Augustana, Iowa State Students to Make Large-Scale Prints with Steamroller

AMES, Iowa — Twenty-two students from two different colleges. Ten 4-foot-by-8-foot sheets of plywood and fiberboard. Seven weeks of designing and carving. Ten gallons of ink. One steamroller.

Today, these elements are coming together at Iowa State University’s 12th annual steamroller printmaking event, held on the Iowa State campus in Ames.

Students in Augustana Associate Professor Scott Parsons’ printmaking classes and ISU Professor April Katz’s fall 2013 relief printmaking class have spent the first half of the semester carving original designs on birch plywood blocks and full-size MDF (medium-density fiberboard) sheets, which they will print onto fabric by driving a steamroller over the inked wood.

This is the fifth year that Iowa State and Augustana have joined forces for the event, which will be from about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rueter’s, a construction and equipment dealer at 5815 Lincoln Way in Ames. (Rain date is Oct. 18.) The public is invited to watch the printing process.

“Monumental woodcut prints were created from multiple plates by Albrecht Dürer in the 16th century. Our prints are inspired by his work, including his largest, ‘The Triumphal Arch,’ which was about 9-feet-8-inches by 11-feet-8.5-inches,” Katz said.

Eight Augustana College students will be printing three different designs. “Cloud Hopper” will evoke an out-of-body flying experience. “The Needle has Landed” plays with cryptic references to the Seattle Space Needle. “El Rio Se Alimenta” is a meditation on riverways in the Andes.

Augustana participants include Camila Aguileras, Mary Brunick, Mariah Greenhoff, Chad Nelson, Zack Nelson, Luke Robison, Rebecca Sunde and Anh Ta.

Photo above: Augustana printmaking students Mary Brunick and Mariah Greenhoff.