Karl Pace

His Story

In the summertime, my wife, Martha Klein, and I go to art festivals that we have been juried into. We've been to Portland, Bellevue, Sun Valley, Vail, La Quinta and Boise among other places. At these shows, many people ask questions about my artwork and want to know what monotypes are, how they are produced, what materials I use and where my ideas for images come from.

Monotypes are one-of-a-kind hand-pulled prints. All of the works I exhibit are unique pieces that are produced on an etching press or hand-burnished. The primary difference between monotypes and other prints (etchings, lithographs, mezzotints, etc.) is that a monotype plate remains smooth and almost all of the ink on the plate is removed when the image is printed. There are no etched lines that can be re-inked and reprinted, so only one version of every image is created.

I use plastic plates to produce monotypes. Images are created on the plate using a variety of different substances such as oil-based lithography ink, oil glazes, sumi ink and water-soluble crayons. When the image is complete, the plate is placed face up on the bed of an etching press and a piece of damp, acid neutral paper is laid on top of the Plexiglas. Felt blankets are placed on top of the plate and the paper. Then the bed is rolled between two large steel rollers. This transfers the image on the plastic to the damp paper (in reversed or mirror image fashion.) You can see photos of the entire printmaking process in my show-and-tell book.