A single pass of a small, modern steam roller provides the size and weight necessary to ake the large scale prints on the street during the Dia de los Muertos festival.
Photo by Greg Lehman.
On Oct. 26, 13 Whitman College art students had a chance to work with one of the largest printing presses ever devised, though this press was originally invented for a completely
Rolling out LARGE prints!
Thirteen Whitman College art students work with one of the largest printing presses ever devised.
“It is unusual for students to work on something that big,” assistant professor of art Nicole Pietrantoni said.
Close to 40 bedsheet-sized prints were made by the students. And as large as the artwork was, Pietrantoni said the supply costs were relatively small: four-by-eight medium density fiber boards, half-inch thick; king-sized bed sheets, preferably white; a can of professional black printer’s ink and application brushes; woodcarving tools; and a steam roller.
The Whitman College steam-roller-print project coincided with the Dia de los Muertos festival.
Pietrantoni said artists have been using steam rollers to make large prints at community events for about 15 years.
Even before that, in the 1950s, artists John Cage and Robert Rauschenberg were using cars to make large prints.
“People have been dabbling since then with ‘how can I make a big press?’ And I have even told students go drive your car over it,” she said.
The prints created will soon be available for viewing and buying online through ArtWalla, she added.