Daily Archive for June 15 2010
The article below appears in today’s Charleston Daily Mail.
By Monica Orosz
Daily Mail staff
Last year, local artists teamed up to create a series of flags that now grace light poles in the East End. This year, local artists are at it again, but they want you to look down instead.
Twenty-five artists created pieces that are being transferred onto bricks. Once fired to seal the images, the bricks will be laid along sidewalks in a two-block area of Washington Street East. The project was timed to be unveiled during this week’s FestivALL, which officially starts Friday.
“The banners we hung last year are very visual to drivers,” said Ric Cavender, program director for East End Main Street, sponsor of the project. “This year, we are promoting walking through the East End.”
An East End Main Street committee began discussing the project earlier this year, said Charleston graphic artist and designer Mark Wolfe. When the committee hit upon the idea of decorative bricks, the next step was figuring out just how to get an artist’s image from paper or other medium to brick. Wolfe said they considered etching, but were concerned that details might be lost in the process.
And here’s where West Side met East End in a collaboration of problem solving. The committee contacted Karen and Mike Garnes, owners of Capitol Clay Arts Co. on the West Side. The Garneses, in turn, consulted with local potter Eric Pardue, whose clay pieces often incorporate detailed artwork. Pardue suggested a process where the artwork would be scanned and the image transferred via laser printer to special transfer paper.
Wolfe practiced the process of scanning and manipulating the images in Photoshop, converting them to black and white if necessary, adding the East End Main Street logo and then printing the images in reverse. Mike Garnes took over the next step, figuring out the best way to transfer the images to 4-inch by 8-inch clay bricks he made in the shop and then firing them to “seal” the image on the bricks.
The final firing maintains the clarity of the artwork and turns it a sepia tone.
“The laser toner that the HP printer uses has iron oxide in it,” Garnes explained. “So when all of the (transfer paper plastic) burns off, you’re left with the iron oxide.” (more…)