Art students study woodcuts made 80 years ago

Art students study woodcuts made 80 years ago

Friday, February 10, 2012

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College Director of Communications
417.447.2655 publicinfo@otc.edu
Steve Koehler
Coordinator of Media Relations (417) 447-2666 koehlers@otc.edu

 

Many classes at OTC take pride in using state-of-the-art technology to teach students.

In one case, however, the generosity of one OTC staff member finds the Art 130 printmaking class taking a step back in time, using a printing technique that most students had never seen before last week.

Rebekah McCormack, who works in the College’s Student Services, recently inherited three woodcuts used for printing back in the 1930s. The three depict a boat on the ocean, a train and a stagecoach.

The large cuttings, which looked like oversized rubber stamps, were made from cherry wood by McCormack’s great uncle Carson Donnell from Illinois. He died in 1969. She lent them to Cathy Clemens to use in her printmaking class to show students how the process used to be done with woodcuts.

“I thought it would be a useful tool for the students who had never printed off of wood blocks.  I thought it would give them the opportunity to test out their printing skills. I had never seen or gotten a print from the wood blocks either,” McCormack said.

Clemens said students normally make cuttings from linoleum. Woodcuts like those from McCormack are very detailed and can take hours to make.

“The traditional method of printing was making wood cuts. With these, we were able to show the process. The students are seeing something that is 80-plus years old,” Clemens said.

Both McCormack and the students who used the cuts were happy.

“When we made the print, we could see the satisfaction on Becky’s face. She had never seen the prints before. The artist’s desire is to bring satisfaction to the patron’s face,” Clemens said.

Jorge Valencia, a Springfield student, was excited to take his turn at making a print of the sailing ship for himself.

“I like the boat a lot and the way the artist did all that detail. I’m making something that was made by a man who is no longer here. I’m going to frame this and keep it. It’s pretty cool. I feel special,” Valencia said.

 Steve Koehler is coordinator of media releations at Ozarks Technical Community College.