Part 3: Off to Chicago!
The skyline of downtown Chicago…there’s something magical about it, and when it first appears in the distance, I get this rush of adrenaline…a feeling of an adventure about to happen…the Big City.
This time though, there was an added level of wonder, after those images I’d seen of early 1900s Chicago…
…and the miles of railroad and stock cars and lines of animals funneled into the buildings:
Now, those historical images were there too in my mind’s eye as I approached this destination, that at one time was literally, The Hog Butcher for the World: “From the Civil War until the 1920s and peaking in 1924, more meat was processed in Chicago than in any other place in the world.” – Meatpacking, Encylopedia of Chicago.
And more from Wikipedia:
Eventually, the 375-acre (1.52 km2) site had 2300 separate livestock pens, room to accommodate 75,000 hogs, 21,000 cattle and 22,000 sheep at any one time…. Processing two million animals yearly by 1870,… nine million by 1890. Between 1865 and 1900, approximately 400 million livestock were butchered within the confines of the Yards.
Arriving at Hoofprint Workshop, Chicago
So with these images in the back of my mind, I pull up to Hoofprint and for a moment think, wait, what year is this?!?
Hoofprint Workshop inhabits a wonderful old building that used to be—as you can see—a funeral home. The wheeled carts that used to wheel around coffins, now wheel around litho stones, etc. Gabe and Liz have remade it into a fascinating, working printmaking studio. It’s a magical place.
Gabe Hoare, Master Printer
Gabe Hoare and Liz Born are the owners, artists, printmakers of this establishment. And Gabe is one heck of a Master Printer—inking the block perfectly for whatever substrate he is printing onto…
Printing in Action!
Liz and Gabe printed the first canvas ones, so there would be some for the 40 x 60 show, and then they printed more canvas ones as orders came in. When I drove to Hoofprint later in November, to print the paper edition, printing with Gabe was a breeze. He inked up the blocks and I helped with the paper handling, etc. See it for yourself! This short Instagram video was taken by Raeleen Kao (Frozen Charlotte Press), a friend, fellow artist and printmaker extraordinaire I met while in grad school in 2010 or so. She also is the one who told me about this woodcut challenge, so if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have done this block:
So, in the video above, Gabe had previously inked the block, and set it up square on the press. Then with a 3rd set of hands, I helped guide the paper down, on top of the block while Gabe cranks the block + paper sandwich through the press. When the block and paper have gotten all the way through, then, as you see in the video above, we peel back the inked paper up and over the press, being careful not to let the paper touch the printed-though-still-inky block.
The Finished Print
Thanks to Gabe’s printing expertise, the prints turned out great. Here is the finished piece, on canvas, available for purchase at Hoofprint Workshop’s online shop.
5 have sold, so there’s 5 left.
You can order online at Hoofprint’s shop.
**NOTE: I’m driving to Chicago to get the wood block, canvas Artist’s Proof, etc on WEDNESDAY, DEC 9. If you live in Madison, WI area, and order a canvas print today or next couple of days (Dec.5,6,7), Hoofprint can probably gallery wrap yours and send it with me on Wed, so I can DELIVER it to you (ie-no shipping costs). Let me know at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to see it in person? It’s (and some of the other fabulous 5ft prints are) showing this month in Chicago:
•At Hoofprint Workshop
—by appointment, and at Hoofprint’s celebration: Wassail! A Vagabond’s Christmas, a Holiday Show on Saturday, Dec 12th, 2015.
Address: 2433 S Oakley Ave, Chicago, IL 60608
•At Simone’s Bar & Grill
—in The Laboratory until Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015.
Address: 960 W 18th, Chicago, IL 60608.
And here are some of the fabulous woodcuts up at Simone’s (until Dec. 9):
Join us tomorrow (Sunday) night at @simones_bar for a drink before karaoke at 8! Check out these sick woodcuts if you haven’t had a chance yet. #hoofprintwoodcutchallenge #svmedaris #antoniomartinez #gabrielvilla #johnhimmelfarb #nicoletteross #printmaking #chicagoart #blackandwhite #woodcut @svmedaris @cobaltstudio @nicrossdaboss
The Paper Edition
Did you check out the short Instagram video above? That was one of the paper ones we were printing. I’m picking up the paper edition on Wednesday, Dec. 9 from Hoofprint as well. Once I go through every one and figure out how many good prints I have, I’ll make them available at my shop and studio. The edition will be close to 10, and will sell for $1,300 each, unframed. Want to see one in person? I will probably have one framed and available at Artisan Gallery later in December.