GS: What are you working on currently?
KB: I am working on a series of narrative prints that use the traditional Japanese woodblock technique called moku hanga. This work has a little letterpress tossed into it as well. These prints will be exhibited at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art. The show is just around the corner, so I am carving like crazy and getting ready to edition very soon. It’s pretty much all I think about…
GS: What are you most interested in exploring in your upcoming projects?
KB: I received a Van Line/Stein Scholarship from The Center for Book Arts. I am interested in taking as many workshops I can in order to explore a variety of book structures. In the past I have worked a lot with the accordion, and it’s time to move to other things. I am hoping to learn some new skills, develop new forms and see what ideas I generate.
I am also looking forward to experimenting with textiles and felting. I did a wall installation piece for Philagrafika last year that really surprised me. I worked with cut paper and felted wood and created a narrative installation. The end result was really interesting to me and I hope to continue developing my ideas with these materials.
GS: How or when did you discover your love of woodblock printing?
KB:As an undergraduate at The Evergreen State College, I studied sculpture. When I was finished with school, I moved to Montana and lived in a very small apartment with my daughter. I didn’t have access to a studio, tools, equipment, or even a community of artists. My dad sent me a set of carving tools as a gift and I started carving wood to make prints by hand. I didn’t know much about the process, but I liked planning out images in the same way that I enjoyed planning out sculptural pieces. However, I think I really fell in love with the labor of carving. Somehow, taking the time to carve my images out of wood makes a lot of sense to me—work and labor make a lot of sense to me. As I became more proficient with printing, I became attracted to the idea of becoming skilled at an obsolete technology. This drew me to letterpress, book arts and moku hanga. Of course, it takes a lot of time to become skilled at these things. I am still working on that today.
GS:If you could have dinner with three artists, living or deceased, who would you choose?
Marilyn Frasca, again.
Louise Bourgeois, of course.
GS: What are you looking forward to doing or seeing at the Pyramid Atlantic Book Arts Fair?
I am looking forward to getting out of Philly for a bit, visiting friends, and seeing the new work at the fair. I do hope that I will be able to back track and find that restaurant that Mary Phelan took me to in Silver Springs—the one where they serve $1 beers in small juice glasses.
GS: I'm pretty sure Katie is referring to The Quarry House, Silver Spring's favorite dive, located across the street from Pyramid Atlantic. They carry the largest selection of brews in the area, and yes, serve many of them in tiny glasses for a mere $1.