I mentioned my heart dropping disappointment when I found what I thought was Guerra’s windows covered by a roller shutter. When I left Guerra, those roller shutters were up revealing a truly magical sight. I saw shiny glass objects, quite large and in the most beautiful organic liquid shapes, almost oozing, on the floor, on benches, on shelves. Inside these forms: green, growth – live plants. The space looked like some kind of crazy botanical laboratory. It was the studio of Paula Hayes. I was very tempted to ignore the “by appointment only” and knock on the door, but laden with bags of art stuff, my aching arms meant good manners prevailed.
(c) Sebastiaan Bremer 2008, "Little Silver Breakfast," silver leaf on vintage Yamato paper, 24.5" x 36" image and sheet.
When I visited The Lower East Side Print Shop I admired the print “Little Silver Breakfast” by Sebatiaan Bremer. I was trying to figure out how it had been made, as it was intriguingly described as being made of silver leaf. I gave up, asking Christine Walia who had shown me around if she could please tell me about the process. She looked up the record of the work stating that a patent silver imitation leaf made of aluminium pigment had been brushed onto screenprinted Rhoplex adhesive medium. She also fetched one of the technicians, who talked to me about the process and the artists interest in using unusual pigments. He showed me pulverized rubber from pigment manufacturer, Guerra, down in the East Village which I decided I had to have!
On my art material buying day I headed down there and after having my heart sink because I’d found 510 and the roller shutter was down, I realised I was looking at next door.
Guerra was open and I felt like I’d walked into Aladdin’s Cave.
The seductive sample wall.
On my left, the wall was covered with large samples of the different pigments showing changes in intensity.
I wished I had the skill and patience to make my own printmaking inks. A good-looking man in paint spattered clothes (what else – this place was down and dirty genuine) showed me the pulverised rubber and talked about the pigment business. There are some links to great articles on the Guerra website for more on this.
I was then given a demonstration down the back of the store, of how to use an acrylic medium and a surfactant with the rubber. But I didn’t need a mixture, just the powder. (This sounds like some kind of illicit activity – I swear it was innocent!!)
They have an extensive catalogue to fantasise over (and then order from!) Does anyone else lust after colour and pigments like I do?
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