The printmaking program promotes an extensive understanding of the expressive significance of printmaking methodology. One of only a handful of university print studios in the country to have made the switch to water-based technology, the printmaking studio at SOU uses only solvent-free materials to create a healthier, non-toxic work environment. The lab includes a large preparation room, an etching area, a photo exposure area, and a press room that includes two lithography presses, a small proofing letterpress, and three etching presses. The studio supports digital work with computers, printers, and a scanner. Other equipment includes a large light table; plate cutter; and spray booth; a variety of rollers and brayers; various wooden and metal type, two hot plates, and a 28" x 38" etching bath to accommodate larger etching plates.
Drawing on the limitless possibilities of edition-based media, the Printmaking program provides an intensive experience in an age-old medium while encouraging experimentation and innovation. In the introductory classes, students are familiarized with intaglio and relief, including multi-plate registration. Here they establish a solid, comprehensive foundation of traditional technique while being guided through self-expression and concept development. At the intermediate level, students learn lithography, collagraph, and monotype, among other techniques, with an emphasis on imagery, theory, and critical thinking.
Advanced students continue to acquire new technical skills and are introduced to encaustic printing and alternative processes as well as photo etching which is offered as a specialty course once a year. Advanced students are given considerable autonomy and are largely self-directed with support from faculty. Printmaking majors are expected to experiment in response to the creative requirements of their work through research of multiple media or specialization.
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