents and chemical additives have been excluded.

As a non-abrasive, non-staining cleaner of paper and other library materials, Groom/stick gently but positively picks up a wide range of foreign matter. Graphite, carbon, charcoal, chalk, crayon, dry powder colours, mould spores, dust, dirt and grease are cleanly lifted off the surface and held in a 'molecular trap' from which there is no escape!

The process is fast and smear-free. It is demonstrated by lightly rolling a Groom/stick 'cigar' across a freshly-printed newspaper. Excess print ink is removed instantly - without blurring the print or soiling adjacent clean areas. Ordinary solid or granular rubber/resin erasers abrade, smudge, crumble or produce clinging debris. Groom/stick sacrifices nothing of itself, leaves no dirty fragments to brush away (or mould spores to regenerate in concealed areas) and is always ready and clean to use.

 I decided to give it a shot and the results were earily exactly what the promotional material said they would be. While I didn't find rolling the material into a cigar a very easy endeavor (my lump looks more like a creepy alien-esque cacoon), I did find that the surface dirt it grabbed would never escape from it's plasticky grave. Here it is covered in red rot powder and none of it is transfering to my hands or any other part of the book. In fact, it was cleaning me. I could see it, while still covered in powder, taking all the oil that I didn't know I had off my fingertips.

Groom/Stick is my miracle item of the week. Enjoy these before and after photos:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Not Your Mama's Print Workshop

We're ba-ack! Molly Chism and I are teaching a new installment of the print class this summer and this time it's in workshop form. There are two sessions to choose from; Sunday, June 24th 1pm - 5pm or Sunday, July 29th 1pm - 5pm. Of course, you can always come to both.

We will be focusing on printing our own greeting cards from linoleum blocks that we will design and carve. If greeting cards aren't your thing, then there's no reason you can't come and make prints for framing instead of prints for mailing.

The tuition is $70 a person for non Maitland Art Center members and $63 for members. There is also a $30 materials fee that covers the ink and paper you'll use during the day plus a speedball carving set, a bench hook (which is a fancy word for something that helps you carve without sending your block flying off the table), and linoleum- all of which you'll be able to take home at the end of the day. It's like a starter printmaking kit for you to continue making prints long after the workshop. All those materials that your fee pays for also means that you don't have to bring any supplies to the workshop. The only thing we ask you bring is your creativity (and an idea for your image won't hurt).

You can sign up for either (or both) workshops on the Maitland Art Center's website HERE. We hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow - Last Chance!

The exhibit Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow closes on Saturday Feb 26th, so these are the last two days you'll have a chance to view it! My book I Used to Wear Diapers is on exhibit and I was very pleased with the gallery's handling and presentation of it. Thank you UCF Art gallery- especially for having an open call juried art show. I hope the gallery plans on hosting more exhibits like this one.

Tim Freed from The Central Florida Future (which, thanks to my work here at the University Archives, I have touched every single issue produced since its beginnings on Oct. 7, 1968) wrote a very nice article about the exhibit. I was one of the artists he interviewed for the article and I very much appreciated that the quotes he chose don't make me sound too silly, although I did notice the "kinda" that I slipped in there. I have only myself to blame for talking like a country bumpkin. Check out the article here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Not Your Mama's Print Class

It's that time again! Molly Chism and I are offering our relief printmaking class at the Maitland Art Center. We have been trying to get this class off the ground for a little while now, but we haven't had enough students sign up yet- we need three in order to teach the class. The Maitland Art Center was founded by a printmaker, Andre Smith, and has a rich printmaking history. Unfortunately it's scary to sign up for something that your unfamiliar with, and not many people know what printmaking is all about. Even if you've never done art before, you can picture yourself in a painting class- brushes, paint, apron, french beret. But printmaking? They could be pulling teeth in that class for all I know! Alas, it is a tough act to sell, even though this class is so awesome.

So stop by the website and sign up! We won't be pulling teeth. We'll be carving, inking, and printing- on my brand new Richeson Baby Etching Press no less! The class starts this Saturday the 28th and meets 1:30 - 4:30 every Saturday for 9 weeks.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

I will be showing my book, I Used to Wear Diapers, at the juried art show entitled Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow at the UCF Art Gallery. The shows runs from January 26th to February 26th and the opening reception is January 26th from 6pm-8pm. The opening reception sounds like it will be a blast: free admission, free food, music by Joseph Keebler, and performances by Hemisphere Dance Company.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbons will be awarded as well as a Director's Purchase Award and a Provost's Purchase Award (both of which I have opted out of because I am not ready to sell my book). I assume the awards will be given out at the opening reception. The only thing I've seen for the show so far are the sneak peek images on the website, but if those are any indication of the quality of work this is going to be a classy show! If you feel like coming out it looks like there will be a multitude of fantastic art. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Removing... *sigh* Chocolate

 What's that on this book? Is it a crayon? Is it poop?! No! It's CHOCOLATE! Because who doesn't love a sweet treat when perusing some Dolce and Gabbana fashion. This is a rare instance where I fixed up a book from our general, circulating collection - hence the chocolate. Just a bit of careful scraping with the micro-spatula and a final pass with a soft eraser.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Carry Me

"Carry me out of the host, for I am wounded."
This is the Adorable Wood Engraving of the Day! While removing the library stickers from some of our new arrivals at Special Collections I found this little guy. He's from the book Infelicia by Adah Isaacs Menken published in 1868. What makes this especially adorable is the caption underneath him reading "Carry me out of the host, for I am wounded." Now I can't see the frog's out stretched arm without imagining him crying "Enh! Carry me!" I think I may submit this to Cute Overload.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


You may or may not be aware of my day job as the Book Conservator for the Special Collections and University Archives for the University of Central Florida Libraries. I also do private book repair and after all the horrible do-it-yourself fixes I've seen I feel the need to present this post as a public service announcement about not using staples or tape on your books.

We have a large amount of pamphlets held together by rusty staples that need removing, but I thought these (this?) little pamphlets were in need of documentation because of the... unique way they have been joined together. It is (they are?) three stapled pamphlets that have been stapled to each other and then taped together with some specialty bookbinding tape which is more like electrical tape than anything that should come in contact with a book.

The first order of business is to remove the the horrid red tape that is acting as a spine in this Frankenstien creation....

Heat is applied to the tape with a tacking iron. Heat will usually reactivate the adhesive of the tape, or if you would like to use proper terminology it reactivates the gooiness. However there are cases where heat will just cause the tape to dig its nasty little claws in deeper, so one should always test the waters carefully before removing tape with a tacking iron.

Using a metal micro spatula dipped in rubbing alcohol the tape is slowly lifted

Look at that progress!

Now that the tape is removed you can see where the three pamphlets have been stapled together. The two staples near the spine only go through a pamphlet and a half. There is another set of staples on the back side leaving these helpless pamphlets in a carnivorous jaw of four ruthless staples.

The tape may be gone but some of the tackiness has remained. To remove the sticky I use a soft white eraser, specifically MagicRub, and gently rub the surface. This rolls up all the tape goo in with the eraser poop (ask your mom if you don't understand) and the leavings can be easily brushed away. Once the sticky spine was returned to a satin finish I removed the four staples that held the pamphlets together. This proved to be a Chinese finger trap of sorts since I could not get at the end of the front staples until the back ones were removed and vice versa. After some contorting however, the pamphlets were free for the first time since... probably the 70s.

Now on to the two staples for each individual pamphlet.
The two photos below illustrate how harmful staples can be. The left shows the rusty staple and the effect it has had on the paper. To the right is the page next to the staple showing how deep the rust has permeated the paper. 

The micro spatula returns, this time sans alcohol, to lift the staple prongs on the inside and then carefully wiggle the staple out the back.

Once the staples are removed new "cloth staples" need to be sewn in to hold the pamphlet together. Here I am using some safe linen thread. The pictures below show the substitution- the pamphlets will never know the difference!

Here they are- separated and free of their rusty shackles. After some paper work they were let loose in the stacks where they now graze freely with their fellow pamphlets; a new and happy life.