Sarah Reed-McNamara is a linoleum block printmaker based in Rockford, Illinois. She creates fine art prints and colorful textiles. She earned her BA in Art History, with a minor in History and emphasis in Printmaking from Rockford University. She works as a full-time printmaker, while raising her two young children with her husband. Her artwork and a large-scale textile installation were featured in the Rockford Art Museum 2017 exhibition, Bittersweet Observations. Sarah creates fine art relief prints that are nostalgic, whimsical and introspective. She has stacks of children’s books and coloring books from 1900-1960 that she can be found pouring through on any given rainy day, or late night. Her textile work is largely influenced by textiles of the world, but especially from Mexico, where her Grandparents were from. She spent many summers visiting them for long lengths of time and her earliest memories are of Mexican folk art and textiles, in all of their beautiful colors and intricacies.
Through Printmaking, I am able to dive deep into an extremely hands on process and tell a visual story. This story could be quite literal, or more conceptual and symbolic. As I dove deep into my Art History studies, I started to find myself increasingly drawn to the Relief Printmakers and once I had a chance to get in the printmaking lab, I felt something click. Printmaking has always made sense to me and it is an art form that brings me immense joy and satisfaction, from start to finish.
- Relief Printing
My favorite Speedball products are the Fabric Block Printing Inks, the Professional Relief Inks (especially Supergraphic Black!), Speedy-Carve and rubber brayers. I use the Fabric Block Printing Ink every week to create colorful and rich textile goods. The inks serve my studio set up quite well, as they only need to air dry for 24-48 hours and no heat set it is required. Besides the ideal drying time, the Fabric Block Printing Inks have rich colors and mix very well together. They print incredibly well on a variety of textiles and are wash safe.
The Supergraphic Black Professional Relief Ink astounds me ever time with its rich black inking abilities. It is incredibly smooth to roll out and prints evenly with a rich black quality. Since I burnish all of my prints by hand, Supergraphic Black has been a game changer for my prints. The clean up is also ideal. It’s not every day that you find a high-quality, oil-based ink that cleans up with soap and water. This makes the ink perfect for home and studio use.
I have an army of Speedball Brayers that I use every week. I often have 2-4 colored textile blocks in use at a time and need a lot of brayers to do the inking. I have rubber Speedball Brayers do the inking for my textiles. Which brings me to my next favorite Speedball product – Speedy-Carve. I always keep a stockpile of this around my carving station. The Speedy-Carve is integral to my block printing on textiles. I use it to carve my textile blocks. The material carves incredibly easy, but can also handle fine details. What’s even better, I use the textile blocks I create from it with my Fabric Block Printing Ink and it’s a total win. They take the ink really well and print beautifully. Clean up is super easy – soap and water.