BFA Candidate Katie Blanchette

Katie Blanchette has been drawing ever since she could hold something in her hand. A consummate doodler, she was in high school when everything came together. A Rochester, N.H. resident, she not only started taking art classes but also came to UNH as part of Upward Bound, a six-week summer academic program that gives high school students the opportunity to experience college. Now she is in the final year of her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus on printmaking. After that she'll get her master's of arts in teaching with the goal of teaching high school art. "My main purpose as a teacher would be to introduce students to a world that I find fascinating and wonderful and empowering," says Blanchette. "Being able to make something of your own and claim it as your own and take pride in it is very powerful, and at that age, when things often seem so out of control, it's so important.

"Before I took an introduction to printmaking class I hadn't given it serious thought. Once I took that class it was like a door opened to me. There is so much you can do with it that can't do with other mediums, like how the different processes and techniques give different effects."

Slideshow: Bridget Finnegan, New and Emerging Media
Words: Erika Mantz, Media Relations
Special thanks to Julee Holcomb, UNH Art and Art History


Championship banners and football from University archives

Blanchette does intaglio printmaking, drawing with needle directly onto copper plates and woodcuts. Intaglio is a family of printmaking techniques in which the image is incised into a surface, known as the matrix or plate, and the incised line or area holds the ink. Intaglio literally means to carve into or to impress and includes woodcuts to engraving into copper plates to monoprints. "There's hundreds of ways to do things and that's what I like. With a copper square and needle I can be more spontaneous; stopping on a walk when I see something. Woodcuts take longer and are more labor intensive."


An original barnacle pin

Detail from "Anticipation"
4 3/4" x 8 1/4"
Wood block print

"When I did the original drawing I was standing in the stairwell that leads up to the BFA studios. It was the summer before my BFA year and before I even had a key to my studio. I liked the angle of the stairwell and how the light was coming in. I was feeling such an eagerness to get up there and make it a space all my own." Blanchette puts her early doodling skills to use before starting almost all of her prints.

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photo of freshman beanie's

"Warm Home"
4 1/2" x 3"
Wood block print

"The idea for this print came from a series of drawings I was doing on taking small things and trying to blow them up. This seashell I had was about the size of a human thumbnail. I was trying to get a gradient effect, like many Japanese prints have, but it's very difficult." Blanchette had inherited some water-based ink from a professor and wanted to experiment printing with it. This print and "Anticipation" were done thanks to a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Her proposal was to experiment with different printmaking techniques as well as water-based ink.

photo pf drypoint print Porcelain

"Porcelain"
3" x 3"

Copper drypoint print

"This print is of a urinal my soon-to-be father-in-law had in his warehouse. He works in architectural salvage and I thought it would be fun to take something so ridiculous and make it into fine art. Before putting any hard lines on the copper I was doing light sketches to make it fit on the 3 inch square. Originally I was just going to do a line drawing but then I started seeing all the detail. I liked the challenge fitting tiny details in tiny spaces."

Caution cone

"Caution Cone"
5" x 3"
Copper drypoint print

"This print is a view on campus; it's looking under the little bridge behind the service building. "I had just gotten a new canvas chair that was easy to carry around and I was looking for places to sit and draw. I saw the cone and at first wasn't going to include it. It seemed like an accessory but at the last minute I threw it in."

 

photos of the orange and gold and brown and tan carpet samples that were in Dimond Library

"Horizon"
18" x 4 1/2"
Wood block print

"My main focus on this piece was experimenting with mark making, which is using big scoop tools to carve."

photo of UNH milk bottles in the crates that they were carried in

"Dappled Self"
4" x 7"
Wood block print

"I was sitting on the floor in my studio working on a different woodcut. I had a mirror propped up against a stool and when I glanced in the mirror I liked the way the reflection looked and decided to do a self portrait right then and there."

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