The all-day workshop at Studio Two Three promised to combine text and print to tell my story. I had never tried printmaking, and the workshop was part of the Rock Star Series. Emmy Bright was the first Rock Star on the calendar. I signed up after going to QuiltCon. I needed to explore other art forms.
The class started with a writing exercise — just write without stopping for eight minutes. Then we pared that down to a 100-word autobiography.
We kept paring it down until we had a three-word autobiography. When I reached my three words, I cried. My autobiography has been wrapped up in pain and loss. And death, grief and depression were in my story before I pared it down. The story in my head says I cannot control my life story. I fear breast cancer; the monthly checks, the yearly mammograms and MRIs, combined with the occasional breast biopsy.
In this paring down of words, I could eliminate that fear and choose other defining words. Striking through death was empowering. That’s why I cried. It made me happy to strike through those words.
The process for making the letters and the prints was relaxing for me. I made the letters L, E, S and Z in the smaller set. (by the way, no one’s autobiography included the letter Z)
I like imperfections. When I was making them, I didn’t stress at all. Others were more exacting and wanted to create the perfect alphabet. Ah, a metaphor for humanity. It takes all types to make type.
Here’s Nick, who was already a pro and had carved letters before, so he was chill.
Hands at work are beautiful.
The class also screen printed on white sheets of paper and on the Autobiography sheets. We made simple shapes and some more complicated shapes/stencils. This process was less relaxing. It required more technique and agility — plus arm strength. We weren’t trying to produce a finished work. We were playing.
I did the pink blob on this one and someone else added the cat blob. My stencil was off and that little pink stripe in the corner makes me very happy.