Saturday, September 29, 2018

Studio Visit

Today something happened that was a long time in coming, and it almost didn't happen.  Pam had contacted me last year regarding a visit to the Studio.  I'm not against such things, but it didn't happen last year.  Perhaps we couldn't work it out around my many part time jobs.  We decided to try to set up something another time. She contacted me again (all by e-mail) early this year, but again the timing wasn't right.  At least part of that was Jackie's impending move out of the space and there was quite a mess.  But eventually the move happened, and after a long delay, Molly finally cleaned up her mess and we now had a more presentable space.  Pam contacted me again several weeks ago, wanting to bring a cousin from Brooklyn who had some print experience and this time it seemed possible.  We ended up with a date the end of the summer (less crowds) and that became today, at 1 pm.  Since a lock was put on the door to the stairs earlier this year, I suggested we meet on the 1st floor, which happens to have an exhibition of work from people in the building right now, so they would have stuff to look at.  Fridays are very long work days for me, so Saturdays are often spent recovering from Friday, but I got up at a reasonable hour today, got through the usual morning routine, and gathered some stuff to bring with me.  Planned to leave about an hour before the scheduled meeting, maybe get a little work done, and sat down for a minute.  Next thing I remembered, my phone was ringing, my brother calling to invite me over.  The time- 1 pm, when I was supposed to be in Ocean Grove.  Not good.  Tried calling the office, maybe they could let my visitors know I was on the way, but usually no one there on a weekend.  So I got in my car and got up there as fast as I could.  Perhaps they would have spent time looking at the show.  Perhaps taken advantage of the nice weather, go for a walk and come back.  Perhaps gave up and left.  Hoped for the best and got it.

Went straight to the 1st floor, saw and man and woman, and they turned out to be my expected guests.  I apologized for my lateness, but they were good about it, having spent some time looking at my prints on the wall, and wanted to talk about those.  I know all those stories well, so no problem.  Eventually they wanted to see the Studio, and the elevator was the most efficient route from where we were, so we took that and I led them through the bowels of the building to my space.  There they had the opportunity to see some finished prints (both black and white and colored), and lots of the blocks, which are all stored there.  Her cousin (Steven I believe) brought a small portfolio of his own prints (both woodcut and wood engraving), sketches, and other related things he had done.  We talked about those, and some print stuff in general, but mostly they were interested in my work and the process.  Some of what I do is very traditional for a process that hasn't changed much in 1000 years, but I've also developed some unusual techniques over the past few decades, so I was able to share some of that as well.  (same as I would do for my college students, or my local students, or even on this blog)  Is he going to try any of this stuff in his own art? They talked of coming back for he spring print show, and if so maybe I'll find out then.  Around 3 pm they had to leave to get to their next planned location, so I helped them though the basement to the main stairway and made sure they found their way out.  Then back to the Studio to straighten out the disorder from the visit, and home before going out to my brother's house.  All in all a very pleasant day.  It would have been very unfortunate if I had missed it, so I'm glad I was woken up in time.


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