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Episode 46
Miranda Metcalf

  • 2 min read

Episode Description

A discussion with Miranda Metcalf, founder and host of “Hello, Print Friend”, a podcast with over 130 episodes dedicated to the celebration and amplification of printmaking and its culture. In our conversation Miranda provides a historical context for printmaking, its advances, the culture around the medium and advice for the aspiring collector.


Craig: [00:00:09] This is Art Sense, a podcast focus on educating and informing listeners about the past, present and future of art. I'm Craig Gould. On today's episode, I speak with Miranda Metcalf, founder and host of "Hello, Print Friend", a podcast with over 130 episodes dedicated to the celebration and amplification of printmaking and its culture. In our conversation, Miranda provides a historical context for printmaking, its advances, the culture around the medium and advice for the aspiring collector. And now a conversation with our "print friend" Miranda Metcalf.

Craig: [00:00:58] Miranda Metcalf, thank you so much for joining me this week on the Art Sense podcast. Miranda, you are a podcaster, one of the hosts of "Hello, Print Friend". How would you describe your podcast to someone who's never listened to it?

Miranda: [00:01:14] Yes. Yeah. First of all, thank you so much, Craig, for the invite. This is, I think, my first time being on the other side of the mic, and I'm really looking forward to it. I think it'll give me insight into being a better podcast host. But yeah, it's a good question. So "Hello, Print Friend" is a podcast dedicated to the celebration and amplification of printmaking and its culture. But kind of what does that mean, right? So printmaking just in general, it's sort of an umbrella term know maybe even a contentious term within the art world. So you're looking at something that's going to encompass really, really traditional woodcut technique, you know, something you're seeing going back 3,000 years and to China, you know, for some people up into 3D printmaking or digital printmaking. So it encompasses a lot of different kinds of art making, object making within the world. And sort of to that end, the way I say it is, I talked to artists who are using print media and some part of their practice, and that, of course, is also a very broad umbrella. But in the end, the result is just I look for people who are doing really interesting work, who have an interesting story to tell, and they have some connection to printmaking. And that usually means that they tend to be very sociable. Printmaking tends to happen in social environments, in workshops and studios, and they tend to be people who like to tell stories, which of course is how we understand and process our world. Yeah.
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Craig: [00:03:07] Maybe that's a good place to start is just in terms of the culture, right? Because there seems to be a printmaking culture. And I know that some artists practice in a very monastic way. They're very insulated. They're in their studio by themselves. It seems like the printmaking community, it's almost like it's almost like the old fashioned quilting bees, right? That there are these shared resources and people come in, help each other with their work. And there's all of this back and forth and camaraderie. Am I am I getting that right? Like, what is your impression of the community?

Miranda: [00:03:51] Yeah, absolutely. I think that's pretty spot on. So printmaking, you know, the traditional forms of printmaking, you're looking at woodcut, which I already mentioned, etching, which involves using acid to manipulate copper plates, lithography, which is kind of a whole beast to itself. That's sort of a chemical process that's done on limestone traditionally, but they use plates as well these days. And then something like screen printing, which I think many people will be familiar with if they think about screen printing t shirts or gig posters or something like that. But one of the things that all of these processes have in common is that they either require or it makes it much easier to have really specialized equipment, you know, acid baths or particular presses that can print and produce the pressure at these really, really high levels to get a very clean image, very detailed image because of the need for this specialized equipment, printmakers tend to gather in groups and then I think has a couple of effects on the culture. First and foremost, you get a little bit of self selection. If there are someone out there who enjoys more of, as you say, the monastic form of art making, they're maybe not going to be drawn to an art process in which they need to be around other people, in which they need to share resources and dialog and be in a shared space and be in a space where maybe not everyone cleans up after themselves in the fashion or in the time frame that they would prefer. And then I think it also then kind of on the other side of that coin creates a space where you get a lot of dialog among the artists, you know, just kind of by the natural fact that they are in a shared community.

Miranda: [00:05:40] They're there making sometimes they're making it odd hours. A lot of printmakers also have day jobs as professors or gallerists or preparers or who knows what else. And so you might be there at eleven at night and you're looking at your work of art and you're saying, "why doesn't this work? What's going on here." And, well, you've got some friends near you who you can turn to and you can say, "Hey, why isn't this working?" And that also tends to mean that it's a very kind of communal process. And then one more point on that, which I think is super exciting about the medium of printmaking, because it's this gathering space, because it's this ability for most print forms, you get to make the multiple. It tends to be a place where you see sort of political action and you see socially engaged artists kind of coming together, sharing in dialog about the causes that mean something to them and then that they are producing art around. They can produce protest posters or things that...fliers, you know, things that that kind of help get the word out. And that's something that's really integral to the tradition of printmaking in Western culture, you know, going back into the 16th century and the Reformation, I mean, all of that's connected to printmaking and it's a through line of artists gathering together, sharing thoughts, sharing ideas, and occasionally sharing politics as well.

Craig: [00:07:05] You know, Gutenberg's Printing Press. That was really kind of the fire that lit the Renaissance because you're now able to share ideas, make multiples and light that grass fire, right.

Miranda: [00:07:19] And standardized information. You know, you have all of a sudden a way to standardize something as basic as the human anatomy. You know, it wasn't just one month copying from another monk, coming from another monk. All of a sudden, humanity can come to an agreement of what the human body looks like inside and out, which, of course, as you say, you know, fuels some of the incredible art that we see in the Renaissance in Europe.

Craig: [00:07:48] So you're obviously passionate about printmaking. What was your personal journey?

Miranda: [00:07:54] Yeah, definitely. And I kind of love that question because that's definitely a question I ask the guests on my podcast. How did printmaking come into your life? When does printmaking move your story? So without going back too far for me, I had a bit of a winding academic path, didn't really know what I wanted to do, went to a few different colleges, did community college, which I absolutely adore community colleges. I think they're so important. I will always be a champion for them because when you're kind of when you're a kid who doesn't know really what they want to do, you can take courses for hundreds of dollars, not thousands of dollars while you're figuring it out, which is wonderful. But I ended up at the University of Washington studying philosophy and specifically studying the philosophy of art. And I really enjoyed that. I had a great advisor, Professor Ronald Moore, and just enjoyed the totally indulgent navel gazing that an undergrad and philosophy could do. And then, as my dad said, "with an undergrad in philosophy, you can't really go work at the philosophy factory," So I decided that for my graduate work I choose something more practical. Practical, of course, being relevant.

Miranda: [00:09:10] And I went into art history because that, of course, there are jobs on the other side of it, whether it's auction houses, museums, commercial galleries, academia, that kind of thing. So I went into art history and I just got really, really lucky in that my advisor happened to be an expert in 16th century printmaking, and I worked with her because I really liked her scholarship. But printmaking hadn't really even entered my mind. I didn't really know it was a thing that existed before then. So when I was reading her papers and the ways that she works, her name is Dr. Pia Cuneo. She has great papers, particularly around horses and equine culture in the 16th century. So if that's of interest to anyone, definitely look up Pia Cuneo. But I didn't, I didn't really connect that they were all etchings and engravings. And so once I actually got in and got to take the classes from her and got to take the seminar classes for her, I just really started to understand how fundamentally this way of producing visual information and of course in some cases textual information as well, those in art and I had to focus on the visuals a bit, truly changed the course of history.

Miranda: [00:10:26] And it just I loved it. I loved that it was a bit of a medium of the people that you're looking at art that could be collected by the middle class, by the merchant class. You're not seeing these grand oil paintings of these prince and princesses that you might never have interacted with if you had lived back then. These were papers that showed sex, they showed jokes, they showed politics. They showed the nitty gritty of the lived experiences of people, sort of day-to-day in history. And I think that's what really drew me to the medium and just really fell in love with it. And I kind of fell into contemporary printmaking by it's just where I ended up getting my job. After graduating, I ended up working at Davidson Galleries in Seattle, which is amazing print gallery, and I think at the time they had about 20,000 works on paper, about 9,000 of which were contemporary prints. And I dove in and kind of got to fall in love with living print culture, which in its root, you know, as we've already sort of touched on, actually holds some of those seeds still that historical printmaking does.

Craig: [00:11:40] So since you're an art historian or you've studied art history in this particular field, what is the history of collaboration or how the technology migrated? Right, because like, you know, in certain art forms, we see like the influence of the Silk Road, bringing pigments from one area to another. And this particular pottery wouldn't have been blue if the trade hadn't been, you know, going back and forth. And did all of this printmaking kind of grow up independent of each other? I mean, did people kind of realize this the same time, or was their sharing of information and processes and one culture influencing another?

Miranda: [00:12:26] Yeah, absolutely. That's a really good question, because printmaking does have this interesting intersection with technology. And of course, you know, as you spoke to many, many different forms, do even oil painting, you know, which I think was a very traditional, almost sort of static form. You know, there was a lot of tech, of course, that went into the colors and the formulation and the longevity. And so but printmaking, because it really has a lot of cases, a real mechanical element to it. You know, if you think of a printing press, there are 16th century prints of a printing press that looks very much like what you would find in any print maker studio today. So we also have really almost machines involved as well, which is really interesting and just kind of give you a little bit sense of of the timeline of printmaking is, as I think I mentioned, woodcut is what we think of sort of coming first in the, you know, having its roots in China about 3000 years ago. If you think of kind of stamping you know even now on if you imagine like a beautiful Chinese scroll painting there's that little red square, that's a woodcut. And then from there, you get engraving and then sort of etching, lithography and then silkscreen. And some of them have pretty big jumps that maybe even sort of decades where you might see engraving appear in Germany and let's say the 1400s. And then really the etching, you're not going to see maybe until about a hundred years later, you're going to see artists like Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt, you know, these big names, you know these big household names, really utilizing the techniques, Aqua Tint, which is the way that you come up with sort of tonalities in etching.

Miranda: [00:14:32] So that's sort of to create rather than create your light and your shadow and your grays by cross-hatching or creating lines that are that are closer and closer together. Instead, you can actually create sort of like a, like a dust almost, that can create that. You're going to see that a little bit later, sort of very famously used by Goya, you know, another household name. And then things really change when you get to lithography. And Sonnenfelder is the famous inventor of lithography. You're looking at the very end of the 18th century on that. And this is a process that really uses chemicals, as I alluded to earlier. So rather than I'm shoving my ink into grooves or I'm laying it actually on top of what's left in a woodcut, I'm using basically a sticky crayon that it gets etched into a limestone and the ink just sticks to the sticky crayon and not the smooth limestone. And at that point, you have the capacity to produce editions in the thousands. And so this is when printmaking really comes around for commercial use. If you can think of, let's say, the posters of Toulouse-Lautrec, you know, those are going to be beautiful, beautiful lithographs. And then finally, you know, screen printing. Which I actually don't know exactly when screen printing came around, I would guess maybe the early 20th century. I'm not as familiar.

Craig: [00:16:05] It seems like the chemical process there does seem like something of the 20th century, though, right?

Miranda: [00:16:11] It does. And it's sort of an interesting question because I think, you know, essentially screen printing is just stenciling. Right. So it's like, okay, are we are we calling it stenciling? Like, when does it become screen printing? But then, of course, that has the overlap a bit as well in commercial work too, because again, it has this capacity for really high editions where something like an etching or drypoint or a mezzotint, which is another process that I didn't even get to. But you know, all of those you're really going to start to see that the matrix, you know, it holds the ink degrade long before you can get something that's going to be really high enough to, let's say, advertise the Dancing Girls of Paris.

Craig: [00:16:59] I feel like there's a little bit of a dichotomy in that. On one hand, we can think of this as being technological innovations throughout history in terms of being able to make these reproductions. But, you know, a lot of times when I think of printmaking now, I think of it as being very much kind of a hands on handmade craft. And are we still open to technological innovation within printmaking?

Miranda: [00:17:30] Yeah, for sure. And I think that that's actually something that maybe is maybe contentious is a little bit too strong of a word, but that maybe can kind of divide contemporary printmakers where there are some that really are really interested in those traditional techniques that I just listed and kind of anything outside of that box, that's great, but maybe it's not printmaking, but then you have artists who are really kind of pushing the boundary, and that might be, let's say, using a laser cut to etch your wood to create a print. So that's done with technology not by hand. Or you might. You know, write a program that, let's say, listens to the vibrations of bees, wings and a hive that then translates that into a certain chemical process for acid that you would then use to create an abstract impression on an etching plate and print a series of those. And then it's sort of like an action that was made by bees. You know.

Craig: [00:18:35] I'm totally enamored by that thought. So who who is doing that? Or is that just is that your idea?

Miranda: [00:18:43] No. Oh, so the bees was just an example. But but there's there's a few places in the world that you really they're studying in depth. There's a there's a lot of this more esoteric printmaking, as you can probably imagine, happens in academic settings. And although there are individual artists who are certainly kind of pushing the boundaries. One of them is the Center for Print Research. This is in Bristol in the U.K. And this is a higher education center that really focuses on coming to understand what printmaking is. What do we consider printmaking? How do traditional and digital techniques reflect each other? So if anyone's interested in kind of this technological and mechanical boundary pushing, that is a great way to get into that, is to sort of look at their resources. And then the other one is the Expanded Media and Alfred University. And this is a wonderful, very well funded program within the United States that really looks like all of the aspects of printmaking. How do you form a print? How does it interact with other kinds of technology? And the the professor who runs that is Professor Joseph Scheer, and he does these really, really, absolutely incredible prints of moths like and they're these really large scale scans of moths.

Miranda: [00:20:20] So he he raises moths in Alfred, New York, which, as you can imagine, requires a fair amount of heat lamps. And then he scans them with this this special technology scanner. So it's not taking a photo of them. It's scanning them at different depths. So they're all in the same focus and extremely high resolution and then creates these kind of mind bogglingly detailed, larger and more, more detailed than a photograph could be prints. And so, again, that's that's again, we're kind of pushing the definition perhaps of printmaking. But but for only some people, you know, again, it's like it's definitely there's not like an agreed upon way we think about it. But yeah. Joseph Scheer is an artist in particular who's really looking at how do we create these works? Or he'll be doing photo etchings on this precious, precious handmade paper from China. And of course, the way paper interacts with printmaking is, is it's a whole nother story. But yeah, so there are those are the two I can think of the the Center for for Print Research and the Expanded Media Center. Both of those do really interesting work when it comes to really pushing some of the philosophical and technological boundaries of printmaking.

Craig: [00:21:42] One of my guests earlier in the podcast was this amazing oil painter named Vincent Valdez. And one of the things he he talks about our conversation was how he had a very transformative experience doing this printmaking residency in Berlin. And when I talk to artists, painters or choose your media, you mentioned printmaking and their eyes kind of light up and then they're like, you know, I really want to do more printmaking, but it's almost like you have to be in the right circle for it to kind of come together, right?

Miranda: [00:22:20] Yeah. Yeah. Well, I'm happy to hear that there are artists out there saying that they want to do more printmaking, like send them my way. I can make introductions because I think that everyone should be doing printmaking. And so I think that that's really where a good entry point for them would be. This whole other side of printmaking we haven't even chatted about yet, which is the tradition of the collaborative printmaker. And so these are people who are who are really highly trained in the technical skills of printmaking, whether that's lithography or etching or woodcut and or screenprint. And what will happen is that artists will will come to them and they'll say, hey, I really want to make a lithograph, but I don't know how to do that. And they're like, great, welcome to Black Rock Editions and Santa Fe. We know lithographs. We have made lithographs with everyone from Chuck Close to Kara Walker. Wow. You're in the right place. And so that artist would come in and they would draw on a stone kind of guided by the collaborative printmaker. They used to be called the master printmaker, but the language is changing a bit to collaborative printmaker, and the artist draws on the stone.

Speaker2: [00:23:35] They understand how to create different drawings for different layers of color, and then they work together with the printmakers to produce what they call an artist's proof, which is the one that they look at and they say, Great, you know, like this is sort of traditionally it might be the artist's proof or called a bone theory, which is I think basically it's like good to go or good to print. And it's the one that all the other prints in the edition are held to. They all have to look like that. And so then the artist leaves and the collaborative printmaker and their team produce the edition. The artist comes back, signs off on a reprint and signs it. And that's a really great way for artists who are really established in other media, and that doesn't even have to be visual media. I know that Black Rock Editions and Landfall Press have worked with singers and musicians like Terry Allen did a whole suite with them. And so it's, you know, artists from many different media can come and produce a series, produce an addition with that studio or with the workshop. And then usually what happens is that the artist gets a few proofs or half the edition, or maybe they're paid for it.

Miranda: [00:24:56] It works in all kinds of different ways economically, but in the end, usually the studio keeps some that they can sell and the artist keeps some that they can sell or get to their gallery to sell. And it's a really wonderful way to kind of democratize the ability to collect work as well. Like, for instance, like Laurie, Laurie Hogin, who does this amazing oil paintings of these just absolutely fantastical animals that are so detailed with their fur and and they're brilliantly colored. I could never afford an oil, but I'm sitting in my home right now and I'm looking at a gorgeous, colorful lithograph with deep blues and olive greens and just buttery yellows. That's two rabbits sort of sitting on a table, snarling at the camera. It's a very funny idea. Forever, rabbit snarling. But that's what they're doing. They're snarling at me. I got it for $700 for Black Rock Edition and I could pay it off one time, you know? I mean, this is this is the kind of collecting that people who are middle class or in the arts themselves can actually do. And that's another reason that printmaking is great.

Craig: [00:26:07] So it's obvious that a lot of people start their art collecting that way. Right. So if someone were looking at collecting prints, what should they be looking for? What what should they keep in mind?

Miranda: [00:26:22] Yeah. So I think one of the things to keep in mind, which is sort of like the big unfortunate red flag, is the fact that in the English language, we don't have a word to distinguish a print, which is that like this is my print of the Mona Lisa and this is my print, which is an original Laurie Hogin lithograph that doesn't exist in reference to any other image. It is by its nature an original multiple that was hand-drawn, hand-drawn on the matrix by the artist. And so there are dealers who take advantage of that fact. So they might say, oh, this is a this is a print and it's worth $100. But the thing is, that's really people kind of lose sight of is that what we call reproduction prints, ones that are just sort of after something else for the most part with very, very, very few exceptions. They're worth the paper that they're printed on because they're not an original work of art. They are a reproduction. Whereas someone who's making a print that was originally designed from the ground up to be an original multiple, it could be inspired by a painting. Often they carry similar esthetics to the artist's, you know, painting or sculpture or music. But that work of art is an original work of art and therefore will hold its value and increase in value in relation to the artist's career, the way unique works. So that's kind of like the first big caveat is just make sure that what you're purchasing is, is an original print and really unfortunately they'll even use the language original print. So the best way to do it is go to a good dealer, go to a dealer that you trust that has a good reputation and who hopefully has a pretty good print portfolio. Yeah. And that's sort of the first thing to look for.

Craig: [00:28:26] Who would be a go-to in terms of a gallery that or a dealer that if somebody were interested in kind of exploring this as as a field of collecting who's somebody that's trustworthy or is there is there a place where somebody could go and see kind of a list of names?

Miranda: [00:28:46] Yes, very good question. Yeah. So the answer is yes, thank goodness. So people are really looking for a definitive list of people who are great dealers. Either they're working in contemporary prints with the morals of using the original prints, or they're working in historical prints or and or working in historical prints that are really well researched with good provenance and, and reflected in catalog. Raisonné is and you can find that list at the International Fine Print Dealers Association. and this is an organization that I think it's been around maybe around 50 years now. Don't quote me on that. Time is going by so quickly now. I don't know. I thought 2015 was two years ago in an earlier conversation today. But it's very well established. It's been around for decades and it's actually a very rigorous process to get in and to get the stamp of being an IFPDA dealer, you need to be nominated by a member who's already in there. You need to sort of have a really established profile of selling under the moral and economic guidelines that I've sort of outlined. And you'll get a list of international dealers there, which is great. You know, you'll see Davidson Galleries that I worked at before, but you're also going to find who in Tokyo fits under that umbrella, who in Bangkok does? Who in London? So no matter where you are in the world, you'd hopefully be able to find a dealer who's not too far away from you, who you can really trust.

Miranda: [00:30:31] The work coming out of there. Another thing to do and this, there may be some overlap on this list, but look to the collaborative printmaking studios, Landfall Press, Black Rock Editions, Flatbed Press, High Point Center for Printmaking, Crown Point in San Francisco. Oh, gosh. I'm sure I'm alienating a bunch of people with leaving out the the Chicago Fine Printmakers, Hoofprint Prints in Chicago. There's so many. There may even be one in a listener's home city. And these are artists who do the kind of collaborative printmaking, the working side by side with artists that I mentioned earlier. And a lot of those most of those also are dealers themselves that sell from the editions that they've created. And that can be an incredible way to get work from artists at really reasonable price points that, you know, the artists had a direct hand in creating an immediate relationship to the matrix, which is what we call it, what the image sits on. And, and particularly because these are people who just are so passionate about the medium that they they wouldn't sell it, you know, they wouldn't sully their names by creating something that's not original.

Craig: [00:31:54] So what about Tandem Press? I know they're part of University of Wisconsin, but are they also considered a collaborative workshop?

Miranda: [00:32:01] Yeah. Yeah. So that's that's sort of a way in which like Tamarind down here in New Mexico, where I am, Tandem up in Wisconsin, these are two incredibly, incredibly respected institutions for doing collaborative printmaking that also falls into a teaching model. So the students who are going to go to those schools and work in those centers, they're going to look to be collaborative printmakers when they grow up and go out into the world. And so you might have this incredible experience as an undergrad or a graduate student to go to tandem press and create a print with someone like David Lynch, you know, and and work side by side and understand. And they usually have a sort of a collaborative printmaker on staff who is the is the main touchpoint for these collaborations, you know, not just letting students walk in with Alison Saar and you know, but making sure that there's the professional there. But yeah, both of those are really wonderful institutions that also work as bases to produce new collaborative printmakers to go out in the world and start their own studios.

Craig: [00:33:22] What is the one print that if you if money was no object and you could get your hands on one, who's the particular artist or the particular piece that you think you would really covet the most?

Miranda: [00:33:37] Oh, my gosh, I only get one.

Craig: [00:33:40] Okay. You can't give me a you can give me a handful. Sure. I mean...

Miranda: [00:33:43] Maybe I can do kind of a like a historical and contemporary. Sure, I could. If I can be a fan, I would say I would love truly to get a wood cut of Albrecht Durer's rhino. It's an image that many people may know, even though they may not know that they know it. And it's part of it is such a wonderful story about how. The power of an image speaks to its longevity and how you get to see this this rhino, which is very inaccurate. It's a very inaccurate rhino.

Craig: [00:34:27] It's incredibly inaccurate.

Miranda: [00:34:29] Horn in the wrong place. Durer never saw a rhino. He was working off a description of someone else.

Craig: [00:34:34] It looks like it's wearing a suit of armor. Right. I mean.

Miranda: [00:34:38] Yeah, exactly. It's have these crazy plates. It's got feet that are just like it's a very odd image if you know what a rhino looks like. But even after more accurate images of rhinos were came into the kind of the public visual lexicon, you see this image of rhino persistent. You see it showing up in China. China is in porcelain. But although I'm sure it went to the country as well in the 19th century, because it's just such a wonderful image and it's just it's gorgeous, it's bizarre. It's an incredible piece of history and natural history. So I would yeah, I would love to get my hands on one of those that come up at Sotheby's and Christie's every once in a while for goodness knows how much money. But it is a really wonderful piece. And then it's funny, I think. I might be tipping my hat a little bit in terms of the kind of art that I really love, which is I love sort of historical work and I love animals and I love animals and art. I wrote my thesis on a turkey.

Craig: [00:35:57] You love snarling rabbits, right?

Miranda: [00:35:59] I love snarling rabbits. Exactly. Like I just I just absolutely love them. So if I was looking for a contemporary work, I'd probably get a Walton Ford etching that was produced at Wingate Studio. He does just some incredible, some of them quite large, just absolutely beautiful, multicolored, detailed, bizarre images of animals getting to all kinds of trouble that often sell for at least six figures. But I would yeah, I would love a Walton Ford etching from Wingate Studio or a rhino. So if there's any patrons and fans of Hello Print Friend out there want to send me a thank you gift? That's a great place to start. Yeah.

Craig: [00:36:48] Hello, Print Friend is available wherever you find podcasts, right?

Miranda: [00:36:53] Yeah, yeah. Wherever fine podcasts are sold.

Craig: [00:36:55] Yeah. Then I see you on Instagram, which is, I guess another question because your Instagram feed is just kind of like one pool after another, which is just such clickbait. I mean, what is what is it about pulling a print that is just so satisfying? I mean, it's satisfying to watch, but, you know, even just like doing it, it's just really. What's so magical about that?

Miranda: [00:37:25] So it's actually a really interesting question because I will be in studios with just, you know, old hands, old guard printmakers, who have just been doing this for truly since before I was born. And that moment when you put the final color on, you put the key plate. It's usually black. It's the final plate for the litho. It's the final block for the woodcut. It's the final plate for the etching. And it comes through the press and you go the other side and you pull it back. There's still a moment, this like pregnant moment of like tension and release, but this palpable in the print studio where everyone's like "aaah" like seeing it come. You could learn about kind of that. Why, in the incredible lectures by Jennifer Roberts, she was the 70th annual Mellon Lecture Series hosted by, I think, the National Gallery. And she did it in, I believe it was early 2021. So kind of unfortunately, there is a pandemic going on. But also, fortunately, she did them all from her home computer with great lighting and great sound. And so they're still archived. And it's a series of lectures about printmaking and one of...and she divides it up in really interesting ways, not just by medium, which is kind of the classic way. But she dives into this question of the magic of the pull of the print, and she points out in those lectures that printmaking, the actual image creation, no matter what the medium, it's invisible to us. It's unseen. When it goes through the printing press you can't see it and then you see it. And that's where part of that that that little bit of tension and then release where and that and that it's almost an instant gratification where you don't have a completed image. It's a few seconds through the printing press. It comes out the other side. The image sort of pulls back in this beautiful way as you lift up the paper. And underneath it is a finished work of art. And there's not really anything that's kind of analogous to that. I think, you know, maybe a ceramicist might say, well, that's why I feel pulling work out of the kiln. And I could see that as well. But I think there's something particular about that, that peel because as you say, that the Hello, Print Friend Instagram page is almost entirely people peeling back print after print and it never gets old. I have friends who are not printmakers who don't know anything about printmaking, who say like they'll just fall into it for hours or watch it if they can't sleep. Because it's just it has this this sort of magic to it that I think that it's the act of creating the image is hidden and then revealed. And that's just it's just candy.

Craig: [00:40:23] Oh, absolutely. And, you know, it's funny, there are a number of things in the art studio that are that way. You know, whether you're mixing mixing particular colors on an oil palette or people are mesmerized when you use a wire to cut clay. Right.

Miranda: [00:40:42] Right.

Craig: [00:40:42] Yeah. It's just like, oh, my gosh, that looks so satisfying. Right. But I don't think there's quite anything like like that pull because it's, you know, it's this revelation. And, you know, for us, it's like, what am I going to see? But for the the person who's been laboring, it's like, did it really all come together? Was everything really registered correctly or is this when I have to start over from scratch? Right. And is there a website if people wanted to to find you or find your Patreon?

Miranda: [00:41:18] Yeah. Yeah. So we're just at And something that we touched on at the very beginning but didn't explicitly say is, is I'm one of the hosts. It's a bilingual podcast so that the Spanish speaking world has an incredible tradition of printmaking and mind bogglingly talented artists. And so kind of early on, I invited Reinaldo Gil Zambrano recently after he was on the show as a guest. I was just I called him up and was like, I need you as a host. Because I think that getting that archive and getting those stories from Spanish speaking print fans is so great. And so you'll find the Spanish episodes as well as the English episodes. They come, they get you get one a week. So and if you are a bilingual print friend, that means you get two a week. And there we have a really good time, which tend to be really nice people and we talk about all kinds of things outside of printmaking as well. You know, their life history, their story, their art, their struggles, their triumphs, their trials and tribulations. And I think they're really fun to listen to. And you can find that archive of I believe it's 130 episodes at this point, 132, and we've got more recorded and more recording planning.

Miranda: [00:42:53] So it should be we're hitting 150 here pretty soon and as well as our Patreon, which helps keeps the lights on. Which is ironic to say because I record all the episodes in my closet with the lights off because it doesn't have a light, but it's yeah. And most importantly, like you get to see the work of the artists and their stories, you can kind of search. And we actually just launched a video series for Reinaldo and his wife Ashley traveled around the entire country doing studio visits and creating really lovely little shorts. I think they're all about 10 minutes long of visits with printmakers in their studio, seeing their work as well. So there's a videos tab as well. We're releasing one of those once a month we got up to right now. We'll be doing the third one shortly and yeah, lots of resources plays you you can reach me, you can reach Reinaldo, you can reach my in-house editor and husband Tim and you can reach our wonderful intern Elizabeth, who does the transcribing of all of our episodes so they can be referenced more easily. And, of course, that they can be accessible for desperate friends, which is important too. So, yeah, it's all there.

Craig: [00:44:14] Well, it's been a real pleasure. Miranda, I really appreciate your time. And it is just so obvious talking to you how passionate you are about printmaking. And it's just it's great talking to anyone who's that passionate about what they've got their hands in. And so I really appreciate your time.

Miranda: [00:44:34] Yeah, I'm so happy that we met and got to have the conversation. These were great questions and really fun to talk about. So it was...the time just kind of flew by because yeah, as this is sort of obvious, it is my favorite thing to talk about. And maybe I'm immediately after my dogs. Yeah.

Craig: [00:45:04] That's all the time we have for this week. You've been listening to Art since you can find the show on Apple Podcast, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher Radio, Spotify or your favorite podcast app. If you've enjoyed this podcast, be sure to subscribe. And while you're there, please rate the show and leave a quick review. Your feedback is the key to other folks finding us. And if you'd like to see images related to the conversation, read the transcript and find other bonus features. You can go to And click on the podcast tab. If you'd like to reach out to me. You can email me at Thanks for listening.

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