About the prints:
The prints produced by GraphicAfire are original prints, made by a traditional process—a form of relief printing (which includes woodcuts) using linoleum and referred to as linocut. They should not be confused with any form of inkjet prints or any means of reproduction using a computer or digital technology. In relief printing the uncut flat surface of the plate or matrix (the piece of wood or linoleum) is covered with a coat of ink, and this ink gets transferred to a piece of paper by pressing the two surfaces against one another. The image is created by cutting and scraping away material from the matrix, in this case a piece of linoleum, in the desired pattern. The areas that have been cut away do not receive ink, and in the final image these areas will be left as clean paper. The places of the linoleum matrix that remain untouched are those that receive ink and print as the final image.
GraphicAfire does not at this time have a press or any assistants. This means that each print is printed by hand by the artist Jason LaMotte, who transfers the image by rubbing with a baren or other similar tool. The matrix must be inked each time an image or graphic is printed onto a fresh sheet of paper, and this inking—done with a roller or brayer—is a crucial part of the process.
“Original prints” in this case means that each step of the printing process—from cutting the linoleum, to inking the matrix and transferring the image by hand rubbing—is done by the artist for each print, it also suggests that each print will be different from every other and unique in its own specifics.
Each of these GraphicAfire prints is printed on a sheet of handmade Japanese Washi paper. The heads, 5” x 7” matrices, are printed on natural Kitakata. The artist rips a sheet of Kitakata into quarters, so each print has two handmade edges and two torn edges. The paper size for each print is just over 8” x 10.” All the other images, which are larger, on 8” x 10” matrices, are printed on a 12” x 16” handmade sheet of Okawara paper. The artists sampled many different papers, but none moved him, in color, texture, look or feel, like the Okawara. Each print is numbered, titled, signed, and dated by the artist.
About the limited editions:
The edition is the number of prints that are struck from a single matrix. Usually an edition is printed at one time. Since GraphicAfire is a new and small enterprise, using quality materials, these editions are being printed as needed, i.e. purchased, sold, with the complete edition number being a projection. The artist intends to print and sell, or otherwise distribute, the number of prints indicated, and then retire the matrix. The edition numbers for GraphicAfire prints range from twenty-five to sixty, and are indicated in each print’s corresponding “Individual Graphics” post. The artist may destroy the matrix after an edition has been printed. Or, it is possible that the artist may decide to print a second edition of a particular graphic, in which case he would change the paper being used and make a significant change in the matrix to assure that prints of different editions differ. The edition number is indicated on each print, according to standard practice, by two numbers, separated by a line, where the first is the number of the specific print and the second is the number of total prints in the edition. In any case the artist fully intends to keep these editions limited and not exceed the number of prints indicated. The artist appreciates how the limited quantity of the prints adds to their value.
About the artist and his aims:
Jason LaMotte has been an artist, primarily visual, most of his adult life, focusing on painting and drawing, usually obsessively. He worked for years in the pre-digital photographic darkroom, received degrees—BFA from San Francisco Art Institute and MFA from Claremont Graduate University—concentrating on fine art/studio painting, and did some graphic design and multimedia work before discovering and becoming captivated with making linocut prints. The linocut process gives him the chance to construct an image, grapple with material, and satisfy his deep love of the combination between inky blacks and beautifully textured paper. By being a completely different way to create an image than painting, the linocut process has opened up a fresh space for the artist, a space where he can play, try new things, approach new subjects, and reinvent himself.
The artist began with the 5” x 7” heads, reflexively, without thought. The images are loosely taken from drawings in sketchbooks he has done from characters in movies he has watched. He doesn’t want them to be about those specific cinematic characters, however, and is interested in how they change subtly through the stages of sketching, and then resketching onto the linoleum, and then cutting (here the image really takes on a life of its own, separating itself further), before printing, which flips the image horizontally. Each head is given a new line to reflect its new incarnation. The other, larger, prints, 8” x 10,” have resulted by the artist’s quest to go beyond the first, reflexive idea and to make images that he likes. That is, he is trying simply to make pictures that he finds compelling, that please him. For all its apparent simplicity, this has been an interesting and difficult challenge for the artist, as he has had to confront questions about what he really likes, and overcome the fears, concerns, and reasons why he should not be making these prints. But the artist continues to make steps, trying to “keep it real” and fun and engaging. It is this sense of excitement, play, desire, and liberation that the artist hopes will be conveyed in the prints, that it may act as a binder between the black ink and the handmade paper to imbue the prints with a particular quality all their own.
About your print purchase:
When you purchase a GraphicAfire print you are supporting a unique, passionate, and artistically skilled individual, while acquiring an original and valuable (who knows how the value of one of these prints may change over the coming years?) material embodiment of the dreams and toil of an artist’s life. You get a linocut print hand printed, numbered, titled, signed, and dated by the artist on handmade Japanese Washi paper, carefully wrapped and shipped with a certificate of authenticity, which describes the piece, it’s number in the edition, and carries the artist’s signature. You get a piece of art—to enjoy yourself, in company, or to give as a gift—that holds unknown potentials. You also get, if you choose to accept it, the responsibility and opportunity to care for the print, which is best done by having the print framed. Framing is best when it has a mat, which keeps the print separated from the glass, and when the glass features some UV protection. The prints may be kept in the plastic sleeves they are shipped in for some time before framing. The sleeves are clear and archival. A print can also be hung by clips from pushpins (as in the photographs of the GraphicAfire prints), but this is not ideal and it will not provide the longest or safest life for a print.
Certificate of Authenticity:
Each print comes with a Certificate of Authenticity–a document signed by the artist and printmaker that describes the print, how it was made, its number in the edition, when it was printed, and attests to its status as an original piece of art.
The artist hopes that you will enjoy the prints, and even more that he’ll have the privilege to make one especially for you.
Purchase your print(s) at the GraphicAfire Etsy shop.
See additional work by the artist (visual art, mostly painting) at
E-mail the artist with any other questions at email@example.com