A Visit to Flatbed Press in East Austin
During the TAEA conference I had the opportunity to travel to the east side of Austin and tour Flatbed Press with co-founder Mark Smith. The building itself is a renovated warehouse that sang to the ultra industrialist within me with the exposed vents, washed out concrete floors, vibrant art all in neat rows and an impressive workshop with print machines that could be works of art hailing from their era. Flatbed is conveniently located opposite a bus depot and close to I-35, few excuses should keep you from touring one of Austin's brightest galleries. Mark was also generous enough to show us a quick intaglio print making technique anyone can use in all grade level art classes. Private and group classes with a master printer are available at Flatbed and are easily tailored to your expertise.
A quick thank you to my Flatbed tourmates and tourguide, artist Deborah McLouth (far right)
Now on to the tour!
Lobby at Flatbed, steam roller print by Heather Parrish.
Flatbed gallery hall
Terry Allen, Rage
Dan Rizzie, Santa Croce VII
Ann Conner, a well known Texas artist now located in Marfa
entering the studio
Neocolor Aquarelle is the preferred rub for monoprints etched onto Plexiglass
Mark borrowed another artists Plexiglass engraving to use for his demonstration. Plexiglass is cheap and easy to find at your local hardware store. To engrave a quick design lay the Plexiglass onto a picture from a magazine or sketch and engrave directly on top using a sharp tool.
Mark rubs off the aquarelle using with rag...
and places it onto the surface of a print machine where notches have been set for perfect alignment.
The paper is cotton based and has been soaking in water. When it's you're ready to use it just soak up the access water with a dry towel and place it on top of your Plexiglass.
Mark turns the wheel...
and a print is made!