More printmaking

Friday was another hands-on workshop day at the Kimbell, this one a printing one.

Hieroglyphs from the Yucatan

A block-printing activity on Huun Yucatan paper encourages a closer look at how Maya artists achieved the harmonious integration of hieroglyphs, figures, and decorative borders.

Because of its relationship to the Maya exhibit and since I have never done any linoleum printing, I was really looking forward to the workshop. After an overview slide show and a tour by one of the docents, we received “linoleum” blocks like these from Dick Blick. The cutters we used were similar to these, also from Dick Blick. The ink we used was water soluble, spread with an inexpensive brayer, although I understand there are other tools for this.

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We were encouraged to incorporate a part of the graphics seen in the Mayan works that we looked at, similar to this one.

imagePanel with a seated ruler in a watery cave (Cancuen Panel 3), AD 795, Cancuen, Guatemala. Limestone, 22 5/8 x 26 1/4 x 3 in. (57.5 x 66.5 x 7.6 cm). Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes—Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología, Guatemala City. Courtesy Peabody Essex Museum, photograph © 2009 Jorge Pérez de Lara.

Cutting the linoleum is not the easiest of tasks. Choose simple designs! I enjoyed the whole experience, and may try it again, but for now, too many other things are calling my name. By the way, the huun Yucatan paper is beautiful. image

You can read a little about how it’s prepared and see more pictures here.

If you visit the museum site, try your hand at the glyph game—an adapted memory/concentration game.

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