One of my first loves in art is pottery. When I moved to Augusta, KY 9 years ago, I opened a small pottery studio on main street. I loved the entire process of making something using earth, water and fire. I dug clay from the banks of the Ohio River, and experimented with pit firing.
I don’t get to make much pottery anymore. My focus is on 2D work, but I still love the craft. I am replacing the dishes in my kitchen with hand made pots. I’m trying to collect Kentucky potters, but a few great ones from Ohio, Tennessee (and beyond) have found their way into my cupboard.
I created this woodcut to promote my friend, Ann Legris’ pottery studio for her Open House (tomorrow). She is recognized by collectors as one of Kentucky’s most important potters, and was a major influence in my decision to explore traditional printmaking techniques.
My goal with the woodblock was to get 6 different prints from one block using the reduction technique. My designs do not accurately reproduce Ann’s elegant wheel thrown pots, but I feel they represent the joyful energy that comes from looking at a wheel thrown pot.
If you would like to see Ann’s wonderful pots, There are a LOT of great activities this weekend, so
Her studio will be open through December call Ann at 606.584.2679
While working on a block print of Augusta’s ferry, the Jenny Ann, I made an interesting discovery.
you can use different inks in different stages of the process, resulting in a variety of styles.
For my next woodblock project, I wanted to print an ear of corn where each print is unique. I carved 3 blocks in the reduction technique, using a different color combination for each pattern.
The biggest challenge was cleaning the block, and brayer every time I switched colors. The results were worth in!
I decided to title the series “Everyone Is Unique…Just Like Everyone Else” because the prints can be a metaphor for each of us. We are all unique and beautiful, but we also have a lot in common.
Each print is 1of 1. The woodblock was destroyed in the reduction process, so I will never be able to print more corn prints. Below is a photo of the block after printing. Notice that everything has been carved away except the leaves and border. This single block was used for all parts of the print.
The finished prints are going to be matted in acid free mat board, with one of my classic black handmade wood frames for $120.
If you want to give one as a gift to one of the unique people in your life, let me know, because they ARE one-of-a kind.
I also have 10 Jenny Ann woodblock prints available for the Augusta lovers out there.
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Ken is a self-taught artist from rural Kentucky, whose work includes painting, printmaking, animation and ipad art. He considers himself to be a 'lifetime learner' and he uses art as the vehicle to explore and learn more about the world around him. Much of his work reflect his optimistic views on rural folk culture, river life and simple pleasures.
You can visit Ken every Final Friday of the month at studio 400 at the Pendleton Art Center in downtown Cincinnati. He can also be found picnicking near his home in the Historic Village of Old Washington, KY.