Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Engravers Meet in New Orleans

Sunday, March 18, 2012 on Charming Magazine Street in New Orleans, printmaker James Ehlers gave a workshop about engraving. "James Ehlers has been the Engraving Arts Professor at Emporia State University since 2007. It is the first and only program in the world to offer a BFA in engraving arts. The program focuses on engraving as it relates to sculpture, metals, glass, found objects and printmaking. He remains active in exhibiting work and has been in over a combined 100 national, international, touring and solo exhibitions around the world." —from his blog.

As a contemporary engraver, James is particularly interesting because he teaches print engraving in the print making tradition, along with bright cut engraving (used for reflective work for jewelry, flat wear and etc.,).

After demonstrating the GRS pneumatic engraving system during the 2012 Southern Graphics Council conference in New Orleans, James treated the Louisiana Engravers Society to his "push" (traditional) engraving methods, techniques, and philosophies at Mystic Blue Signs shop.

Along with the newly acquired mini-intaglio press, Yvette Rutledge, Mystic Blue's intrepid proprietor—and herself a master engraver—shared her space, wisdom, hospitality and good will. Also in attendance, and thoroughly engrossed in the workshop, were fledgling engraver Emily DeLorge, and master engraver, Sam Alfano, Michael Deas (famed realist illustrator and creator of well known U.S. postal stamps as well as the Columbia Pictures icon), master printer, Cordell Louvier, and this author (the engraving lady).

The following day James gave another small workshop at Loyola University New Orleans with the GRS system in Bill Kitchens' printmaking studio on the Broadway campus at Loyola. James shared more of his work, and that of his students. In response, Bill shared his own amazing specimens of the intaglio process. James gave a final New Orleans engraving workshop the following day at Tulane University.