LIVING THE POTATO PRINT DREAM
One of the most fun aspects of getting ready for a craft show is working on the final touches. These are the craftier aspects of art that don't usually figure into the bulk of my work. They are the things I enjoy doing but rarely make the time to do. They are also things that I make for no other reason than the fact that they're really, really cute.
Printmaking is my big, crafty endeavor these last couple of weeks. I've been printing bags, labels, and a giant tablecloth in preparation for the Wampus Wonderland, and it has ink under my fingernails and my arthritis nagging. Could I buy a tablecloth for my booth? Sure, but it wouldn't be me without a bit of extra effort. I like things that you can't find just anywhere, and printing all of these things myself definitely fits the bill.
The best part about printing my tablecloth is that it's the absolute, unfanciest thing I've made. I got the idea for the tablecloth from one of my favorite books, Print Workshop: Hand-printing Techniques + Truly Original Projects by Christine Schmidt. The technique, though, came from watching Pee-Wee Herman when I was little, or rather from Frankie and Annette on Pee-Wee's Christmas Special. All you need to make a print is a potato, some paint, and something to print on. It takes some time, but it's so easy!
Frankie and Annette making Christmas cards for Pee-Wee.
Image taken from Pee-Wee Herman.
That's the reason I love potato printing: it's easy enough for a 6 year old to do, and it's utilitarian enough that you can use it for just about anything (just the kind of art I'm drawn to!). Potato printing embodies what I wish everyone knew that they can do, which is to make art. It's the reason why I make simple, quick YouTube videos about how to draw a little bit better. That's what I'm going for with my booth coming up in a few weeks; when people see it, I hope that they'll see that art is fun, art is accessible, & that they can do their own fun things that they don't make the time to do.
My tablecloth in process!