Today I started thinking about the various options I have in order to continue my printmaking work. Although I’m largely distracted by the ink drawings for the Wading Series right now, I can see that in the near future I’m going to want to get back into making monotypes and perhaps some etchings if it seems appropriate. I have a tiny press that I purchased for $500 several years ago back when I had just graduated from RISD and was printing drypoints in my apartment living room, but it’s just not sufficient for me to be able to work on the scale I’m looking to achieve. There are several professional printshops that I know of in Boston, and I’m seriously considering perhaps either joining one or renting out space from time to time despite the cost.
In the past, I’ve printed at one of the various schools I teach at, but I’m starting to think that it might be worth the financial investment to work in a professional shop. While a school shop is obviously the most economical choice, it doesn’t come without it’s drawbacks. In the past when I’ve worked at school printshops it’s been difficult for me to work undisturbed because of all the various factors. Not only do I have to work around the class schedules, but there are always students in the shop, and it would be rare for me to be able to do my work without having lots of students asking me questions about either the work they’re doing in my class or some technical printmaking question. The scheduling and timing in a school printshop is not very flexible either; I had to be careful to choose times of day when the shop wasn’t too crowded, and especially I had to avoid the end of the semester when it’s down to the wire for many of the students in their assignments. That said, with all of these inconveniences it makes me think its worth it to shell out the money to be able to work in a more flexible environment. I also know that if I were consistently paying a monthly fee for a printshop that I would definitely make a much larger effort to be using it regularly so that I wasn’t wasting the fee. I might explore a short term rental first before I decide to make a regular commitment to a shop.