Santa Fe, New Mexico
Ron Pokrasso has been an exhibiting artist, printmaker and educator for more than 40 years. He received his MFA degree from Pratt Institute in 1975 and has had over 50 solo exhibitions and more than 150 group shows. His work is in public, private, and corporate collections throughout the U.S. and abroad and is represented by numerous galleries nationwide as well as being featured in several books. For 11 years Pokrasso owned and directed Graphics Workshop (gifted to The College of Santa Fe in 1993). He is an originator of the printmaking event “Monothon” and has been an ardent supporter of arts programs for youth. His teaching experience includes universities, museums, public schools and private workshops as well as Artist Residencies in the U.S., Scotland, Ireland and Italy. In 2000 Ron Pokrasso received the Mayor’s Recognition Award For Visual Arts citing his artistic and educational contribution to the city of Santa Fe. In his teaching Pokrasso’s passion for creating always comes across and is known to be instrumental in helping to push students to break barriers. Ron Pokrasso lives in Santa Fe, NM with his wife Mary Ann Shaening. You can learn more about Ron, his art and teaching venues by visiting his website.
I am an Artist, Master Printer and Art Educator based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
I use various printmaking techniques in my work:
Monotype, ImagOn and Solarplate photopolymer plate-making, and chine colle.
I also combine these processes with collage, drawing, digital photo imagery, assemblage and acrylic painting.
I do instruction in all of these techniques as well as in Photoshop for the purpose of platemaking and digital collage imagery.
In my own work as well in my teaching I use the following Speedball/Akua products: The entire line of Akua intaglio inks and modifiers, Akua liquid pigments and additives, Akua Pin Press, Akua wiping fabric and all sizes of Speedball soft rubber brayers.
I teach workshops as well as work privately with artists, “Pamper and Production” in my Galisteo Street Studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico as well as conducting programs in numerous venues across the USA and in Italy, Ireland and Mexico. A full list of previous workshop venues is available on my website.
- Solarplate photopolymer plate-making
- chine colle
- digital photo imagery
- acrylic painting
When I introduce students to Speedball/Akua Release Agent I usually tell them how it will become one of their best friends by the end of the workshop.
Speedball/Akua Release Agent serves several purposes in my work. As it’s name implies Release Agent helps to lift very thin, light ink off a monotype plate. Sometimes after an initial impression has lifted a majority of ink off a monotype plate some very fine nuances may still remain unprinted after trying additional passes with increased pressure. Return the pressure to the average setting and then a gentle roll of release agent can be applied selectively or over the entire surface of the plate while it (and the paper) is still registered on the press. To avoid moving the plate and losing the registration I sometimes catch one edge of the plate under the roller of the press and apply release agent to the exposed ½ of the plate. Once the plate is run through the press I then do the same thing from the opposite side of the press to release the remaining ink from the other ½.
Ghost imagery can be enhanced quite significantly by rolling the plate with Release Agent. This can be done off the press prior to printing. It’s usually good to wait 3 minutes or more to allow the release agent to penetrate the pigment. Less pressure is needed to lift Akua ink from a plate that has been rolled with Release Agent. After it goes through the first pass on the press increasing pressure may lift additional ink on a second pass without another application of Release Agent.
Sometimes I will roll Release Agent on a ghost plate and before printing add some fresh ink to the surface. This can be tricky as the lower viscosity of the release agent can often interfere with the application of fresh, higher viscosity ink. Experiment!
Release Agent is the perfect ingredient to lift water-soluble crayons from a plate when printing on dry paper. After rolling out the Release Agent on the plate with the crayon drawing it’s important to remember to wait a few minutes before printing.
One of my favorite uses of Release Agent is to add a few drops of Speedball/Akua Liquid Pigment to create a tinted film. This can be used in conjunction with any of the processes described above or simply as a tinted color field on a blank plate as an under painting for additional plate drops. When doing this as an under painting for a photopolymer plate I noticed that there is an increased richness in the photopolymer image. This is especially noticeable when the two plates are printed right after each other.