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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thank you to Intern Nathan Eclavea!

P.R.I.N.T Press thanks Nathan Eclavea for serving as an intern in fall 2015. A BFA candidate with a major in Printmaking, Nathan worked on several projects:  
Intern Nathan Eclavea working at the press
This semester I interned at P.R.I.N.T Press and from this, I grew as a print maker from the events and tasks that I took part in. I learned a lot from the daily grind, and I know that this experience has given me a better understanding of what it takes to run a professional fine art print shop.

Susan Goethel Campbell was our visiting artist for this semester, one of the many from the program that was started in 2012 at UNT. In order to prepare for her visit, we set up her screw top punch tools, paper, and wood blocks that she had sent to us, so her one week visit could run smoothly. This was the busiest week for me and the other grad students because we were actually helping bring Susan's vision of her prints, to life. Her vivid wood grain blocks, and hole punching tools lead us to an artist lecture from Susan, where I learned more about her process and her work.

Intern Nathan Eclavea (R) works with Graduate Assistant Jessie Barnes (L)
on an edition for Visiting Artist Susan Goethel Campbell
During my time at P.R.I.N.T, I was lucky enough to help host various visitors from CVAD, UNT and the general public to the press. In order to prepare for each visit, we laid out the collection of previous visiting artists' work. During this process, I learned how to properly handle frame prints, meaning I wrapped, unwrapped, and safely placed them back into storage after he left. Visitors included our new President of UNT, Neal Smatresk, his wife, Deborah, and the Dean of the College of Visual Art and Design (CVAD), Greg Watts. We gathered prints that they might have found interesting and displayed them properly on the tables. In preparation for their visit, I had the opportunity to study the collection in hopes for any questions they had.

Intern Nathan Eclavea at the press
My weekly tasks at P.R.I.N.T revolved around cleaning and organizing the shop. While sweeping the vast expanse of the shop I became acquainted with the deep layers of the organized space, which gave me a great appreciation for how the shop was run. I was better able to understand where the tools, interleaving, and foamcore went, and why they were there. I was also tasked with destroying any non usable proofs and misprints left out of the edition from previous visiting artists to guarantee no loose prints. I was asked to destroy about 40 unacceptable impression from the Kiki Smith project. Shredding prints by Kiki Smith was difficult, but destroying the extra prints solidifies the value and trust between press and artist.

During my time at the press we also undertook various repairs and facilities projects. For example, a giant six foot by four foot glass slab sits atop a table that had become warped disabling ink from properly saturating the surface. The Director showed us how to add bumpers and level the entire surface to rectify the problem. This task was arduous, but it showed me that there is so much more to print making than just prints; the facility in which you work, and the people that you work with can either make or break you. Another situation that somewhat sent wrong was the trimming of the tympans. I was taught how to salvage broken tympans by trimming them down. This led me to believe that a print maker has to adapt to their situation, and turn mistakes into progress. I also learned how to make leather straps for a scraper bar. Previously, the shop had only plastic scraper bars, but several master printers had requested that we keep traditional wood and leather scraper bars on hand. I found that being able to cater to the preferences of visiting artists humbled and excited me for future endeavors.

Intern Nathan Eclavea (L) works with Graduate Assistant Sarah Ellis (R)
on an edition for Visiting Artist Susan Goethel Campbell
PRINT Press has taught me so much. I feel so honored to have been chosen to work here with such amazing people, at such an amazing school. I have learned a lot about art, print making, and the creative process. I have so much more understanding of what it takes to make a print beyond a press and a piece of paper.

I would like to thank PRINT press, which would be nothing without the people who run it. This team is made up of exceptionally strong, caring, and hard working women that I have nothing but respect for. Lari Gibbons, director, is the leader of this great press, and I am so thankful that I had her guidance. Laura Drapac, assistant to director, is an important backbone to PRINT. She was always helpful and answered every one of my questions as well as gave me a great insight into life after graduate school. Sarah Ellis, graduate student, was my co-pilot this semester. We both learned a lot this semester but I also learned a lot from her as well, from new artists to different printmaking techniques and helped me get a better understand of being in graduate school. The dedication of this team to printmaking and perseverance inspires me to work hard and strive to be a better version of myself. I enjoyed every day at print press, tackling the days work, and learning every step of the way.