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Students and faculty demonstrate nontoxic printmaking by Walker John & Ian Keating

Ten people attended a demonstration of nontoxic printmaking led by Susan Silverman and Nathan Sullivan at the Petrocelli art studio. Franklin Pierce students Ameryca Freeman and Angela Christian assisted in the printing process.

Two students introduce Angela Christian, a senior working towards a psychology degree with minors in fine arts and forensic psychology, and senior Ameryca Freeman, an anthropology major with minors in forensic psychology and criminal justice.

Associate Professor Nathan Sullivan places ink on the table and then distributes it around the surface of a larger rubber roller. This is done continuously throughout the presentation to ensure the ink covers enough of the roller.

Instead of etching (carving) the linoleum plate, students drew on it with crayons and markers. Any type of drawing utensil can be used as long as it is oily or greasy so that the ink will latch onto it.

"With the lithography process, everything needs to be just right in order to print successfully," said Sullivan.

The next step is to wet the linoleum plate with a sponge and then roll the ink across it. The water will prevent the ink from latching onto anything except for the oily drawing. This process is done multiple times so that enough ink latches on which allows for a prominent printing.

The printing team faced a problem when the ink roller kept creating smudges throughout the linoleum plate. They eventually determined that the issue was the high levels of iron in the Franklin Pierce University tap water that they were using.

For the sake of the showcase, they decided to print what they could. Freeman then had to dry the linoleum plate with a hair dryer so that it was ready for the printing process.

First, the paper that is being printed onto is placed on the linoleum plate.

A layer of plastic is placed on top of the paper.

A thicker blanket is layered next. This allows for better distribution of pressure and gives the press a better grip.

Next, everything is pushed through into press.

Freeman cranks it through the press, applying enough pressure for the ink to transfer onto the paper.

The final product is slightly smudged due to the previous complications, but still shows the completed process of printmaking.

The printing team followed their demonstration by showing everyone examples of successful prints.

Photos and presentation by Walker John and Ian Keating.

April 23, 2019

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