Rachel Kmecheck

Posted on March 1, 2023 by Grace Olson

Art medium: Intaglio printmaking and watercolor.

Were you always interested in following a creative path? Yes, my life has always had a creative path to it. My creative path was not a straight path, but it has been a wonderful journey so far.

Why a focus on medieval times? As a child, I always loved the medieval era—from going to the Renaissance fair to watching movies loosely based on the time period. I also went to Ireland for a study-abroad program. Being in a castle or church that has been around since the medieval period has really re-invigorated my interest in the medieval era. While in Ireland I also saw so many “small versions” of beautiful art, from stained glass details to the encaustic tiles that would decorate the church floor. Intaglio printmaking has been around since the 1400s, which fits with my theme of being inspired by medieval art, art techniques or architecture for my art pieces.

How do you describe your craft? Intaglio is a multi-step process. First, you etch your design on a plate, then you ink your plate and put it on a printing bed with your paper on it, and then using the pressure and the weight of the rollers, the ink is transferred to the paper. Depending on the design, I sometimes like to add watercolor touches once the ink is dry.

What are some examples of designs you’ve done in the past? I have quite a few pieces based on medieval tile designs and medieval stained glass details. I am always adding more to these collections as I find more inspiration.

Do you have a favorite design or project? I am working on a new series based on mythical creatures that I can’t wait to see printed!

One thing most people wouldn’t guess about your craft: How much time it takes to make one plate for printing—smaller plates can easily take up to 10 hours for just the etching.

Why do you love what you do? I absolutely love how intricate and detailed I can get with these prints and how I feel I am almost connecting to the artists of the past by honoring their techniques.

Early bird or night owl? Night owl by nature!

Music/podcasts while working or silence? I love listening to my favorite movies’ soundtracks while I am down in my studio, including Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Outlander, Braveheart and more!

What makes you happiest: Pulling a fresh print off the press for the first time. It is equally being very happy and also wondering how it will turn out.

Find Rachel on Facebook and Instagram @modernmedievalpress

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