Printmaking by the Bay

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The first thing I noticed when I got out of the car at 7:30 am was the salty water smell of the bay hanging in the morning air. Since last week, every Wednesdays and Fridays, I’ve  been driving over to the Cultural Center of the Philippines behind the Folk Arts Theatre to learn printmaking from veteran artists Benjie Torrado Cabrera and Ambie Abaño, both members of the Printmakers Association of the Philippines (PAP). I’ve always wanted to learn printmaking when I was still studying in UP. But because of scheduling conflicts and the plain, basic fact that it was not in the Viscom curriculum prevented me from taking the class.

Now, with a bit more time in my hands, I’ll get my wish.

The class costs PhP 5,500 for 8 sessions at 4 hours per session (8am – 12noon). It covers basic printmaking for beginners touching on rubbercut, collagraph, monotypes, drypoint and chinecolle. I was surprised by the numbers prints we could make in that time.  I guess with only 10 of us in the class, it’s easier to take turns with the press. So far we’ve gone through monotypes and have started on rubbercuts.

This printmaking workshop couldn’t come at a better time though. Now that I’ve decided to explore artmaking fulltime, it feels reassuring to learn from people who understand the need to make art without having to explain the financial viability of living the artist’s life.

I’ve decided on becoming a member of the PAP too. Hopefully, getting a chance to use the printmaking studio a bit more and learning more about printmaking in the coming months.

>>Rommel

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