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Grease, Water, and Stone: An Ocean Works Retrospective January 8–March 28, 2021

Grease, Water, and Stone: An Ocean Works Retrospective

In the world of fine printmaking, high standards are foundational to the practice. Printmakers take ritualistic care over their work, making calculated decisions on aspects like paper quality, ink viscosities, and proofing until the desired artwork is achieved. Specialized printmaking knowledge combined with a collaborative approach all went into the ethos of Ocean Works Press, a Newport Beach, California printing workshop established in 1979 by partners Steve Andrews and Conrad Schwable.

The lithography process is rigorous, sensitive, and requires access to specialized materials and tools, including a cumbersome printing press. Artists wishing to produce high quality prints often commission skilled master printers to assist in the process. With the resurgence of lithograph printing in the mid-Twentieth Century and the establishment of Tamarind Institute, which issues the prestigious Tamarind Master Printer certificate, printmaking studios began to pop-up across the United States making fine printmaking more accessible. Ocean Works Press was one such studio. After earning his Tamarind Master Printer certification, Conrad Schwable partnered with Steve Andrews to open a printmaking studio in Southern California. Equipped with two Takach Press’ and twelve limestone lithography stones in their seaside workshop, Ocean Works Press opened in 1979 and first attracted artists from the region. As their reputation for high quality prints grew, so did their client base.

All artworks on display are from the personal collection of Steven L. Andrews.