Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Astonishing Katharine Gross

The students taking printmaking classes at Long Beach City College are a diverse group. Ages range from 17 to 80+. Some are art majors. Some are taking their first art class ever. Some are taking a printmaking class as part of their program toward transfer and graduation. Some are taking the class for fun and personal interest. Some have advanced degrees in printmaking or another art area and are there for access to a press so that they may pursue their own artistic agendas. Despite (or because of, maybe) this diversity, the classroom is comfortable, friendly, interactive. Everyone learns from each other in remarkable ways. I feel lucky to teach in this kind of atmosphere.

So, a story: The other night, Katharine Gross breezes in after being away for hip replacement surgery. We are all happy to see her again. She tells us that while recuperating, she's been using her drypoint tools to enhance an image on a zinc plate she began before her hiatus. She wants to print a proof to see how it is coming along. She inks up the plate. She wipes it into readiness for the press. She sets the plate on the press and lays a sheet of archival paper over it. She smooths the press blankets down and sets the pressure. She starts the press moving. After printing, she lifts the blankets off and slowly pulls the paper off the zinc plate.

And here is Katharine Gross' print:

Amazing, heh?!

And here is Katharine with her print.


  1. Truly the other night was one of the high points of the semester!! I was talking about this and showing everyone the pic I took (with my phone) for the next few days; ALL were in awe who saw it :) We Love Katherine!!!

  2. 1. I think it's amazing that this is some people's first art class and others are professional.

    2. And that you can teach such a diverse group.

    3. And that they apparently respect each other.

    4. And that Katharine's print looks so 3D!