Quite a few people braved yesterday’s rain and visited the Dawson Daily News building for the Open Studio. Many were townsfolk just curious to see inside the building, which almost always sits closed to the public. But there was also a flock of the artistically inclined who were interested in knowing more about the different printing crafts and techniques being showcased by the resident gurus.
Today, the sun has defied the forecasters and come out. There’s also more of a hands-on orientation as we stage a series of workshops. At noon Peter Braune and Joyce Majiski do an Introduction to Relief Printing, as different materials and techniques for block cutting are taught. Peter is also making excellent progress in restoring the old printing press parks Canada donated, even ingeniously coming up with some replacement parts, and is hoping to have it functional by the end of the Symposium.
Next door, the always-dapper J.P. King is doing Alternative, Accessible, Alternative Publication Formats, which covers different DIY binding, as well as a variety of other cool and creative formats and packages.
At 2 p.m. John Steins will teach an introduction to Wood Block Printing. John’s own prints are exquisite and intricate, but workshoppers can quickly acquire the basics steps of this time-honoured and beautiful printing artform.
I, on the other hand, am touching on the current state-of-the-art in publishing, as I talk about Crafting and Publishing Your Own Content in the Digital Age. The opportunities for independent publication and garnering a worldwide audience have never been greater, and I walk attendees through some digital basics, and tools/markets for self-publishing.
Simultaneously, visitors will have a rare opportunity to see an artist at work, as Sonia Ahlers hosts an Open Studio where she she demonstrates her artistic process using digital design and old-fashioned cut and paste to create artistic books.
The 4 p.m. workshops include J.P. King talking about Visual Structure and Narrative, which explores simple and complex structures in publications, books, and comics. Participants will work with 3, 5, and 10 panel stories, and be guided in the creation of a complex visual narrative.
At the same time, off the premises (at the Riverside Community Shelter) the gals from the Klondike Drawing Company will teach Screen Printed Poster Making, where participants can learn the magic of screen printing.
All in all, a diverse and interesting line-up of workshops by a skilled and experienced crew. And tonight, at 7 p.m. join me, Sheila Heiti, J.P. King, and Emma Healey as we do a Literary Reading, followed by a Q&A session.
– Dan Dowhal