"Dancing At Flatbed", that's the title Maricela Sanchez gave to her suite of monotypes created earlier this year at Flatbed Press. Since that time she has been back to Flatbed three times, each time making work more and more saturated with color and shapes. Monotypes are prints that are created as unique prints unusually by pressing the paper against an inked surface. The ink can be applied to the surface so that that images and designs will transfer to the paper. Making monotypes is not a "one-time-through" process for Marcy; she builds her prints with multiple layers of colors and inked hand-cut stencils that resonate with the shapes in her paintings and relief sculpture.
I like to watch Marcy and her printers, Tracy Mayrello, lead printer, and Heather Parrish, assistant printer work. This collaborative printing is so much like a dance: Marcy painting, rolling, or moving from inking tables to press to place the stencils; Tracy mixing inks, rolling, lifting, consulting all the while; Heather rolling, moving plates, and blotting papers. Each of the three moves in unison and separately toward the unified purpose of creating the next layer to the print. The printers place the paper into place over the inked plate and stencils; the press pulls the bed forward with a steady hum under the steady pressure of the blankets and roller. When the bed is on the other side of the roller, the blankets are lifted and the paper peeled off the plate and stencils. The three gather and lift the inky, wet print from the bed. Surprise and admiration erupt. “Beautiful!”
It is our pleasure to introduce artists to the monotype process. Flatbed has package plans for artists wanting to create monotypes. Artists do not have to have any experience making monotypes because our experienced printers handle the technical skill of making it happen. We strive to fit every process that we use to the artist's natural way of working, seeing, and thinking. Consider this an invitation to the dance!
Katherine Brimberry, master printer, Flatbed Press