Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Art of Printmaking!

This week is all about printmaking.

Gyspy Woman, 2008

I really got into print making in University when I started making books to sell in markets. I made my own stamps, carved out of "cleancut", which looked like a big sheet of eraser. I got most of the images out of art history textbooks I happen to be studying at the time. When I first began selling the books, the Celtic and Egyptian images sold the fastest When I finally sold my last book, a good six years later, the Chinese ones were flying off the tables, and I couldn't give the Celtic ones away. Kind of like tattoos these days. ; )

How to Make Sushi, 1999

In Taiwan I really got into the prints, and made quite a few images inspired by a Japanese comic book I took away from two little boys in class one day. This sushi print comes from that book. Sadly the other ones are packed away in a box in Canada and so at the moment I have no record of them.

Page from the Cambodia Travel Journal, 2000

Prints crept into my travel journals. This rare little Angkor Wat print is one of the only prints I have ever done where the colour is paint and not collage. (and yes, that's me in amongst the actual ruins!)

Page from the Middle East Travel Journal, 2001

Handprints are prints too! (and a quick way to spice up a page!) this particular page is from my Egypt to Istanbul Journal of 2001.

Middle Eastern Mosque, 2008. I drew this mosque on a bus from Abu Dhabi to Dubai one day and later made it into a print.

In Abu Dhabi, I had some time on my hands in the villa so I started collaging little mosques with gold leaf and acid-free Canson paper. I still have to finish these. So far I've printed only this one, just to see what it would look like. It's very small and precious, fitting in the palm of my hand. Rene loves it more than anything else I have done lately. (I might have to give her one!)

Elle Decor, eat your heart out!
I also made this little belly dancing silhouette. Rene threw it in this frame and it now adorns our little flat here in Istanbul. She's alot of fun. I imagine her wiggling along on silk scarves.

Gyspy Lady trying to find her purpose. 2009.
And on to the Gypsy lady. I drew her out and carved her out of a heavy chunk of Cleencut I carted with me from Canada to the Emirates and now here to Istanbul. She has potential, but the perfect idea hasn't hit us yet. Yes, these prints have become a collaboration between sisters. Generally I do the carving and Rene gets into the printing.

Here is a collaboration:

Islamic Wheels. Originally Carved for the journals I made, but Rene resurrected the carving and made it much better.

And a few prints by Rene. I am a huge Rene Mehrer fan. She's got a chunky, spontaneous feel to her work that I wish I sometimes had. I tend to get right into the perfect details. But she admires me for that, so we really do compliment each other in the end!

Grand Bazaar Coffee pots, 2008

Four pots, 2008

You can see more of Rene's prints over at her blog,

Fall Seeds and Pods, 2009

Wish me luck with the printing this week! I'm off to see the gypsy festival!

XX Melanie


  1. These prints are really beautiful. I really like how you collage the bits of paper for color- it must take you hours to make just one. You must have a lot of patience. Good luck with your show. John Brunnelle (From Pasadena)

  2. what were these books that you mention making? - Boris

  3. All sold, FK. I think Rene might have one kicking around. I'll see if I can find it and photograph it for the next blog. ; )

  4. I am amazed at your work. It is a real treat to see you two work so beautifully together. I love the detail in Fall Seeds and Pods. Is this one still available?
    Jessica Strohmann

  5. Hi Jessica! "The seeds and pods" is Rene's- You can see her work at www.3-beekmanplace.blogspot.com thanks for the comment!!!