Revisiting printmaking

By serendipity I had a chance this summer to pull a couple of prints in, of all places, a Provincial Park on the north shore of L. Superior. I was on a road trip scouting out work opportunities. What a pleasant surprise it was to find in the Agawa Bay campground a notice for a printmaking workshop. I studied printmaking and have an abiding love for the medium, especially Japanese woodblock printing, so couldn’t resist delaying my trip, taking an extra few hours to check out the workshop called “Print Your Own Colour Woodblock Print of Lake Superior Provincial Park.”

Lawrence Pinto and his partner Maria Udo are scientists from the Chicago area who have a camp near Lake Superior Provincial Park and are part of something called the Montreal River Harbour Printmakers Association. Larry has travelled to Japan several times to study traditional woodblock printing technique and loves to share his passion for the medium. Maria is his “able assistant,” herself being more of a craftsperson. (She later showed me a lovely bag she has been knitting… from plastic bags!)

Larry and Maria have developed a unique, highly condensed workshop strategy, coaching participants how to make prints from pre-prepared woodblocks. In a mere 90 minutes, we learned all the elements, tools and techniques needed to successfully make water-based Japanese-style prints. Best of all, everyone completed a print to take home as a souvenir of their travels.