Jack and Takach

I whole-heartedly believe in taking your kids to work if you can, and sharing that experience with them. I mean, we get to see what their lives are like at school right? So it’s fair that they get to see what our lives are like after we drop them off in the morning and before we pick them up in the afternoon.

Except, I work in a printmaking/papermaking studio. I do have an office where Jackson can sit, out of way of the whirring dremels and cooking fiber and away from the reach of cans of Gamblin ink and bottles of plate oil. But Jackson was never that kid who’d just grab stuff that wasn’t nailed down. Cause if it WAS nailed down THEN HE WOULD GRAB IT. So once Jackson was no longer putting his hands in his mouth all the time, I felt comfortable showing him where I work.

Nevertheless, Jackson is a gadget kid. He likes to move things, see how they work. Gears, pulleys and all that stuff fascinate him. He wants to understand cause and effect. Pull this thing and then that thing over there does something as a consequence. So it’s no wonder that he LOVES to turn the handle of the Takach etching press and the wheel of the French Tool. I yell, I implore, I plead, I give him the STARE. But he still does it. Argh.

This summer Jackson is out of school on Mondays and we are having adventure day. He comes to work with me in the mornings and then we go explore the city in the afternoon. So I figured, hell, if he’s tall enough to ride the kiddie coasters at Coney Island now, then he’s tall enough to learn to print. Right?

Following are images of our first lesson: COLLOGRAPHS! It was an amazing success! Using foam shapes, string and paperclips, he made four small collographs and covered them with gel medium. When the gel was dry, he learned how to hold the brayers and roll out the ink onto the table and then onto his collograph. Then we printed them on the Takach press. This was an opportunity for him to learn that this press means business: how to turn the wheel safely and that it is not a toy.

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My Jack was so proud of his prints that he begged me to show all my friends at work and to let them know that he is an “art studio.”

Next lesson: PRONTO PLATES! Stay tuned!

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