So you know these images of a giant stone that make their way around the printmaking blogosphere every now and again? Well, it is the Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo making a big ol’ lithograph at Mixografia in Mexico City in the 1970s. The artist would only make prints if they could match the scale and presence of a mural. The stone itself is not Bavarian but Mexican. How might I know this? Well, I was visiting with Luis and Shaye Remba (father and son) and these images were brought up and they asked if I’d like to see it?! I was shocked that it still existed, unharmed with image still on it (who’d want to grain that puppy?). Even more surprising was that the family moved it from Mexico City to LA when the family and shop relocated. I can report that it is something! I saw lots of other great things in progress that we’ll all have to wait to see how they come out. 

(via Mixografia)

Have you ever seen a lithography stone? The CLRC has a set of these beautiful and massive stones in the Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire collection. The example above is illustrations for “The Terrible Troll Bird.” Stone lithography is a labor intensive process, but can create beautiful and detailed results. For more information on how the process works, see this video from the Edinburgh Printmakers:


Anatomy of a print: preparing stone for litho engraving, which will be drawn using dry point needle, razor blade and sand paper.  This ancient lithography method was demonstrated to me by my colleague Professor Jacek Zaborski at the Pedagogical University of Krakow Department of Art.