Bill Ritchie art and design work in Washington State
for the

Gretchen Davidson Essay Contest


Active and passive sides of Gretchen's Galleon Halfwood Press

Top award for an essay - "What I would do if I won this press," theGalleon Halfwood Press No. 24

Background: After Gretchen bought this press, family matters got in the way of her plan. When she was restored, she found her True North and asked me to pass her press forward. That's when our collaboration, a STREAM Printmaking essay contest began - with her press as the first prize. Gretchen Davidson is a dedicated arts, crafts and design student, meaning that in addition to having held several jobs and raising a family, she's made time for herself to take classes in many kinds of cultural arts activities for her personal enrichment. She's a professional photographer, having studied at Brooks Institute of Photography and also Cornish College of the Arts. Classes at the Kirkland Art Center tipped her favor toward printmaking to combine with her collage painting style. 

Ritchie meets Gretchen : It all started when Gretchen saw my images of kids with presses on the Web, then more images of more presses and Youtube videos. She contacted me, then visited. We had a long enjoyable chat and she decided to buy the Galleon on condition that I give her lessons. I agreed, and my condition was that she give me advice about forming an International Print Center Incubators and Workplaces.

Specifications: Serial No. 90024. Roller diameter 2 1/4" x 9" long, top and bottom. Bed is 3/8" polycarbonate, 9" x 26". The overall length is 27"; overall width is 13 3/4"; overall height is 15". Weight is 50 lbs.; Drive wheel is 12" diameter stainless steel and drives gears (concealed) and with rack-driven bed, approximates a 6:1 mechanical reduction. Styled in solid black walnut wood with wenge interlayer on the base' foots. The pressure screws are linked and synchronized. The press included three etching felts, user's manual, 5-piece Allen wrench set, and the designer's paperback semi-fiction book, "A Printmaker's Tale."

Other owners of a Galleon Halfwood Press are: Pat Austin, Josef Beery, Carol Brozman, Delores Carlos (new owner of this press) , Erika Chamberlin, Wendy Anne Crittenden, Ava Everett, John Fairman, Bridget Farmer, Harold Foster, B. H. Giza, Chris Groves, Kirsten Horning, Cathy Immordino, China Kay, Joo Hee Kim, Gene Laughter (d), Eva Mastandrea, Kristy Melgoza, Lyle Miller, George Otsuka, Cate Pfeifer, Ritchie Foundation, Scott Skinner,  Tom Smith, Jo Tyler, and Ann Van Oppen.

(Placeholder - actual image of #63 unavailable)

Little C-Square

Provenance: 1977. Print. Intaglio & woodcut. Black, ochre, blue, orange. Smith & Weber intaglio ink and watercolor on Japanese papers chine colle'd on Van Gelder Zonen. 6 3/4 X 5 in. on 12 X 9 in. Number 63 of an edition of 98. Signed lower right. Other owners include Carl Chew, Kathy Rabel, Ben Mahmoud, Lee Stubbe, Joan Stuart Ross, Brett and Marivic Weathers and the Ritchie family.

Comment: Gretchen also bought my 1977 print, Little C-Square. The C-Squares series used the architect and engineer's instrument, warped, bent and twisted. Nineteen seventy-seven was the year of the Great Wave Square at Seattle's art festival, Bumbershoot, and other works on this theme. Sosaku-hanga is similar to watercolor and I could have a variety of colors in the foreground (bottom) area of the print. No two are alike - yet almost. The bent 'C' form of the C-square is debossed. I used a pierced, cut-out area in the thin copper that I used for the etching and a ribbon of wood veneer printed the ochre.

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