Rumbling Thoughts about Roadworks

Our Roadworks Marketing Intern, Elka Weber, shares her thoughts on preparing for the 2012 Roadworks Steamroller Printing Festival.

Several of my recent SFCB intern days have revolved around photographing the SFCB archive of prints from past Roadworks events.

Leafing through the portfolios of giant linoleum block prints, I found myself coming across William T. Wiley, Tom Killion, and Emory Douglas, among other names.

But what really struck me was the range of design styles throughout Roadwork’s past eight years. Imagine a 3 foot by 3 foot deeply imprinted Galapagos tortoise. Anti-war poster propaganda. Contemporary illustration. Barns with borders, surreal figures, a multi-color homage to Ellsworth Kelly.

I wonder what designs will surface this year; how participants will gauge and utilize the three-foot-square surface. Roadworks prints have historically been printed from a single block. What artists this year will incorporate color, and how? Because the printing process is integral to the event’s art making, reduction printing is not possible for color or detail options. Some participants have hand-inked prints or added color elements post-press, while another participant cut up their block to ink different sections in different colors, fitting the sections back together like a jigsaw for the steamroller to flatten all at once. The options are surprisingly many for the event’s process restrictions – I wonder if chine colle might even work.

Going through these prints reminded me of just what I love about San Francisco Center for the Book: they do support all ranges of vision that fall within their purview.

SFCB will post highlights from the archive, and information about their limited sale window, in the coming weeks.

For more information about Roadworks, go here: http://sfcb.org/events/roadworks

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elka weber
elka weber
elka weber is a writer, book artist, and library elf interested in publication design, hand papermaking, short fiction, long road trips and really crafty ideas.

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