Learning linocut printing at 3 Fish Studios

First print of "Tank"
It felt like excellent and speedy karma.  I took a photo of a beautiful tote bag at the San Francisco Ferry Building and posted to Instagram, but had that nagging thing where I wanted to make sure to attribute the image to the artist if I could find out who it was.  That search led me to 3 Fish Studios, founded and operated by Annie Galvin (artist of the bear with poppies image) and hubby artist Eric Rewitzer.

So my reward for proper attribution was to discover this studio was right here in San Francisco and what's more - they give classes on how to do linoleum prints of your own!!  I signed up immediately.

The class goes over two Tuesday nights.  We learned how to transfer our image outline to the linoleum and how to carve on the first night.  Then last night, we had the real bang up fun of putting ink to those plates and creating images... I haven't had that much fun in ages.  I'm in love with this printing thing!

Big ups to our kind and knowledgeable teacher, Orlie Kapitulnik.  She kept it on track, encouraged the embrace of imperfection and was very generous with what she knows.  Here is one of my favorite tid-bits from last night's instruction.  She was describing how to listen for a certain sound quality of the ink and brayer rolling through it to know it was ready to put on the plate.  She said (paraphrasing from memory):

An example of the Chine-colle process we learned
"Now I have a very specific way of remembering this sound.  You know when you go to a bar and they haven't cleaned it for a long time and it's all sticky?  And then you set you arm down while wearing a thinnish cotton sweater.  Then after about an hour you lift your arm off the bar?  That's the sound."

We printed on clean white paper and then played with printing on various ephemera, which I just loved.

The bear painting by Annie on a tote bag.
I'd carved a robot based on a sketch I made of a found-object robot made by Will Wagenaar.  (I bought this robot a few years ago via his Etsy store and have been collecting his stuff slowly since then.)  Will named this little guy "Tank."  He's got a base made out of a stovetop espresso maker and forky hands.  Just love him.

Tank printed on typing manual page
Orlie also showed me how to create a print with a carving I'd done on a mounted linoleum block (which because of the wood attached would not find through the presses.)  This is the image you'll see here of my dog Lulu.

I will be submitting many of the Tank prints to a Print Exchange project I've signed up for via the Brooklyn Art Library.  This year's theme is "Greetings from a Distant Land" - we each send in eleven prints in an edition and get back 10 original prints from various other participants.  So fun.

I hope they like the Tank.

Lulu printed on white paper by hand (from mounted block)

Tank in red.  On left is first press, on right is the second, or "ghost" print.  Like them both!


  1. What fun.... you have so much talent, Kate. I love seeing your work!

    1. Thanks Mom!! It's great to have a fan in your dear mom. xo xo

  2. Your prints look terrific, I know the Brooklyn Art Library folks will love 'em! And the tidbit about your elbow on the bar in a sweater - priceless!


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