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A series of lithographs exploring a city and its printers.
66 backers pledged $5,095 to help bring this project to life.
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New $50 pledge reward added:

I will be making a diptych (pair of prints), each roughly 7" x 5"), that will include the interview quotes that inspired the image.  The interview quotes have been arranged to evoke the spoken word.  Bellow is example (work in progress).

New $25 pledge:

If you have already pledged $25 and would like to pledge an additional $25 to receive the diptych (pair of prints), each roughly 7" x 5", that includes the interview quotes that inspired the image, you can do so by selecting this pledge to increase your pledge to a total of $50.

$25 Pledge Clarification:

If you pledge at $25 you will receive one of the two original lithographs (roughly 7" x 5"), that include the interview quotes that inspired the image.  The print you receive will be selected at random.

Art takes time but pledge fast ... this is only a few more hours to go!

Hello, my name is Sarah Pike. I'm a printmaker who lives and works in Vermont. A few years ago I decided to break the isolation of living in Vermont by traveling every other year to a print shop outside of the United States. I am currently in Leipzig, Germany creating a new body of work and this is where you come in.

Here in Leipzig I have the opportunity to work with Thomas Franke, master printer at Steinwerk and Sarah Dudley and Uli Kühle at Keystone Editions in Berlin. This will be my first opportunity working with master printers, which will allow me to make larger and more complex prints than I can make in the states where I print alone. Your donation will go towards studio and material fees, and ultimately will make these prints possible.

The Project:  My time in Leipzig began by interviewing people who had lived their whole life in the city and were, in some way, connected to Leipzig’s rich printing history. From these interviews I have selected two that I will develop prints from before I leave Germany at the end of December.

One of my first interviews was with the artist Harald Alff. Over the course of two interviews, Harald shared with me the story of his life while drawing on a map of the city. My goal in this style of interviewing was for Harald to create a visual record connecting the events of his life with his experiences of the city.

I have designed several prints from Harald’s interview but the most ambitious one takes its form from old street maps. There will be two parts to this print. The preliminary drawing will become an unfolding color lithograph, mapping out key moments in Harald’s life which will be accompanied by a complimentary text of quotes from the interview attached inside the cover in lieu of street and landmark listings.

In addition, I will create a series of prints developed from the interviews conducted with Mr. Müller who was a linotype setter at a newspaper during the GDR. In his interview, Mr. Müller focused on his work and the close connection he felt to the presses on which he worked. The images for these prints have been developed from videos I’ve taken of the repetitive motion of the presses.

Why Leipzig?  Before I left Germany in 2010, I traveled to Leipzig to meet an artist who I greatly admired. I was in Leipzig for less than 48 but by the time I left I knew it would be the destination of my next printing trip. It's hard to say what drew me in. It was February, cold, gray, and desolate. I spent much of my time walking on a, "I wonder what is down that street" self tour.

For all the differences of history and culture, I did feel at home in the parts of Leipzig that, like the area of New England I am from, are working to transform the socio-economic challenges faced in post-industrial communities.  

Since the thought of place and the way place subconsciously works its way into our psyche through the repetition of daily life is a reoccurring theme in my work, I felt I needed to be in Leipzig for several months.  I chose to live and work outside of an artist residency program because I thought it would give me more opportunities to engage with local residents and become a part of the daily rhythm of the city...  and I was right.  While it has been a bit daunting to create a project without institutional support, I have gained so much by having to reach out into unexpected places, and have been rewarded by meeting people that I wouldn't otherwise have met.

How to you get from there to here?  Below is a progression that demonstrates how I go from interview to preliminary drawing.  

The interview.
The interview.
Piecing together important locations from the interview.
Piecing together important locations from the interview.
The preliminary drawing. This drawing will be transferred to a litho stone and drawn in with touché, a greasy ink that leaves a rippled texture on the stone when it dries.
The preliminary drawing. This drawing will be transferred to a litho stone and drawn in with touché, a greasy ink that leaves a rippled texture on the stone when it dries.

When the image is turned into a lithograph, the flat shapes in the preliminary drawing become a rippled texture and multiple layers of color are printed to bring dimension to the image.  I'm interested in the printing process being more than a simple reproduction of the preliminary drawing.  Once the image is drawn onto the stone, ink is mixed, and the first color is printed, the image takes on a life of its own.  It becomes my job to respond to each printed layer and figure out what is needed to bring the print to completion.  The print below will give you an idea of what this effect looks like.  You can see more examples on my website: www.sarah-pike.com.

You can follow my travels on my blog: www.SSPrint.wordpress.com

"I lived here once".  Color lithograph, 29" x 20.75" (74 cm x 53 cm).
"I lived here once". Color lithograph, 29" x 20.75" (74 cm x 53 cm).

Does the project end when you leave Leipzig?  No, I have collected enough source material to keep working on this project for a few more years.  My hope is to return to Leipzig in 2014.  I would like to make Leipzig my printing home away from home.

What is Lithography?  My favorite explanation of lithography is MoMA's interactive site, "What Is a Print?".  Their explanation is clear and concise, and you can learn about other printmaking techniques as well. 

When will I receive my pledge reward?  I don't want to pass additional shipping costs onto you my supporters.  Therefore, if you live in Europe and your pledge is for an original print, I will mail it out before I leave in December.  If your pledge is for digital prints, these will be mailed from the United States in January at no additional charge.                                           

All pledges from the United States will be mail in January.  I will keep you updated if there are any unforeseeable delays.

How do I choose my print?  For those of you who have the option of choose your print(s) I will send a survey out at the end of November.  The survey will ask you to list your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices.  I will make every effort to send you the print(s) you have asked for.

Risks and challenges

I think the biggest challenge I face is time. I have been in Leipzig for two and a half months and I sometimes feel discouraged that while I have done the necessary ground work, creating strong preliminary drawings, I have not yet printed. It is not unusual that creating the image takes much longer than printing. Working on preliminary drawings take many long hours of going cross-eyed in front of the computer drawing, erasing, re-doing, moving, and tweaking to get the layout just right.

The privilege and advantage of working with master printers over the next two months is that it will allow me to meet my printing goals, something that would not be possible if I was doing all of the printing on my own.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1

    My deepest gratitude for your pledge because every bit counts and a mention of your support on my website.

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    You will receive a hand written thank you note made from an original print proof and a mention of your support on my website.

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    If you live in Leipzig: let's talk about life in Leipzig and creative ideas over a cup of coffee, and also a mention of your support on my website.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    You will receive one 5" x 7" digital print of a lithograph your choice. A handwritten thank you note made from an original proof print and a mention of your support on my website.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    An original limited edition lithograph (roughly 7 x 5 in / 17 x 12 cm). A handwritten thank you note and a mention of your support on my website.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    For people who have already pledged $25.
    Pledge an additional $25 and receive a diptych (pair of prints), each roughly 7" x 5", that include the interview quotes that inspired the image.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    An original limited edition lithograph (roughly 10 x 7 in / 25 x 17 cm). A hand written thank you note and a mention of your support on my website.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A diptych/pair of prints: two original limited edition lithographs (roughly 7 x 5 in / 17 x 12 cm), including the quotes from the interview that inspired the images. A hand written thank you note and a mention of your support on my website.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    An original limited edition lithograph (roughly 15 x 10 in / 38 x 25 cm). A hand written thank you note and a mention of your support on my website.

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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    This is a special pledge for people living in and around Leipzig. In addition to an original limited edition color lithograph (roughly 15 x 10 in / 38 x 25 cm), everyone who pledges at this amount will be invited to a special viewing of the work and talk with the artist. A hand written thank you note and a mention of your support on my website.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    An original limited edition color lithograph (roughly 20 x 15 in / 50 x 38 cm). A hand written thank you note and a mention of your support on my website.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    An original limited edition color lithograph (roughly 30 x 22 in / 76 x 55 cm). A hand written thank you note and a mention of your support on my website.

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    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    For just a little more you choose which original limited edition color lithograph you would like (roughly 30 x 22 in / 76 x 55 cm). A hand written thank you note and a mention of your support on my website.

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    The folded print inspired by Harald's interview. This lithograph includes a letterpress insert with quotes from the interview and a protective cover. A hand written thank you note and a mention of your support on my website.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Two (2) original limited edition color lithographs of your choice. A hand written thank you note and a mention of your support on my website.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    The folded print inspired by Harald's interview (lithograph and letterpress) and one (1) original limited edition color lithograph of your choice. A hand written thank you note and a mention of your support on my website.

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    Pledge $375 or more About $375

    Three (3) original limited edition color lithographs of your choice. A hand written thank you note and a mention of your support on my website.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    The folded print inspired by Harald's interview (lithograph and letterpress) and two (2) original limited edition color lithographs of your choice. A hand written thank you note and a mention of your support on my website.

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Funding period

- (14 days)