Reductive Printing with Mary Bruno

The printing specialty of Mary Bruno, a printmaker based out of Minnesota, is multicolor prints from one singular linoleum block, and the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum was lucky enough to have her share her wisdom onsite Saturday, June 30th.

The morning started off with an introduction to Mary and her work. Growing up with a printer for a father, she was immersed in the world of letterpress and printing from an early age. Due to her father's sudden passing in 2003, Mary inherited his shop in Saint Joseph, Minnesota. Fifteen years later, and she has continued to dig deeper and deeper into the world of printmaking and the people that inhabit it.

The group in the workshop was then given supplies, a choice of five images to choose from, and a demonstration on how to handle the tools. The carving and printing extravaganza ensued soon afterwards. Through a series of five carvings and five runs of the press, an image with varying shades of light and dark emerged. Starting with carving the lightest part of the block all the way to the darkest, the print became richer and more vibrant as time went on- while the linoleum became more and more destroyed.

By the end of the day, the students in the workshop gained a better understanding of how reductive block printing works, how to run a Vandercook press, and what a strong composition looks like and how the same image can vary from artist to artist.

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