Thursday, November 15, 2012

What would Alois Senefelder say?

For those of you who do not know, Alois Senefelder was the inventor of Lithography.

For those of you who do not know, Lithography is a printmaking process involving drawing on beautiful old slabs of bavarian limestone, and a lot of  magic  chemistry.

Here is the charming Phil Sanders to show you more....

For those of you who do not know, I've been teaching Lithography this semester at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, which is an hour north of Spruce Pine. I swear, on my drive to Boone I pass at least a dozen places where one may choose and cut their own Christmas tree.

Because this is where they come from, folks.

Anyway, the reason Alois Senefelder might be rolling over in his grave is that it has been a rocky semester, and there is no reason to deny it! Lithography is not my area of expertise; I have never said otherwise, but when the opportunity to teach the class found me (and it totally did) I was really excited. Although not my specialty, I love the process, and knew it would be a good challenge.


I made some lithos in undergrad, and a few large stone lithos in grad school (images of flux-capacitors and clock parts...) and while teaching at CSUN I grained a bunch of stones (mostly for the fun of it) and helped a handful of students print some stone lithos.

And hardly anything ever went wrong for me.

Teaching this class has helped me learn exactly how little I know about the medium, and what an infinite number of variables there are of things that can go wrong. When something goes wrong for a student when I am not around, (and being part-time and living an hour away, I'm usually not there) there is a 50/50 chance that we will be able to sort out what went wrong, and whether or not we can fix it.

Fortunately I've had 13 awesome, hard-working, patient, and talented students. We are in the final weeks of the semester, and they are exhibiting a strong work-ethic, good team-work, and good communication. Collaboration, folks. I almost wish we could continue, because they are finally really getting a hold on the process...

Beginning of a collaborative image with my student, Justin.

A bit of a demo thing I've been working on..

Lithotine Litho Team.

Look at 'em go.

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