Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hitting the Road

Coming into this week there had been a few inquiries about my Belmar woodcut class, but no one had signed up. Not sure if it was even going to run, I was hesitant to invest in a lot of materials and tools. A few days later I had 3 paid up students, and with registration closed now, 3 is where it will stay. I've done this with 3 students before, and that's a decent number to have. Enough students to allow for some interaction between them, and a small enough number that everyone should get as much attention as they need.

Three students means that I'll have more than enough money to cover the cost of supplies for the class, but now I have to go out and get those supplies. I'll be ordering some cutting tools from my preferred source out west, but the rest may or may not be available locally. Today I was working on that process. Started on the computer, taking notes as to what was available from some catalog sources, as well as their prices. With that in hand, I started on my way around the county.

First stop was the Studio. One of my college classes has started their woodcut projects, and the other one will begin this week. They actually won't get their wood blocks until the following week, but I wanted to get them taken care of now. So those are done (cut, sanded) and set aside. The rest of that sheet of plywood, plus one other that I bought recently, will be made available to my workshop students.

Next was the largest art supply store (that I'm aware of) in the region, up in Shrewsbury. Even a huge art store like Pearl had a very limited printmaking section, so I had no idea what I'd find at this place. They did have a small selection of water based relief inks (small tubes only), but that's about it. They had a limited selection of loose papers, some of which could work for us, though the prices are a bit high. I can probably do better for both, but it's good to know I have options in an emergency.

After that, I worked my way back to my local home center to get some wood related stuff. My college students get pieces of luaun as is, but for my workshop classes I do demonstrate how I use wood filler to make a much nicer surface on the relatively inexpensive wood, and make it available for them to use. I have some that's pretty dried out (with water and a bit of effort I can make it workable), so I splurged for a new pail of the stuff. Also a few plastic putty knives to apply it, and some 220 grit sandpaper to sand it down afterwards. Since on the first night we aren't likely to get beyond the beginnings of the block sketch, these purchases were the most important things I needed to buy today. I'll deal with the rest early next week.


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