Saturday, June 05, 2010

Colorado or Bust

The Durango to Silverton steam train arrives in Silverton.

Fritz and Jim at the Silverton Station

NA Graphics building in Silverton

Main Street Silverton, Colorado

Bill Starke at the Hyatte Regency in Denver, with his sculpture on the wall in the background.

Three days after I returned from Erin, Ontario I was packed and ready for another trip. The two form rollers on my Vandercook press were looking a bit "long in the tooth", so I decided Carol and I would take a road trip to Silverton, Colorado where NA Graphics is now located. NA Graphics is the company which has taken over the Vandercook press inventory. This trip would give us an opportunity to visit friends and family along the way. We had lived in Denver when I taught at Metropolitan State College for five years. Sculptor, Bill Starke and his wife Judy are still living there. During our stay at Bill Starke's studio, he and his wife Judy took us to the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Denver where we saw his sculpture, The Climbers, installed in the lobby.

Our route to Silverton was west of Pueblo, Colorado and eventually over Monarch Pass, where we drove through a Spring blizzard. Then, before arriving in Silverton, there were miles of tight hair-pin curves to negotiate over other passes. But the occasional jolt of fear that these roads gave us was all worthwhile in the end when we saw the quaint town of Silverton. The next day we met Fritz Klinke, the owner of NA Graphics and we toured the facility. He also took time to show me how to install the bearing blocks for the new rollers. Since Fritz is a narrow gauge steam train enthusiast he was more than happy to take us to the station in time to see the Durango to Silverton steam train come in before we had to leave.

Made of Wood Exhibition

Tim Inkster of Porcupine's Quill Press suggested I enter a competitive exhibition in Erin, Ontario called "Made of Wood". When I looked at examples of entries from prior years and the description of the exhibition, it seemed to me that my use of wood, to create wood engraving prints on paper, would not qualify me to enter. As it turned out, 2010 is the first year wood engraving was included, so I entered and was accepted. There was a weekend event planned in Erin to present examples from the exhibition and to offer demonstrations of the various processes. Wesley Bates and I were scheduled to spend a couple of days at a charming boutique on Erin's Main Street called Renaissance. We were to meet with visitors who wanted to know more about wood engraving. Wesley had brought his antique table top vertical platen press to demonstrate the printing process and I stood around in awe of Wesley's presentation, with very little to offer but moral support. It was a marvelous weekend filled with wonderful people. On my way back to the Toronto airport I stopped in Steinburg to see the McMichael Gallery and to meet Tom Smart. Tom plans to organize an exhibition of wood engravings in 2012 at the McMichael, in which I've been invited to participate.