Mami Yamamoto will be in the Print Studio demonstrating monotype printmaking techniques October 27-28.
– Mami Yamamoto
In the past 20 years, I have heavily been engaged with Japanese antiques, particularly textiles, folk arts, and crafts. Each artifact I have encountered and collected possesses unique beauty, based on the choice of materials and execution to become functional. In those everyday objects, I often find the most sincere and genuine beauty and I am choosing a similar path to create something intangible in my own life.
Ally Kotarsky: What will your demo at the DAM look like? What can visitors expect?
Mami Yamamoto: I create monotype prints, which are all one of a kind type prints, not editioned prints. I use plexiglass for a plate and roll a layer of oil base ink on the surface of a plexiglass and manipulate the inked surface by using different tools, mostly non-traditional types, to create the design I desire and print on a BFK paper through a hand-pulled press. I repeat this process several times, layering the design images on the same paper until the print is completed. The visitors will see the transformation of the print image as I repeat the layering designs during the process of printing. Since layering designs often create a complex surface image, my printmaking process tends to be spontaneous in many ways, not having an exact image of the final work.
AK: What are the most important elements in your work?
MY: Color, form, and surface texture, along with a balanced composition.
AK: Your prints have very unique color palettes. Can you tell us a little about your color-making process?
MY: The colors are always a part of my focus and I make (mix) 'my own' colors on all my prints. The surface texture is another element that I love to explore, often using non-traditional materials to meet satisfaction. Color choices and coordination matter significantly to my vision. I rarely use ink directly from tubes. Muted colors, instead of primary kinds, are my preferred choices. I believe that having an interest in both vintage and contemporary textiles all my life has hugely influenced for my color pallet, along with my cultural heritage as Japanese.
AK: What are some of your favorite techniques and unusual materials to experiment with when making a new print?
MY: I love to draw directly on the inked surface. I use Japanese q-tips (because they have tighter ends than the American ones!), sharpened disposable chopsticks, plastic forks, linen fabric, and so forth in order to create the lines and designs I desire. Using these non-traditional tools helps me to execute spontaneous lines and designs.
As the word 'mono' indicates, these prints you are about to see are all one of a kind. I use oil base ink on plexiglass and create my own designs by using a variety of techniques, such as free drawings, chine-collé, collagraph, stencils, and so forth.