Andrew Raftery, a professor of printmaking at RISD and my former professor was on the Wellesley campus today as a Visiting Artist in the Art Department. Andrew is one of the very rare and few contemporary artists who specializes in the technique of engraving. He gave a lunchtime gallery talk at the Davis Museum on their current exhibition Prints in an Age of Artistry which features 16th and 17th century Italian prints. The gallery talk was a wonderful intersection of commentary which involved discussion of various printmaking techniques, the diversity of the subject matter, and history all in one.
After the gallery talk, we headed over to my Life Drawing class for a demonstration and lecture. My Life Drawing class just started a unit about cross-hatching techniques, so it was perfect timing to have Andrew visit and talk about some of the research and visual analysis he’s been doing with cross-hatched prints. He’s been breaking down the multiple layers of hatching from historical prints on separate sheets of acetate to demonstrate the process and motivation behind the hatch marks. Andrew then did a demonstration on how to cut goose feathers into quill pens, which students then proceeded to create and cut with exacto-knives. The quill pens were then used to do a small cross hatched portrait from a model for the rest of the class. At the end of the class students had the opportunity to view his two engraved projects “Suit Shopping” and “Open House” which was recently completed last year.