This past week I made my triumphant return to printmaking!
When I graduated at the end of 2008, I didn't realize that I was in a way walking away from it. My focus has been on fabric design, and pattern writing, and teaching, and moving, and other things. None of these things were meant to be so permanent. The only thing that was ever supposed to be permanent was the printmaking, and it was the first thing to go. What?
So some years have passed away, and my pining to print is no more, because I am.
Yesterday I was working on a new piece, a work that I have always wanted to make, and I found myself getting ink on my hands. This ink, would then get on my paper. I was in the studio alone and managed to get everything in order again, but while I struggled I was able to think about printmaking, and the program I had completed those years ago, and the people I had gotten close to because of our chosen degrees, and close proximity of the presses.
The thing that kept coming to me was that I needed a set of clean hands. At school, any time that I needed a set of clean hands, they were there. Or you would bring and extra set with you, or, you would have an inky look of desperation and someone would go over to the sink wash their hands and be at your aid. I was also a set of clean hands more often than I can recall. That's the kind of group we had.
There's a metaphor there that I have been unwrapping.
When we are in the middle of things, that are difficult, or painful, or covered in ink, we need someone to step in. Sometimes we can call for them, and sometimes we are too in it to see that we need help. That's when that set of clean hands swoops in, and holds things up until you are back on track, or find a pair of gloves, so they can get back to what they were working on.
But it goes both ways. Sometimes you need the clean hands, and sometimes you are the clean hands.
I'll keep thinking about it. You think about it too.
and just like that, I feel like myself.