- NANCY ENGSTAD
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- THE THREADS PROJECT 2001-2007
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As can be read in my blog post The Threads Project: Crown Point Press, the intention for beginning “The Threads Project” was to create work which blurred the boundaries of art and craft. One important method of doing this was discovered when I took an etching workshop at Crown Point Press in 2001. When I realized that some of my hand-dyed cloth appeared quite similar to the surface of aquatint and other etchings I decided to pair works featuring etching and cloth. (The origin of the the breakthrough idea to use pairs came during a visit in 2000 to Santa Fe and Conlan-Siegal Gallery, soon to be a re-located as William Siegal Gallery , and can be read about in my blog Page THREADS AT CROWN POINT PRESS.)
I had also attended a small evening workshop at the San Francisco Center For The Book led by Howard Munson. This was a casual gathering which gave the opportunity to discuss ideas and work using book forms. Howard showed us one of his books in which he used a device that later was important to the work developed at Crown Point Press. He blind-embossed pages which created a “well”, a kind of framing device and receptacle for prints he had made from paintings I believe. This brilliant method provided a way to insert illustrations along with the text in a way which gave importance to the image and acted as a mat would in a framed presentation.
This method, along with experiments using thread as the subject, medium, and concept led to the creation of unique works. Each, even though in a series, is one-0f-a-kind by nature of the process of using individual pieces of fabric or because of the experimental nature of them.The post give a survey of the ideas with examples. This page will serve as a more cohesive gallery of the work.
The first image gallery shows the beginning of pairing cloth and etching using the chine colle process to adhere under the pressure of the press along with a paired etching using normal inking, wiping and printing of the copper plate. ” Rust I”,left,is the first using pairs with the press. The next, right, “Bound Resist”, uses two pieces of cloth that were tied and “dyed” with airbrush ink, then adhered to the paper under the press. “Tulle I” and “Tulle II” pair a chine-colle work using tulle (bridal veil material) which popped off the silk used to chine colle. The mate has a “well” in which I sewed the rejected tulle collage. The next image is “Small Tulle”, a soft-ground etching discarded by my colleague Joe Novak and re-purposed as a ground for a chine colle-applied collage of tulle and thread. “Threads: Tangle” uses a pair of etchings, left, a soft-ground showing a thread-like image, and right, a completely dark aquatint (both discarded by Joe Novak-“trashed etchings”, used with permission.) Using the thread imagery I added hand-sewn threads to both.
Beginning with “One Red”, these are etchings which have been used as a “ground” for added painted imagery or other manipulation of the impression, taking advantage as well of the platemark which acts as a framing device.
The last image, “Entwine” is a spit-bite aquatint etching, a “straight” etching without manipulation of any kind but with a thread-like imagery. “Matrix” uses the same plate paired with another of similar size and hand-colored with colored pencil.
(By virtue of the processes, all pieces are unique or “one-of-a-kind”.)
Many of these images appear in my book documenting “The Threads Project”, What The Surface Reveals-The Threads Project 2001-2007, which can be seen in its entirety at the Blurb.com Bookstore.