Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Radha Workshop, 25 June 2011
Radha Chandrashekaran is an artist of contemplation. She mixes media and works pieces with whatever items she needs to make them come alive, and continually explores the role of art in everyday life. In a workshop with NKU's Print Club, Radha shared some of her techniques and philosophy.
You can find her art, artist statement, and workshop information on her website: radartist.com.
Along with works in progress, Radha brought with her a technique she'd picked up from Japanese artists. This method of transferring images to paper uses water, ink, and a sort of handmade dauber. For more images, and plates in use, click any of these images. Below is a detail photograph of a wooden plate:
The kalam, or pen, is another tool Radha brought with her. She taught us to construct these pens, which are really quite simple to make. The yarn serves as a reservoir for the ink, and a gentle squeeze sends more ink drips down the bamboo "nib" to produce a constant flow. Traditionally, kalamkari are made with this sort of tool (with a finer fiber) on silk with plant dyes.
The quality of the line is variable, depending on the width of the kalam used. The bamboo is wrapped snugly with cloth, then thread or yarn, and secured. After a brief soak in water, the kalam is ready to use. Among the inks explored was a simple, fragrant yellow made with turmeric (spice pictured at the top of this post). Below is a detail of a large piece of silk decorated with an intricate drawing.
One of the best things about NKU, and the Print Club in particular, is that it promotes diversity in its artists and image-making. Alongside ancient tradition, and sometimes aged equipment, rest more modern reminders of who and where we are.
It's always a good time hanging out with NKU printmakers, and guest artists.