And then – oh, and then my litho stone broke. Passing under the press cylinder, it gave off a tiny sound, and I knew immediately what had happened. Then it came out in two parts. And I felt so bad; because this stone was my friend, and I broke it.
And it took me some time to know what to do next. Not that there aren’t other stones (there’s a whole library of stones in the litho printshop), or other things to do with them (unlimited possibilities). But the impetus got lost somehow. And that can be a drawback, of course. It can also be the cause to re-think and re-settle. So I did.
Two days ago, a feedback session ending with a secret waffle party in the smithy… Today, things are jazzing me around: down goes the rag, up come the prints and the plates. It’s fun, but also frustrating; I cannot yet see what’s really going on.
This time, I needn’t draw the grid because I know it anyway. I concentrate on the circle (or close-to-circle, to be exact). One laborative space isn’t enough, I need three; but, in duplicating the circle, I realize the wall isn’t really big enough. Fine, I’ll make the circles overlap then. One for the metals, one for the prints. And the third one for a text, as a beginning.
The Lighting Department at the Royal Institute of Technology is hosting an international Light Symposium in Stockholm. In the morning, I attend together with a group of students and teachers from the Royal Institute of Art… and in the afternoon, I hurry back to school for another two weeks in the painting studio. Bringing back the metal plates, adding the litho and intaglio prints I’ve made in the meantime, nailing the plummet to the wall once more.
The new academic year begins tomorrow, Monday, so this should be the appropriate time to sum up my first semester as a project student at the Royal Institute of Art.
Mostly I’ve been working in the lithography workshop, where Patrick Wagner has an eye and a helping hand for everything and everyone. I’ve printed from two stones alternately; one fairly small, the other one large (and heavy)… The procedure for stone lithography goes something like this: grain the stone repeatedly with sand and water, until it has a clean, smooth surface; draw the image upon it; etch the image into the stone with acid and gum arabicum; roll up with printing ink; print. And then, clean up.
Upstairs from the litho workshop is the common area of the graphic department. Along the wall, tables are lined up in a row – one of those is at my personal disposal. I have chosen this place because usually, it’s just in the thick of things… Now, this early winter morning, the room is still dark and silent. I light the lamp and unpack my things. Dawn is breaking.
Getting a better grip of graphic techniques, following lectures and meeting artists, being likewise challenged and encouraged, seeing old things in new ways… I even think I’m beginning to see the outlines of what I’m doing here. Idiosyncratic as it may be, I’m working on a dictionary. An imaginary.