An Interview with Author and Artist Dorit Elisha
CPS: What is printmaking? What do you think makes it so appealing to mixed-media artists?
DE: Printmaking is an easy and quick way to create multiples of the same image. It is a very versatile technique, and the prints can be used in book making, collage, altered books, scrap booking 3-D art or just as an art by itself. There are many techniques within printmaking where each requires different materials and tools, and has a different look to the finished print. For example: Screen printing and sun printing allow a precise photographic image to be printed while monoprinting has a very painterly look, and block printing is very graphic and bold.
CPS: What is unique about the techniques you teach in your book Printmaking + Mixed Media: Simple Techniques and Projects for Paper and Fabric?
DE: In my book I demonstrate the “no press – no stress” side of printmaking. I describe step by step how everyone can create prints using different methods without the use of a printing press or expensive printing paper. Whether you are an experienced artist or not, all you need is a bit of space to work in and some basic tools. In addition to the printmaking techniques, the book gives you ideas how to combine the prints with other art techniques into mixed-media art.
CPS: Could you share some time and money-saving techniques you’ve learned over the years?
DE: Most of the techniques described in the book can be done with inexpensive supply substitutes: Instead of printing paper I print on “found paper” – anything from old atlases to painted papers or cheap copy paper and wallpaper samples. The ink can be substituted with paint in many cases. My favorite way of saving time and money is to reuse some of the less successful prints and incorporate them in my collage or other mixed media art by tearing and re-treating them with paint, ink, or stitching.
CPS: What inspires you?
DE: I am mostly inspired by seeing textures and colors in my daily surroundings. I live in an area that is rich with different ethnic cultures, and just walking the street or the market really makes me want to run to my studio and start a project. My home and studio are packed with colorful papers, fibers and decorative items that I have collected and those also trigger my creative juices. Collaborating with other artists is a huge inspiration as well.
CPS: Do you have a favorite project or technique?
DE: I don’t have one specific favorite. I like to change the media or form I am working on every once in a while. Recently I worked in a book form, creating mixed-media artist books that included printmaking on fabric and stitching. Before that I worked in a box form, creating three-dimensional assemblages. There is one aspect that is common in all my projects – recycling and re-purposing. I rarely buy art supplies in the art store and most of my art ingredients come from flea markets, thrift stores and other recycling resources.