Trip Reflection

Belle Hissam
day 17:: reflection // 5.31.17

This trip was overall so new and so exhausting, it started out intense and we hit the ground running.  With a lot to learn and not a lot of time there were definitely times when I felt overwhelmed, but being pushed to learn new techniques and ways of working really allowed me to focus on just making, instead of overthinking and hyper planning.

Our time at GWA was really exciting, letter press was something new to me entirely, but I loved working in that space, and the overall energy of everyone working in that space was always really exciting. I connected a bit more with lead type than wood block, and some of my favorite pieces from this trip were pieces of linen that I had placed a monotype background on at AGA then letter pressed on top. It really made a huge difference for me to be able to touch the letters and type to understand more about typography. It changed how I used type on a page, and being around so many other people who knew more than me about typography, it was easier for me to see how they worked and approached it. I am a tactile learner so getting my hands dirty and really working with letters as forms really helped that transition into working with more type based projects.

When we would work at AGA I felt much more in my element, mostly because I was so familiar with all the equipment. It was nice having everything in one space and I felt like I could really move a lot faster within this space as well. Working completely nontoxic was interesting as well, that is something that I would love to see be adapted in our studio. I worked a lot more intuitively here because of limited supplies, time and tools. Which was a fun exercise a led to some awesome outcomes. One of my favorite studio days was when I combined all the processes and created some intense layered monotypes and etchings. I ignored cleaning my plate in between prints and the pieces became more and more complex and layered. It was also awesome to work with some new papers as well, Kitikata, an absurdly thin and delicate Japanese rice paper and a thin bamboo paper were so much fun to work with.

My favorite day overall though was our time on a 103-year-old fishing boat, we had worked really hard and it was a well-deserved little break! Personally, this felt like one of the few times I could really connect with the Dutch culture. Being able to just relax and really take in our surroundings was really great, and it was an awesome way to end our trip.

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