Gesshel – Woodcuts, Mono Prints and Drawings at Red Hook Coffee and Tea

Posted by DoN Brewer on June 12, 2012
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Gesshel - Woodcuts, Mono Prints and Drawings at Red Hook Coffee & Tea
GesshelWoodcuts, Mono Prints and Drawings at Red Hook Coffee & Tea

 Gesshel – Woodcuts, Mono Prints and Drawings at Red Hook Coffee & Tea

 

The Red Hook Coffee and Tea Shop on Fabric Row, Fourth Street in South Philly, is hosting artist Gesshel‘s (Barb Gesshel) one-person show of woodcuts, mono prints and drawings.  Fourth Friday on Fourth Street is a monthly art crawl extending from South Street down to Passyunk Avenue helping to establish the district as a hip destination for food, drink, style and art.  The coffee shop has high bare brick walls and cozy seating making art the star of the decor for the hipsters on iPads and computers.  Gesshel makes all types of prints and we had an informative conversation about print-making.

Gesshel: “This is a mono-print, I use a piece of plexiglass and I put on my ink with my first color, which in this case was the red, and you can see it’s under everything.  If you look at the edges you can see it.  And then my second color was this turquoise, so I’d already cleaned out my spaces, scratched them out, and gotten my design.”

DoN: “So, you have to plan this all in advance?”

Gesshel: “You have to plan it in advance, in reverse to begin with. And then you kind of know what you’re doing to some extent. When you start your first color you plan from there and then you can add additional color.  It’s real important to make sure your edges match and your paper’s clean.”

Gesshel - Woodcuts, Mono Prints and Drawings at Red Hook Coffee & Tea
GesshelWoodcuts, Mono Prints and Drawings at Red Hook Coffee & Tea

Gesshel: “And the same thing goes for a wood-cut, I will do multiples, I will hand color, I’ll print them in a number of different colors.  So I’ll pull a certain number, like this, and then do something else. You can see with the other mono prints, like Self Portrait (As a Chair), it’s from when I moves to L.A., separated, and it’s me as a chair and my children are little chairs, and my ex is a ghost.”

DoN: “Visual metaphors?”

Gesshel: “Yes. So this one is called Liberty Two, it’s a ghost print, a second pull from a print called Liberty, this is the second pull from the plate. They’re all mono prints but this is a second which makes it completely different. They’re not exactly the same.”

Gesshel - Woodcuts, Mono Prints and Drawings at Red Hook Coffee & Tea
GesshelWoodcuts, Mono Prints and Drawings at Red Hook Coffee & Tea

DoN: “So, how many would you do?”

Gesshel: “Oh, it’s really only one, that one would be two…with the wood cuts, especially these black ones, I like to take a wire brush to the wood and then I’ll draw directly on the wood in black ink and then fill in whatever I want I keep, and what I don’t want I carve away with gouges and knives. On some of them I distress them, I have a hatchet and I have some fairly big blades, it’s true! I can throw a knife and hatchet as well!”

Gesshel - Woodcuts, Mono Prints and Drawings at Red Hook Coffee & Tea
GesshelWoodcuts, Mono Prints and Drawings at Red Hook Coffee & Tea

 

Gesshel participated in the Art in the Open weekend along Schuylkill Banks Park, read my review at DoNArTNeWs, and since her workbench gear is packed up from her move back to Philadelphia, she is drawing more now.  The artwork she made during the Art in the Open weekend, beautiful charcoal drawings on huge sheets of fine paper with an old tree as her easel, will be displayed at the Independence Seaport Museum for the entire Summer, opening is June 14th, 2012.  Read more about Gesshel on SideArts.com.

SideArts.com offers online and in-person one-on-one consulting services to visual and craft artists and art businesses.  Read all about it here.

Written and Photographed by DoN Brewer, Contributing Writer, SideArts.com Philadelphia Art Blog

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2 comments
JeffStroud
JeffStroud like.author.displayName 1 Like

Don, 

 

Very nice! I had the opportunity to meet Barbara Gesshel at Art in the Open as well as photograph her working and talking. She has an amazing presence. I look forward to seeing more of her work. 

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