New York, New York

Susan Rostow is the inventor of Akua Inks. She has made a major contribution to the practice of safer printmaking by developing and teaching printmaking methods without the use of hazardous materials. In 2012, Speedball Art Products acquired the Akua brand and Susan joined the Speedball team, creating new products and producing instructional videos for the Akua Printshop YouTube Channel.  She has taught numerous printmaking workshops all over the world and maintains a studio in Brooklyn, NY.  Susan is a New York State Council / New York Foundation (NYSCA/NYFA) 2017 -2018, Artist Fellow in Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts. She also served as an Artist in Residence at the NY Academy of Medicine Rare books Library, NY NY and was awarded a Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant in printmaking. Her work is in public and private collections including the The Allan Chasanoff Bookwork Collection at Yale University Art Gallery, the Library of Congress, National Print Archives, Her sculptural books and prints have been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, Peru, Korea and Japan.

Artist Statement

My sculptural books are visual diaries created to look and feel like unearthed relics. Time and nature's cycles are themes that are often repeated in my work.  I invite the viewer to touch, hold and interact with my sculptural books as all the tactile qualities are not visible at once.  Surprise elements, little worlds, intimate and bold, reveal themselves in the process of turning the pages.  As the viewer becomes engaged in the sight, feel and smell of the piece, they experience a sense of visiting a strange but familiar place. The work becomes a reminder of the constant stream of change, which affects us all.  The process begins with a walk in the woods, beach or city. Objects are collected. A series of prints are created from the found materials. The prints are bound together with the objects using a mixture of mud, glue and pigment. Paper, tree fungus, roots, soil, bones and shells merge together, growing into the sculptural book.  With the addition of each object a new dialog begins, the piece evolves. The work becomes a journal, recording a culmination of events taken place between nature and myself.


Images of Work


Monotype, monoprint, drypoint, carborundum and book arts

Favorite Products

I love all the Akua products equally-Mother's can't play favorites!  I find the way Akua Inks stay open on my plates and dry by absorbing into the printmaking paper special. This feature makes it possible for me to achieve many ghost impressions, a necessary part of my printmaking process.