Community. Engagement. Advocacy. Humor.
Group projects are a cornerstone of Collaboration events, serving to draw together makers from disparate disciplines and media. At Echo Lake the major group project is a print project: linoleum blocks about 58mm square (2 3/8") are individually carved and then arranged and printed in groups.
This is a little challenging for a maker of 3D objects - my drawings are all directed to developing concepts of form - not graphically strong images suitable for linocuts. I filled pages of my notebook with little abstract drawing of place and eventually settled on a mnemonic drawing of the view from my studio back in Australia.
In the experimental spirit of the event, I decided not to carve my block with the supplied tools, lino carving being much like carving wood without the complications of grain. Instead I marked my block with dapping punches. I had been introduced to these beautiful graduated sets of ball-headed jewelers punches at a collaboration in Australia. I was a little nervous about the outcome, but ending up being quite pleased. The prints had an interesting evolution as the compression of the lino changed slightly with each journey through the press.
This was a welcome place to start, to focus on a making process, and a way to meet many of the other collaborators. Working individually but in a collective space, without the negotiation needed to collaborate fully is an easy step on the journey from solo studio maker to collaborator.