Carving with power tools? Why not!

In January, a friend affiliated with the Harrison Center for the Arts asked me if I would like to participate in their February show featuring the new Indy Eleven soccer team. They were handing out large wooden circles (24″ diameter) and wanted artists to interpret the soccer or “eleven” theme as they wished. I accepted the challenge!

So what does a printmaker do with a large wood circle? She makes it into a woodblock!

I chose to have a typographic look/feel focusing on the “eleven” theme. First I created a digital design, which I then printed out and transferred on to my block via carbon paper.

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Then the fun began. Since the block was larger than I’ve carved, I thought I might experiment with the Dremel tool my parents gave us as a Christmas gift a while back (thanks Mom and Dad!). Out came the safety glasses and away I went. A couple of hours of later I had outlined all of the characters and was covered in sawdust.

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Although the Dremel was great for creating quick outlines, I didn’t think it would be too efficient at carving out large areas of wood. So I finished carving the block with my hand tools.

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After applying a couple of layers of shellac to the block (this keeps the ink from seeping into the wood), I inked the block with my brayer and hand burnished (rubbed) the block to transfer the ink, like I would any other block I print.

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On Friday, February 7, the Harrison Center had both my block and print on display for First Friday, along with about 20 other circles from local artists. The show runs through the end of February, so please stop by and check it out!

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New prints and a quilt

I wanted to share two prints that I finished in December. The first is called Jeans on the Line and it is a based on a scene from our Nicaragua trip last summer. We visited a small village named Bethel (the guys in our group actually helped put a roof on a kitchen of a woman who lived there), and while walking around I was struck not only by the colors of the houses but also just the beauty in everyday life there, despite the poverty.

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The second print, Evening at Pike Place Market, was based off of my October trip to visit my friend, Marilyn, in Seattle. We were able to go downtown one evening for a short while and we visited Pike Place Market right at sunset. Although most of the shops inside were closed, it was a beautiful sight to see how the evening colors fell upon the buildings there. I also wanted to simplify this print to three colors and see where it would take me (keep in mind the Nicaragua print above was at least 10+ colors and took a L O N G time to finish).

Both of these prints can be purchased in my Etsy shop.

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And just for giggles, I thought I would throw in a baby quilt I finished this past week for my friend Jenny, who is due with her first baby boy on February 5. I must admit, this one makes me proud because 1) I finished it over the course of about 2.5 days, and 2) the entire quilt was made from fabric from my stash (I didn’t buy any extra fabric). And yes, that does mean I might be a fabric hoarder.

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A Quilt for Marilyn

Happy new year! I can’t believe it’s already 2014. Now that the Christmas season has passed and all of my handmade gifts have been received, I can show you one of my favorite (and biggest) projects of 2013.

Last spring, my friend Marilyn asked if I would make her a quilt. This was a welcomed surprise to me. You see, Marilyn has been through hell and back this past year, and endured things that are unimaginable. Through it all she has persevered, and I believe it would be an understatement to say she is one of the strongest and most self-sacrificing people I know.

That being said, if you’re like me, when people we love are going through horrible things, we want to help, but often don’t know how. Or perhaps we want to do something a little more special and meaningful than the day-to-day tasks to let them know they are loved. I had thought about making her a quilt before she asked, but wasn’t sure if it was something that she would like. Needless to say I was elated when she mentioned making her a quilt. There are many things in this world that I cannot do, but darn it, I can make a good quilt. Knowing me and my work well, she entrusted me to make all creative decisions on the pattern and fabrics. I started sewing around June, and by mid-December this quilt was finished.

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Quilt Details:
Pattern: Japanese x and +
Dimensions: 88″ x 100″
Front fabric: scraps with border of Essex Linen in Denim
Back fabric: Woodcut in Sassblue by Anna Maria Horner/Essex Linen in Denim/Pearl Bracelets by Lizzy House

October show and new work

Whoa. It’s October 1st. When did that happen? I realize it’s been well over a month since I last posted, and that’s bad. I know. BUT, throughout September I worked on two different prints and finished them both last week. And I spent today hanging my work for a group show that opens in Bloomington this Friday. So I’ve been productive, right?

Here are the details for the group show that opens this Friday in Bloomington:

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What: Paths and Patterns 
Where: Waldron Arts Center, 122 South Walnut Street, Bloomington, IN 47404
(opening reception this Friday, October 4, 5-8pm)
When: October 4-26
Who: myself and four other great Indianapolis artists: Jody Bruns, James Hubbard, Jill Sauerburger, and Anna Velez

Secondly, I wanted to mention that lately I have been enjoying the Instagram. I have found that Instagram is a great way to post quick glimpses of what I’m working on or what I’m inspired by in lieu of writing an entire blog post. So feel free to follow me at mnhauger on Instagram.

And lastly, what you’ve been waiting for, my most recent work. (I apologize that these photos are from my phone and the color isn’t that great…as soon as these prints are dry I will take my fancier photos and update my portfolio!) The landscape is the first in my Nicaragua series, entitled “Iglesia de La Recolección”.

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Nicaragua

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I spent the first part of July in Nicaragua.  It was a really beautiful week.  What made it even more enjoyable was that I was fortunate enough to travel with a group of my friends.  We put a roof on a kitchen, played with some kiddos, climbed a volcano (and sled down it), explored new cities, and hosted a lunch and soccer tournament for boys from the surrounding villages.  We also painted a mural, designed by me (my first), with very little preparation or knowledge of what to expect before arriving.  We finished that mural in less than 10 hours.  Amazing.

It was a great experience.

Upcoming shows for June/July

Happy beginning of summer, everyone!  I wanted to take a quick moment to let you know about two shows opening this weekend that will be featuring several of my prints.

The Self Portrait Show will be opening this First Friday, June 7, at Gallery 924 of the Indianapolis Arts Council (924 N. Pennsylvania St. Indy, 46204).  I’ve been experimenting with solar plate etching lately (with mixed results), and one of them is in this show.  The show runs through the end of the July.

I also have two prints in the Hoosier Women in Art Exhibit opening this Saturday, June 8, at the Garfield Park Arts Center (2432 Conservatory Dr, Indy 46203).  This will compliment the Hoosier Women in Music concert at the park on June 29 (along with the closing art reception).  If you stop by, also be sure to check out the conservatory filled with beautiful plants and flowers!

Here’s a glimpse at what I’ve been working on the past few weeks.  What’s new in your world?

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Half square triangle values quilt

Hello there.  Hot off the sewing machine: my Half Square Triangle (HST) Values Quilt!

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With a HST value quilt, you pair together a dark and light valued fabric for each block, and they can then be arranged in a number ways.  I chose the ripple effect.  Amy Butler’s Cameo line had so many blues and greens it reminded me of a pond on a summer day.

Seriously, Amy and David Butler are amazing.  Their fabrics continue to inspire me. Love them.

ButlerQuilts

p.s. The HST quilt is up for grabs.  If you’re interested, please contact me for pricing.  It would be lovely in your home, don’t you think?

How to carve a chicken

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Hopefully Trixie approves.  She does pay attention to details.

Now available in the etsy shop.

Experimenting with ink, plastic, and…wax?

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A few weeks ago I started to feel what I call a “lull” coming on.  Some people call them creative blocks.  I just didn’t know what project to start next.  When that happens I often turn to methods or exercises that yield quicker results to get my wheels turning again. One of these methods is called monotype printing.  A monotype is an image that is painted or inked onto a plate (I use acrylic plates [plexiglass]), then run through a press, transferring the image onto paper.  You usually only get one print from a plate, hence the “mono” in the name (although often you can print a ghost print, which is a second run that picks up any pigment left on the plate).

The above images are all monotypes, loosely based on some images of the rice fields of Cambodia.  On the first two, I inked the entire plate and rubbed away areas with a rag to produce the image.  On the last two, I did a combination of inking the plate and painting it, then adding some mineral spirits to produce a watery effect.  I think they all are hauntingly beautiful in their own way.

On a different experimental note, I took my first class in encaustic painting (painting with wax)!  This was SO FUN.  It’s a great way to collage, add textures, and experiment with a media I have never used before.  I big thanks to Beth Guipe Hall at The Outlet for her help and instruction!

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New work: The Walk Home

TheWalkHomeThe Walk Home, woodcut reduction, edition of six, 11×14″

 

I am delighted to show my newest print to you.  I was a bit nervous to begin this print because 1) I wanted to work bigger and 2) I wanted to carve into wood, not linoleum. What does that mean?  It would take a long time, a lot of [physical] work, and would be very easy to mess up.  And to make things even more difficult, I knew I would end up using quite a few colors.  By a few, I mean 12 (I think…I lost track).  Each layer was carved, inked, and hand burnished (hand-rubbed) to get this final result.

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To give a little background on the origin of this image, while in Cambodia in 2011, we were able to visit a local school.  Once they saw us coming, “recess” began immediately, and as you can see, we made a few friends.  Once school was dismissed, we were walking through the neighborhood as the children returned to their homes.  That is where I captured the image I used for this print.

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This print is now available in my etsy shop.