Friday, September 21, 2018

180921 Why read the Ponzi Factor?

My paperback book, The Ponzi Factor came yesterday. It’s about investment profits. The subtitle is The Simple Truth About Investment Profits. How I learned about the book, I am not sure. It was probably on my Facebook page. It piqued my interest because I’m working on an investment scheme for the International Print Center Incubators, and one of the people I mentioned it to said it sounded like Ponzi Scheme.
Ponzi sold fake stock. Tan Liu says all stock that does not give the shareholder a vote, does not pay a dividend, and has no intrinsic cash value does not fit the classic definition of shares in a company. Instead of paying shareholders a piece of company profits in the form of dividends, shareholders can profit only by selling their shares at a price higher than they paid.
Which is okay. If the value of the shares goes down, of course the investor loses when they sell. When they sell at a loss, they realize their loss.
I make art, but I have never profited by it. I made a salary teaching art classes. Occasionally I still get income from instructing people on how to make prints, a type of art form. I never feel like I’m teaching art. How can anyone teach the ineffable?
Teaching art, or about art, is a different topic. My sense is that the aesthetics associated with the word art are more a matter of brain science than a field called art that’s dominated by people who reject science, technology, engineering and math in their daily lives except to benefit from scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.
This, too, is a different topic. However, printmaking is my thing and it is because it is the interface of STEM and Art. I like STEAM, therefore, in the efforts of educators to correct educational policies for young people. I like STREAM, too, the efforts to put Reading in the mix.
The Ponzi Factor is part of this interest of mine. I read Tan Lui with interest in learning how I can use an artistic creation I call artistscrip to finance the International Print Center Incubators. I think I can combine the art I made over fifty-four years’ time as scrip to put money into working capital for IPCI.
If someone remarks that my scheme reminds them of the Ponzi Scheme, then I study the Ponzi Scheme like I never studied it before. Tan Lui says the whole stock market is a one big Ponzi Scheme because it is not based on products and shares of profits coming from sales of products.
The closest I came to marry the aesthetics of creation of mine to a balance of product and the art experience is the Halfwood line of etching presses. People bought it for both reasons – its aesthetic merits and its potential to produce the owners’ prints. To the people who bought the press, it looked like a hammer looks to a carpenter.
The press is a potent thing. It has potential. Like a fresh battery, if a person puts it into a device, the device works on the energy of the battery.
Artistscrip must be the batter to make IPCI go. [I noticed a typo – the “y” was not on the word, “battery” so it was funny because, yes, a batter has the potential to make a go of it!]

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

180919 Shot in the arm

Yesterday my wife and I got our flu shot in the arm. This morning I got a “shot in the arm” when I found an entrepreneur kit on the STEAM group Facebook page. For years I have been scanning the Internet for these kinds of metaphors – products and services to bring attention to STEAM (and STREAM) education initiatives.
My offering is a unique one where art is brought into STEM by printmaking. I made a DIY etching press to be part of a kit for teachers and home-schoolers. Printmaking is not only an art and craft, it’s the ancestor of all technologies and therefore it’s suitable for STEM, STEAM and STREAM. All these depend on printing from the beginning of recorded history.
It is printing as much as painting that we find human records on the walls of caves and overhanging cliff walls.
Now, thanks to my miniaturized, functional presses and online instructions by thousands of printmakers, anyone can learn how to make plates and print them. My DIY Kit has been tested and proved effective, but only in a limited way.
When I saw the “entrepreneur kit” on the STEAM Facebook page, it was a shot in the arm in an otherwise sleepy morning for me.
The idea behind this kit is that the teacher or team of teachers can buy the $350 kit and have the kids work out the figures for a fund-raising project. They’ll end up going door-to-door or standing in front of grocery stores selling lip balm.
Why not prints they made, suitable for framing or greeting cards?
I wonder where the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math come in? Not as sexy as robotics I suppose; and lacking in competition like hackathons and such – but worth thinking about.
I think this is a better idea because the world doesn’t need 300 flavored lip balms. Personally, I think the product is dumb and blinders the kids. It even misleads kids into thinking, “I need lip balm” and “I need it flavored.”
Now I am looking forward to re-working this advertisement and substituting the Mini Etching Press and its features to suit my offering.
This is just one of the concepts intended for the International Print Center Incubators. Can I find the entrepreneurs for the top?

Thursday, September 13, 2018

1800913 Bridging performance and printmaking

“Show me the separation between two cultures and let me build a bridge across it.” This is what I heard from Eboo Patel on a PBS interview. He said he saw the importance of interfaith education coming to the fore, and he wanted to be part of the next chapter in the 21st Century. He started hundreds of chapters in his college interfaith organizations on US college campuses. He said college campus are the treasures of the country and extremely important to world peace.
I also want to be part of the next chapter, and I also want to work for world peace. That’s why I stretched my experience when I was a college professor. I wasn’t in the religious field, however the arts have a kinship with religion. It takes faith and devotion to pursue an art career. So, too, with teaching art. I didn’t teach people to be artistic, however. I offered my insights into what art is in the application of printmaking – a technology.
Across my computer screen today I see a message from a performance art organization: The Seattle Theater Group (STG). This organization is seeking, “young ambassadors to work with our major theaters.” They are seeking young people who are interested in the “arts industry jobs.”
I think my work is directed to the same age group, but it is the “printmaking arts industry.” Understanding printmaking as an “industry” goes further than printmaking has has gone before, that is, as an adjunct to painting and drawing. As an industry, similarly as theater has taken in an industrial component, printmaking has taken a performance aspect.
From the world of performing arts, in this case, theater, STG has a lesson for me. They are an organization which encompasses the major theaters, the venues that provide a range of jobs for people who love theater, theatrics and theater-goers.
When I was a professor of printmaking, my vision of printmaking as part visual art and part performance art was rejected at the UW, unfortunately. That I offered to teach ways that technology enters printmaking was rejected, too. Finally, I was rejected because I exerted pressure to change things.
Yet, today I’m part of the next chapter, as Eboo Patel described his place in interfaith understanding. I, too, want to build a bridge, and I want to do this in a way that’s appropriate to our region – the Pacific Northwest. That is why I work on the International Print Center and Incubators. That is why I adopted a technology platform and engineering principles such as concomitant engineer – imagining a center in place before the actual thing exists.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

180908 What is artistscrip? 

 Artist + scrip, the joining of an artist’s will to produce scrip. Artistic will initiates making, the same will which initiates a painting, sculpture or pottery-making. Where there is a will, there is a way an artist, crafts person or designer will make something. Where there is a will, there may be an invention, discovery, creation or imagined product or process.
This human propensity to explore and make things is not only artistic, as the science, technology, literature, engineering and mathematics are also initiated by similar will or inspiration. My invention (if that what it is) came when I face two challenges:
One, finance the development of an International Print Center and Incubators - IPCI?
Two, dispose of sixty years’ accumulation of works in arts, crafts and design?
The first – financing – amounts to hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. The second amounts to a thousand or two thousand physical pieces.
Artistscrip is preceded by several kinds of artistic creations: artistamps, artist’s cards, and artist’s books. All three are variants of government and commercial enterprise: postage, games, and a blend of literature and craft. All three contribute to the invention of artistscrip.
Artistscrip borrows from those metaphors, but finds its validation in scripophily, the hobby of collecting stock certificates for their intrinsic design and novelty but not of their value as ownership in companies.
Artistscrip borrows its meaning from another financing method: crowd funding. Crowdfunding has become popular in the past twenty years as an alternative to stock offerings and big money backing. Thanks to the Internet, artists can raise money for projects by casting a wide net to get money in small amounts adding up to what he or she needs.
Financing the development of the International Print Center and Incubators can be achieved by crowdfunding. But what about the second challenge – emptying our gallery of thousands of art objects?
By declaring each object to be a certificate like a share in IPCI, each object is given scrip form. By prompting the same responses that make scripophily a popular pursuit, artistscrip becomes more attractive, even, than the work of art itself!
Valuation of works of art is a complicated process, and valuation of my works of art is not possible because I have not striven to make my art collectible in the commercial and collecting community. By choice I did not make art to participate in the conventions of art galleries, showings and collecting.
Those works that sold did so simply on their visual appeal. The most recent sale – a ceramic – sold for $150. The one before that, $90. The one before that, about six months ago, $3,750. Valuation by conventional means, however, is still impossible because the professional valuator charges hundreds per hour for her work, not to mention attorney’s fees associated with dispensation of artists’ family inheritance.
Entering the conventions of the issues arising from over-production of artworks is a swamp of quicksand and in it is usually advisable to destroy the works or give all away (if any depository can be found).
Artistscrip is the happy joining of a purpose – IPCI – and a means to the end. One might call artistscrip a “work of art” in and of itself insofar it results from a creative mind, a solution to a problem. There is no International Print Center & Incubators in Seattle – that is the problem. The solution is to develop it with artistscrip whose basis is my lifetime’s work.
My lifetime’s work has been both in making works of art, craft and design, and in striving for a center printmaking, prints, and printmakers.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

mr180903 My own jobs act 

Robert Grudin wrote about the ideal trio working on a project: “Ideally, a bold and lavishly imaginative individual should begin a project; a methodical and tireless individual, who stands in awe of his partner’s brilliance but is affectionately critical of his excesses and lapses, should be in charge of the middle; and a third individual, patient, elegant and scrupulous, deeply impressed by his colleagues’ joint achievement but aware that it will fail without his serene overview and inspired refinements, should complete the work. Even more ideally, these three should be one and the same person.”
I am like that one person who tries to be all three, and it’s because I am a traditional inventor, using all the tricks known to invention. Fortunately, I have turned to using both traditional tools and technology.
Now I can put this inventiveness to good use – and what better purpose than to create jobs for people who want to work on and in the International Print Center and Incubators? For weeks I have been working on an invention to finance IPCI I call artistscrip. It’s a method for marketing and selling the contents of our family art gallery.
For example, I am about to design a brass plaque, a component of an artistscrip example. I imagine a person trained to make these brass plaques – the same kind of brass plaque one finds on trophies and in art museums. One might question this – after all, in this age of mechanization, it would be cheaper to have them made by a company.
However, at IPCI we create jobs, even though it’s true that we could cut costs by sending out for the product. The making of the brass plaque is like a printmaking process, and that’s why we do it in house. We train a person to make these plaques, and in the next hour we might train the person to print plates made by the same process I call silitransfer etching, a kind of kitchen printmaking.
The key to the success of IPCI is that the incubators are based on scalability, because only if the startup can be scaled up will it create enough jobs to have a positive impact on many peoples’ lives.
Compare, for example, the job I’m creating (etching 1,000 brass name plates by hand) can be scaled up. I’ve proven the process is interesting and eye-catching. At the time a reader sees this essay, 91,000 people watched my Youtube video on the subject, and ten percent received “likes.”
I viewed another startup in Seattle pitching for investments. The business is a pottery-making studio. This is a friendly community pot shop which needs funds for some purpose – perhaps operating costs. It is not scalable. It would be scalable if the entrepreneur could demonstrate they want to develop a franchise to facilitate thousands of pot shops like theirs. I see problems with it, however. For one thing, it’s not EarthSafe by my definition because the shop consumes a lot of electricity to fire the ceramics, and energy is a number one concern globally.
Participants in her startup have no opportunity to recoup the expense of their work – they pay as they go. A tiny minority may become professional potters; however, they will face the same problems all potters face in marketing and sales and their living expenses. They will have wasted their time. The pottery was not conceived as a scalable nor extensible project. It benefited only the pot shop owner. In a way, the pot shop is like the printmaking shop, but the printmaking shop is scalable because it addresses consumers’ needs and wants in more reasonable ways.
Compared to etching brass plates by hand, my members will be participating in a community with potential for steady employment as the artistscrip concept is adopted by thousands of artists and their communities of supporters. They work in a milieu of other startups connected to printmaking. The technique for brass plates is the same as the technique for making “badges” for halfwood presses, games, toys and more. The milieu includes creative makers in new technologies, such as 3D printing, computer graphics, web design, etc. The International Print Center & Incubators is itself an extended, scaled entity rooted in printmaking and branching into other markets.
I have my models to work from – an aging artist with an inventory of works on paper “suitable for framing and hanging” but with only the artistscrip (not the real artwork itself) to be consumed by an already saturated market for original art.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

es180902 Labor making 

If not for labor, what is IPCI good for? 

Artistscrip is intended to be money-making by labor-making. Today is Labor Day, and I am laboring over the subject of inventing artistscrip. I started this task a long time ago and recently I made progress in its design. I need help – like the farmer in his field with too much hoeing to accomplish. I will never be able to do it alone.
Until someone comes along who shares my interest in developing the International Print Center and Incubators, I will labor alone. I’m not complaining. It’s good work and someone has to do it. When someone comes along who can “hoe” like me, then they can invest time in learning how to make artistscrip work the way it’s intended.
There are a great many “weeds” to rout out. The first and most stubborn is cynicism, reluctance to open the mind to this new idea. Such is the bane of inventors, the nay-sayers, the nemeses who are in plenty. In the arts, this is particularly common because the arts are a common part of consumer habits of thinking.
Thus, to put an artwork on a sheet as artistscrip immediately links the conventions around consumer art to a different world – a world where there is no International Print Center and Incubators. Seattle is this place. In other cities there are print centers, and consumers know this. In fact, most consumers and print producers will point to several in Seattle as “centers.”
The word “incubators” is foreign to most artists, or, if the word is used it is used in connection with business and technology (or hatching chicks!). There has been only one instance of an incubator in the arts, and it was almost forty years ago and lasted only seven years. It was known by its participants as Triangle Studios.
Triangle was an incubator for young artists who wanted to participate in the art world as it was known then in Seattle. There was an emerging class of art buyers who were less interested in the old Northwest School and more interested in what artists under the age of thirty were doing. A few sharp art dealers saw this new market and opened art galleries to provide for it.
Triangle was one spot where the new ideas could gestate and develop. The experiment in an art incubator was successful, and when the artists were sufficiently confident financially, they left Triangle Studios and worked in studios limited to production. Now they are in their ‘sixties and their stories complete.
IPCI is not that kind of incubator, because there is no emerging class of consumers who are so interested in what artists under thirty are doing that they will pay thousands of dollars a year to purchase it. Besides, it was not printmaking that made the artists of the 1970’s and 1980’s independent. Printmaking was a minor part of their output. Printmaking was valuable only in the social lessons those young artists learned plus an introduction to basics of new technologies like video and computer-aided art.
IPCI is not focused on production of that bygone era. IPCI is focused the creativity that is assigned to artists but not to their products. IPCI is focused on experience and labor-making of the sort described in the two popular terms: the experience economy and the creative economy. IPCI has printmaking at its core, but not making prints alone. The act of making prints is more important than the print, for it is the action that people respond to (and spend money) and not the prints.
This does not exclude buying prints, but largely so. That’s why the core concept behind artistscrip to develop IPCI is not for the products called prints, but for the action of participating in the development of a city asset – the International Print Center and Incubators. The product is the stock certificate, conceived in the spirit of concomitant engineering, where the process and product form a continuous loop, or spiral.
Labor is involved now in my making of actual, physical certificates, the elements that I invent that go into it, the models I use to design it (such as the companies that sell decorative stock certificates of real corporations) and the features that make the certificate link to the Internet.
The labor comes from managing the story, the images, the links on the web, and hands-on etching. Already I am getting closer to the engraving of the printing plate for the certificates. I’m happy to be in contact with an engraver in Brazil for one of the colors, and one in Maine. In Hungary I have a contact whose specialty is in theories about traditional banknote engraving and cybercash.
Now I must go back and “labor” in my studio on this fascinating stage of my development of IPCI.

Monday, August 27, 2018

ps180827 Leticia Gasca

Towards artistscrip 

Leticia Gasca, thanks to TED Talks, explained her venture starting in business school and failing at her startup. She is Mexican, and she knew about some women who made wonderful products by hand. As they were unschooled business methods, Leticia decided to help. Despite her efforts to make the business profitable, she could see it was failing. She had to shut it down. Her message on the TED Talk was to be mindful of what happens to the employees if the CEO declares the business dead and bankrupt.
In societies were failure is shame, she said entrepreneurs hide their failures. But in societies that are okay with failures, they may even brag about their failures. How many times have we been told how such-and-such hugely successful business person went bankrupt, lost their home and, years later, emerged a multibillionaire?
We don’t consider the lost jobs he or she was responsible for. Granted, they were jobs, if temporarily. Consider, too, how many investors lost their investments – what those investors had to tell their friends and family. “Yes, I invested in that startup, yes, it went belly-up.” Failure is not the end of the world for these entrepreneurs and investors, but for those who lost their jobs, the setbacks are mighty bad.
I study TED Talks at least once a week, and since entrepreneurship is on my mind in connection with the International Print Center Incubators (IPCI), I think about stories about startups and investors. I rely on investors to start the IPCI.
When I listened to Leticia’s TED Talk, I tried to picture what it was that those women in Mexico were making – what was Leticia talking about? Hand-painted and varnished gourds, maybe? Hand-woven wall decorations or purses? As a college student I used to visit La Tienda in Seattle and so it’s easy to imagine the wonderful things Leticia was referring to. In fact, those items in La Tienda had a “Leticia” helping the crafts people and artisans get their goods to the Seattle store and many others.
My mind flips to some contacts I’ve had with Seattle incubators and consultants who are helping entrepreneurs with their startups. They help by teaching basic business methods like writing business plans, marketing, and selling. I’ve bought the books about the Canvas method, I’ve gone to venture capital meetings off and on for twenty-five years.
When I think about Leticia’s story, I concluded that there is a parallel between what she saw as a potential job-creating business (Mexican handicrafts) and my Halfwood Press design. Imagine if Leticia had been passing my window on 5th Avenue in Seattle, saw the Mini Etching Press and came in to talk about it.
She would see in me and Tom Kughler something like those Mexican women making nice things, one at a time, and selling a few hundred of them to a few hundred people worldwide. She might have thought, “Yes, but will it pay the makers’ wages? Is it sustainable? Have Bill and Tom considered the market, really, and how big is, and whether it’s scalable?”
I would love if “a Leticia Gasca” would walk in one day and ask me those questions, but it hasn’t happened yet. Not in Seattle. However, I get many visitors and usually it’s because they saw the Mini Etching Press in the window and it stopped them in their tracks. That alone suggests there is a market. In emails I’ve had interest from foreign countries like China and India. Today one came from Singapore, where there are four presses I designed and helped make and send to artists. People in twenty countries – from Estonia to Taiwan – ordered our presses.
What are the chances that someone will put out hundreds or thousands of dollars for a Halfwood Etching press they happened to see, in Seattle, a city of over 700,000 people, in a window in Uptown? It has happened, more than once; however, most were discovered on the Internet, which I paid nothing for except my time took to make snapshots, web pages and videos on YouTube.
For almost fifteen years I designed and helped make and sell 250 Halfwood Presses starting out at $500 to $3,750 retail. The competition’s presses are cheaper, but not as beautiful; and I believe beauty to be in the eye, mind and heart of the viewer. I designed the Halfwood Press with beauty and functionality in mind; I never thought of its scalability until Tom showed me the miniature version of my first press.
Now I think about scalability a lot! I think the press can pay for IPCI. Recently I started two new approaches to my plan for funding IPCI on sales and services around the design of the Halfwood Press. One is community action, the other is crowd funding.
In community action I proposed IPCI as a city asset, a destination for tourists and professional who love printmaking, prints and printmakers. I offered this to Seattle developers and City officials by participating in groups like the Uptown Arts and Culture Coalition.
Crowdfunding is the other approach, as the UACC is, so far, indifferent to my idea for IPCI. If a group of investors funded IPCI’s startup, then the UACC and the City might be counted on for support.
I am like Leticia in that I think what Tom and I have designed, built and sold is a wonderful product. We have tested it and collected data proving it’s a minimally-viable product. It passes the test described in the workshops in financing startups. It sustains, too, as I correspond with owners and I keep their contact information, write newsletters, and speculate on scaling the business in different markets.
Leticia’s women in Mexico were not designing or inventing anything new, I imagine – folk art, maybe, or wearables. Nor did I invent anything new. Etching presses have been around for four-hundred years. The times, however, and the educational support for etching has changed what printmaking means. I was part of that education as a printmaking professor.
Crowd funding is possible. There’s plenty of literature and debate about laws that have made crowdfunding legal. I’m not convinced, nor is my attorney, it’s the way to go. I do know, however, that I am not the one who can discuss it alone; picture me talking to my reflection in a mirror! What do I know about running an S-Corporation or a C-Corp? I am less interested in 5013c, by the way.
On the other hand, picture me as an innovator who can not only design, help build, market and sell worldwide 250 halfwood presses over fourteen years’ time. If I can do that, can I design a financing innovation? Yes, I can. It’s called artistscrip. Disclosure: I am not qualified to offer legal shares.
It’s time to go to my studio, so I stop here. I must produce a memoir leading up to artistscrip. Who knows? Today, Monday, August 27, 2018, may be the day “a Leticia” walks in.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

180809 The coming great reconstruction era 

Whenever trouble fills the air, like the ochre haze that hangs overhead in the burning seasons, I think of the coming great American reconstruction. I recall the words of John Lennon:

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be . . . let it be.

No matter how hopeless it seems, as there’s no putting out the fires, no restoring the killed trees nor the killed children all over the world, if America has a place in saving Earth’s human life sustainability, then Americans must restore things at home.
It will be hard. It will take years, perhaps decades. Fifty years is a fair estimate, and I will be dead before measurable progress is made. Those who measure the progress are, at this time, little children. They will write about the great American reconstruction and compare it to the first Reconstruction era, which lasted less than a generation, but which was never completed.
This is Wikipedia’s short description of the Reconstruction era:
The Reconstruction era was the period from 1863 to 1877 in American history. The term has two applications: the first applies to the complete history of the entire country from 1865 to 1877 following the American Civil War; the second, to the attempted transformation of the 11 ex-Confederate states from 1863 to 1877, as directed by Congress. Reconstruction ended the remnants of Confederate nationalism and ended slavery, making the newly free slaves citizens with civil rights apparently guaranteed by three new Constitutional amendments. Three visions of Civil War memory appeared during Reconstruction: the reconciliationist vision, which was rooted in coping with the death and devastation the war had brought; the white supremacist vision, which included terror and violence; and the emancipationist vision, which sought full freedom, citizenship, and Constitutional equality for African Americans.
Evidently the Republican congress was unable to achieve what they set out to as the democratic system is flawed. The constitution is open to discussion, and the church entered through loopholes the founding fathers never dreamed the church would exploit.
Thus we have today a nation divided, as it was in the 1860’’s, with a demagogue who calls himself a Republican but who, like any opportunist with mental problems and of low intelligence, exploits the two-party system to his advantage. The congress and the courts are weak and easily influenced by money. The voters are apathetic as they see the problems as being so huge as to be insoluble.
Scientists have warned for half a century that the skies would be almost permanently ochre-colored, and millions of acres of flora would be turned into dust and carbon dioxide like a slow detonation of a bomb. Not in a flash like a nuclear warhead, but like a natural act of God. Only it is not God who is doing it, but Americans and the American way of life.
When I see the devastation, both Natural and man-made, and I take measure of my tiny efforts toward education, I take hope in the coming of the great American Reconstruction coming. I say it begins today – August 9, 2018 – and it should embolden voters for politicians of all stripes who understand the science and the data that point to imminent destruction of Earth’s human life sustainability.
Some people, who I think have latent suicidal tendencies, say it is better that human life be extinguished, as humans have already destroyed many other life forms and show no sign of letting up. Already those who have a strong life urge – not suicidal – especially parents of young children, are looking for solutions.
The solutions may not come from within America, however, they may come from outside our borders. Canada and Mexico, for example, stand to decide for Americans what they must do. China, too and even North Korea, or nations in the Middle East, are critical of American behavior.
Above them all is science and Nature. One which has the means to make logical forecasts based on probability and the other who can assemble the greatest forces of the Universe.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

180520 Are Emeralda and IPCI the same? 

Daily I visit the ten glass beads on my personal website and choose one of the “islands-of-domains-of-expertise” to see where I left off on the design of Emeralda Region. Emeralda was going to be my ticket to fame. Emeralda was supposed to restore my place in the education world. It was supposed to prove my hypothesis that printmaking is a portal to understanding art and technology.
Extracting from the success stories of my former students and focusing not only on their art. In addition to their innate skills, I focused also on what I observed were their skills in ten domains-of-expertise. It took some doing, but I managed to twist their bonus talents and perceived interlocking pretzels of domains. Finally I made up islands where these domains were pre-eminent features of cultural assets.
There are ten imaginary islands. What remained for me, for the rest of my life, was travel among these islands. I made a schedule. To give myself time to reflect about printmaking and its place in higher education, I fabricated a prize, the Gates Prize for Exemplary Teaching, Research, Practice and Service.
The Gates Prize (named for Elmer Gates, a neuroscientist born in the 19th Century who practiced this branch of medicine before there was a name for it) was what I imagined I might have won if my career had not been cut short in 1984. Readers may be reminded of Orwell’s world, and it was a fact in my time at the UW.
Peter Bloom, in his book, Closing the American Mind, wrote about that period. It was the mid-1980s when higher education entered a depression; I lived it, and my development died then. From a distance I watched as my former teaching province was deconstructed and I was erased from its history by one who replaced me. I escaped from a dire situation; not so the rest of the American education institutions. For three decades and counting, I have lived as castaway.
However, my life raft is well-equipped, thanks to the lessons I learned from my college teachers students at the UW. For example, in one of my experiments I proposed that video could serve artists and I established a video art course. In the class we practiced teamwork, free exchange of ideas and performance art. A casual remark about Herman Hesse’s novel, Magister Ludi: The glass bead game, led me to the idea of using glass beads as playing-pieces in a table-top version of Emeralda.
Trivial things like this is what I believe higher education was all about. If my career had not been cut short by the internecine politics at the UW School Of Art, Washington State would have, today, something like my vision of the International Print Center and Incubators, IPCI, a Seattle asset.
On the other hand, the fact that the students didn’t realize that those trivial things were the acorns from which might oaks could grow underscores the fact that, in a perfect studio, where teaching, research, practice and service were happening all at the same time, all under one roof, it isn’t clear what good can come from the interaction of teachers and students. Not until there is proof.
Instead, what occurred was proof that mediocrity at high levels trickles down. Cynicism takes the place of contemplation and testing of hypothesis, narrow-mindedness and fear prevail. Therefore, better that IPCI not be part of a corrupted institution.
If the UW had kept me and allowed my plan to re-define printmaking along the lines of its root in other technologies, eventually the culture of university politics would have resulted in an IPCI with UW ties so intertwined that the inevitable rigidity and ignorance would have made the oak tree rot at its core.
To wit, the model I called the Granger Clay Products Campus in Central Washington was inspired by Dale Chihuly’s Pilchuck Glass School and The Evergreen State College’ founding. Where I thought a skunkworks media arts center would be state-supported, Dale’s idea was privately-supported. Pilchuck (and Dale) succeeded because of business acumen in its sponsors’ attunement to the creative economy and, consciously or not, the principle of the wealth of nations.
What does this teach me? An IPCI must be a business, a corporation designed to make a profit. Its parts must enable its participants to realize their dreams in the same way that I accidentally helped my students realize theirs. The architecture I drew up for Emeralda is morphing into a basket of eggs, each egg representing a hypothetical business in which artistically-inclined people can succeed.
In this sense, my Emeralda has become the International Print Center and Incubators, so named as a marketing device but an Artrepreneurial school, a training center for franchises which monetizes printmaking in ways beyond making prints. It teaches a hybrid of the creative economy and the experience economy about which has been written by authors John Howkins (The creative economy is a powerful engine of growth and community vitality. Together, artists, cultural nonprofits, and creative businesses produce and distribute cultural goods and services that generate jobs, revenue, and quality of life. A thriving cultural sector leads to thriving communities”) and Pine & Gilmore (consumers unquestionably desire experiences, and more and more businesses are responding by explicitly designing and promoting them).

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

180627 Escape Rembrandt’s Press 

I wrote Rembrandt’s Ghost in the New Machine as one asset to add to funding the International Print Center & Incubators – IPCI, Inc. – an S-corp, or Benefit Corporation. Writing it was partly a response to my older idea of the teacher in a box. PressGhost was the incarnation of that concept. It’s all about education, after all.
But education is not a good business. It’s not that the U.S. marketplace is big on education now. Peter Bloom wrote Closing of the American Mind about the time I was being pressed out of my teaching job at the University of Washington.
A good teacher, however, will not roll over dead just because the establishment kicks him out of their club lounge. A good art teacher, too, will not go along with the herd if he or she has dug deep into the meaning of the cultural arts. I teach creativity, and by inventing ways to connect an art tool (or instrument) to the cultural arts, I walk my talk.
I put my mind to designing the Mini Halfwood Press, then I put my mind in it, i.e., the PressGhost.
My research in printmaking (and this does not apply to its cousins, painting, drawing and sculpture) showed the stronger side of its value: technology. Its cousins in photography, film, video and digital-based systems are more important to education.
Thus, I built on a base of artists’ relationship to people through media such as photographs (of art), cinema, video and digital art. Add to this performance skill and it sums up to what I do, which is gaming.
It is not consumer-type games I do, however, but e-games, which are educational games in the guise of entertainment.
As I write this I am practicing my playing of the game I named, Emeralda: Games for the Gifts of Life. I call it practice, but I’m also producing an essay, words for the culture I learned in college, the life of the mind.
Having exceeded my allotment in years, three-score and ten—I move toward the end of my life in the cultural arts. Its highest level of attainment in education is through the channels of media, and the interface is business exchange—commerce being the oldest form of valuation.
I can think of no better means to teach than by commerce, and this includes the incorporation of buyers and sellers into a mutually beneficial relationship. Corporations have provided the structural means to make the relationship happen. It begins with shareholders in the enterprise and includes the consumers who prove and sustain the value of the enterprise. It’s a recursive relationship that works.
An etching press with a brain, or a teacher in a box, can be a product to sustain interaction and mutual benefits but not if its purchase stops at the old frame of reference, i.e., making prints for consumption. That’s because on that level, prints are the same as paintings and drawing but cheaper.
Continuous interaction between maker and consumer is where printmaking trumps its cousins, painting and drawing because printmaking has cousins in technology, too, and this makes all the difference.
Therefore, IPCI is a corporation; but because IPCI is a cultural arts corporation, it may fall under the S-corp or B-corp mantel—Service and Benefit. My only means to finance the startup is my name to those who know my name is as a teacher and artist. It’s likely I’m better at teaching than I will ever be as an artist; time will tell, and we don’t have any more of it.
What is apparent immediately is that I have a thousand unsold works of art in our storage – works of art which will be disposed of as trash soon after I die. But it doesn’t have to be that way. These thousand works can be used for shares in IPCI, Inc., sold as scrip to finance the incubators (the second “I” in IPCI for which IPCI is unique in all the world).
For it is not only for making prints as consumer products that I have spent my life, but also for the benefit of the Earth’s human life sustainability and that, in turn, is educational benefit.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

180626 Publishing PDF on SendOwl 

We are living in the digital age of the feuilleton described in the back story of Hermann Hesse’s book, The Glass Bead Game. I got stuck in college, like a dinosaur in a tar pit. I’m unable to get out of the habits I learned in college – teaching, doing research, practicing and producing and doing service to communities-of-practice. Like those creatures trapped 38,000 years ago, I am trapped in habits of thought I learned in college.
The habits of teaching, research, practice and service I learned from my teachers led to experiments (research) with video as a teaching instrument and an art instrument. The significance for an arts professional and his or her students would be clear from the 1930’s on, when several scientific discoveries and engineering developments converged, changing the course of human history and pointing to either the specie’s further development or the specie’s destruction both of itself and multitudes of other living species.
Earth’s sustainability of human life, then, became my focus. The present age which resembles Hesse’s view of feuilleton, and mine, too, only updated. He responded with literature. I respond with digital works designed for the Web.
Feuilleton in Wikipedia: In the novel The Glass Bead Game (1943), by Nobel Prize-winning novelist Hermann Hesse, the current era is characterized and described as "The Age of the Feuilleton".[3] In Hesse's novel, this so-called age of the feuilleton, viewed retrospectively from a future scholarly society called Castalia, is generally but not simply portrayed as having an overweening, trivializing or obfuscating character such as is associated with the arbitrary and primitive nature of social production prior to the historical denouement that resulted in the creation of Castalia. The bourgeois feuilleton of the Belle Époque, especially in France during the period of the Dreyfus affair, as well as those of Fascist Germany, served to effect Kulturpolitik; they established norms and tastes, contributed to the formation of social identity, and often expressed an underlying antisemitism. Glasperlenspiel was written during World War II, and Hesse would have been reacting in part to these real historical developments.[citation needed] In Maxim Gorky's novel "Foma Gordeev" the character Ezhóff is described as a feuilleton writer.
Like the fantasy Hesse created a region Castalia, a scholar’s haven where mastery of the arts and sciences counts, I created Emeralda. Where invented the Glass Bead Game, I invented Games for the gifts of life. In this imaginary space – played out in the media of its origination - I practice like a musician practices on an instrument. Sometimes it is an etching press—but seldom these days. Most often it is on a multimedia computer system with software only, my hands touching on keyboards, microphones and digital imaging devices such as cameras.
Most of what I produce are pages for the World Wide Web pages. However, like that dinosaur (or wolf or other species whose bones you see in the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles), I cannot escape into the ordinary world in this age of the feuilleton.
I had in mind valuation of my art when I began writing my memoir. In particular, as a way to finance the IPCI feasibility study, selling my art would raise the money. Anyone reading my life story may find my story justifying my big idea of IPCI. My story may validate my idea(s).

Saturday, June 23, 2018

ap180623 Escape Emeralda Revisited  

Staring at the RIISMA screen for PRODUCTS (after clicking on the glass bead of my homepage, I wondered how a game called Escape Emeralda would work for college credit in a MOOC connected to an art course. I have thought of printmaking for so long that getting credit and achieving printmaking skill mastery to be important that “knowing prints, printmakers and printmaking” seems important.
Maybe it isn’t. Maybe the importance of such things is part of the error in my thinking, the error of thinking latest problems can be solved in the framework of their causes.
Is it true? Think of a problem whose solution is so important that colleges can charge high tuitions to train students in their solutions’ methods. Think of a medical student pays a lot in time and money to solve problems that matter, life-and-death situations. There is nothing close to such important things in knowing about prints, printmakers and printmaking.
Chatting with a neighbor yesterday he commented how the entertainment industry is no in trouble, economically. His daughter is a stage-hand, and reports her firsthand experiences in seeing the outlay of resources that go into major entertainment attractions at the Seattle Center.
“On a day when an event is setting up, there will be up to 20 trucks line up, off-loading for it!” Think about the outlay of resources for that!
The problem, in my opinion, is that entertainment can exacerbate the problems we face as a society and as a species living on a planet with a growing human population and dwindling resources. My game, and my teaching, were supposed to help solve problems by growing creativity, and the creativity of people was supposed to lead to creative solutions to problems.
The medical student planning to be a neurosurgeon is the recipient of tens of thousands of other surgeons who came before. I took the teaching hospital as the model for my art studio—teaching, research and practice going on simultaneously under one roof. I added service to my vision. I call it TRPS, a principle which can be applied to any endeavor for Earth’s human life sustainability.
Staring at my RIISMA screen on my vintage homepage, clicking on PRODUCTS, I tried to imagine an escape game. If I choose one of the three “rooms” I can access – currently there are only three: ARTIST STAMPS, ARTIST TRADING CARDS, and SOFTWARE. Only the first one is linked to another page.

I tried to imagine a CLUE or PHRASE, something to suggest which to choose. I tried to forecast which choice was likely to get me what I want – which is to escape. If I choose ARTIST STAMPS, its link takes me to a window where I can print my own stamps.

Sure, I can print these stamps in color or black and white depending on if I have the kind of printer for it, but why? They are not for use as legitimate postage. They are artistamps. Cool enough? Perhaps. People do, after all, take notice of them in the gallery. If they are physically in the Mini Art Gallery, they can see the stamps in a drawer, and they often want to buy them, and I have, indeed sold them.

The shop is not set up like a store, currently, to make purchases easy. I’m not even set up to sell things; it’s awkward for me. I’m not a shopkeeper, although I could use the money! I have PayPal and PayPalHere, but I don’t take time to practice with it to be efficient.
Not a shopkeeper nor am I a cashier. I am a professor, through-and-through, simple as that. A professor does research besides teach and produce (through practice, practice and more practice).
But what am I researching? What am I practicing? Initially, in the 1980’s, my research was to discover and apply the justification for teaching printmaking in a university. The premise that art should be taught in a university had already been justified. But printmaking within its walls had not.
My hypothesis was that printmaking was being taught incorrectly as an extension of painting. Printmaking is the ancestor of technology—not the poor cousin of fine art painting; therefore, students should be taught printmaking as such, not merely to reproduce drawing and painting canon. This has important social and economic meaning and the main thing is the reliance on teamwork and interaction with Nature, i.e., Earth science.
So, as I begin my day, my screen awaits me. Where do I go from here to, “Escape Emeralda?”

Thursday, June 21, 2018

vi180621 They sell tiles, don’t they? 

I was at the Pike Place Market and I saw that, in addition to the tiles and little bronze pig-hoof-prints, the organization has added metal charms that hang down in the openings of fencing, each charm stamped with a donor’s name. As this is a long-standing method to raise money for nonprofits, would it not work also for artiscripophily in a B-corp?
I still maintain that for-profit is better in the long run for printmaking organizations because print is in-between the fine arts and commercial printing. It is a hybrid art. After reading David Mendoza’s memoir recently, I understood the economic and political aspect of the fine arts better. I saw how the politics of government policies and wealthy patrons, not to mention the politics of sexual orientation and gender, race and ethics are intermingled in the fine arts.
Where money and political power are concerned, the fine arts of the high-ticket kind—artworks that are bought and sold for huge sums—so many factors enter in which may not be in the best interest of Earth’s human life sustainability.
As an example, mention of David’s friends, “Dressed in furs,” reminds me of the animal rights peoples’ protests about the luxury fur industry, not much different than poaching elephants and rhinos. I doubt that you’d have to dig very deeply into the skin of the wealthy women with David to find their true feelings toward the rights of animals—and human kind, for that matter.
I believe Walter Benjamin was correct in his observation, that when reproduction became cheap and accurate, the image of an iconic work of art conferred more political power to the owners of the art than had existed before. He said the cult of art shifted to the practice, the culture, of politics. Art so reproduced conferred power to the owners, the same as a fur coat makes a person appear wealthier and, hence, more powerful, politically.
Given the generations of this reality to take effect on society, entire populations fall under the mercy of a few. Their power shows, as they buy works of art for soaring prices and then donate them to art museums. Government follows the same route—allocating what appear to be handsome sums of money to arts programs and thus garnering the art and members of the culture groups’ favor.
Therefore, proposing nonprofit status for the International Print Center Incubators is wrong-headed, just as it would be for SURF (the tech startup group) to be a nonprofit. You don’t have an incubator which claims to help its entrants learn profitable businesses while under the umbrella of a tax-deductible organization, exempt from the rules of taxable C-corps, B-corps and S-corps.
I think the supporters of IPCI will be more likely to help me get it established if it is a blend, a hybrid, of for-profit and benefit-corporations, just as printmaking is a hybrid of fine art and printing for profit.
As for tiles, charms and bronze-hoofprints set in stone like the benefits given to supporters of the Pike Place Market, IPCI is not only a tourist destination feature for the City of Seattle, it’s also functional as an educational feature for both the stakeholders and the visitors. It also has a prominent Internet presence, reaching far beyond its geographic place.
A tourist at the PPM doesn’t learn a thing by noticing the mementos, but when the tourist reads a printed brochure or Website about the PPM which explains those mementos, something clicks. The donors are recognized. Fair enough. But what is missed is the fact that money and politics saved the market against the onslaught of the developer’s wrecking ball—the donation are not enough to sustain the PPM over the long term. My experience of working with an arts person at the stalls taught me there is a limit on what it does for its vendors.
The IPCI concept is more complicated than saving the historic flavor of the public market. Printmaking has a different meaning, not at all related to farm and garden, fishing or the meat industry. Arts and crafts come close and are a main attraction at the PPM, but under strong limitations.
Printmaking is the ancestor of the technologies that currently account for the Pacific Northwest’s economic success story, yet its descendants—computer aided image making and reproduction—serve education far more effectively than the PPM. Technologies shape the world and will determine Earth’s human life sustainability. That’s a scientific fact, and art helps—but only in reproductions.
In one area particularly, STREAM-based education, there is much work to be done, and I have begun. If the Pike Place Market Foundation can sell tiles, tracks and charms to augment the PPM, then can art scripophily start up the IPCI? I think so.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

180619 More heroes 

I’ve always had heroes. I’ve never outgrown heroism, that sense there are people greater in stature, intellect, courage and given dumb luck than I. Bill Ritchie in Alexandria, Virginia, is one of them, and evidently, so is his wife, Andrea Barthello. The year of my downfall – 1985 – on the other side of the country, they started designing and selling games for kids. These games had a serious play side, which may owe partly to Bill’s brother, Dennis, who invented C and co-created Unix OS.
Because my goal is to blend a learning game with printmaking to spice up STEM, and do it by making printmaking fit the needed R (for reading) and A (for art) to get STREAM. I want to do for education what “the other Bill Ritchie” did for the good of children and not a few adults like me.
Having read Anne Focke’s entry to her blog, my mind returns to her dilemma, that is, she wonders what a person can do in these times of trouble. She writes about Pollyanna-ism and Panglossian-ism and positions herself outside of both optimism and pessimism because she will do something.
Anne is another one of my heroes. I have many. My autobiography, its first “vomit draft” complete, probably show this from accounts of my elementary school teachers to the most recent – like Bill and Andrea in the article I copied below..
Thus begins my day, a little hero worship (reading a ten-year old Post interview) and it’s back to work on my game-of-life, Emeralda, the games for the gifts of life.
Makers of Mind-Bending Games (from the Washington Post)
By Karen Hart
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Bill Ritchie and Andrea Barthello took the old adage about "all work and no play" literally when they started their game company, ThinkFun (, then called Binary Arts, in 1985. Fleeing the world of real estate investment finance, the Alexandria husband-and-wife team found refuge in an opportunity to develop mind-challenging games for kids.
We recently sat down with the two co-founders, both 52, to play some Rush Hour and Cover Your Tracks, two of their biggest hits, and hear how their toy story began.
What was your first game concept?
Bill: Our first game concept was called the Hexadecimal Puzzle, and the tag line for it was "an advanced mathematical puzzle with 16 variations."
Was there much of a market for it?
Bill:[Laughs.] There was almost no market. [But] that's ancient history.
When you come up with an idea, how do you turn it into reality?
Andrea: Rush Hour is a good example of that. It came to us as a one-dimensional just flat thing on wood . . . it was like that type of puzzle where you slide things around. So Bill really innovated on it and said we need something that has multi-levels of challenges so that the thing gets harder as it goes along.
Bill: Rush Hour was 10 years [after Hexadecimal Puzzle], and by that time we had become quite sophisticated. We knew an awful lot about taking an idea and turning it into something that was colorful and well designed and well presented.
So you don't necessarily come up with an idea -- someone may come to you, and you purchase it from them or license it?
Andrea: And we evolve it. But the simple answer is yes.
What made you think you could compete with the Hasbros of the world? Or do you feel as though you compete with them?
Andrea: I think you compete with them because you compete for shelf space, but what we've done, which I think is almost a more difficult thing to do, is created a different category. . . . Everything we've been doing has brought us to now, which is owning the category of mind-challenging games, which is different than a board game.
Did you play games as a kid?
Bill: Yeah. My favorite game is Risk.
Did you ever cheat at games when you were a kid?
Bill: Of course you cheated at games! With Risk, though, it was less about cheating but more about trying to convince the kids that you were playing against that they should be defending things that had nothing to do with what you were planning on attacking.
Some of your games' rules seem kind of intricate. How long does it take you to come up with them?
Bill: From the point of view of a 10-year-old kid, this [Rush Hour] is not an intricate game if you compare it to Monopoly or Risk. Even though solving it is tough, understanding what you are supposed to do is not at the same level of difficulty. An awful lot of work goes in by the challenge inventors to make the challenges as clever as possible.
Do you use your family as guinea pigs to test your games or take prototypes to schools for feedback?
Bill: Oh, yeah. Brick by Brick is a wonderful game, but we tried it with first-graders and it was like giving them spinach. Third- and fourth-graders really enjoy it.
I read that one of your sons invented Math Dice as a school project. Did he get a bigger allowance?
Andrea: He owns the patent and gets royalties!
Have you ever seen a game on the market and thought, "We should have done that"?
Andrea: I have. When Cranium came out, I called them. We were in Starbucks, and I called them to see who had done it and see if we should license it. It turns out that I know them now -- these two great guys from Microsoft who had light-years on us in terms of marketing.
What do you think is going to be big during the holiday season? Are games going to be hot this year?
Andrea: I was just at the Fall Toy Show, which is actually for next year, but people are talking about, in the trades, that nothing is emerging as a big hit. . . . For us, the Rush Hour Ultimate Edition at Barnes & Noble -- it is exclusive to them -- is going to do really well.
Do you play computer or online games?
Bill: I went through a brief bout early in our company history and started going down the path where I was addicted, so I don't play any computer games, with one exception: I just now bought Guitar Hero, and I'm planning on getting good at it.
Play Time
To try three ThinkFun games online -- Rush Hour, River Crossing and TipOver -- go to and click "play."

Friday, June 15, 2018

es180614 Anniversary and the empty seat 

Today is June 14, 2018, the 54th anniversary of our wedding day in 1964. At 76 am writing my memoir, and the marriage to Lynda marks the first major turning point in my life. From what she has said to me, I believe it was the same for her, so we’re on the same page! If I had known then what I know now, I would not have done anything differently.
The craft of writing requires some finesse, and to learn that finesse I have had to read several books about autobiography and fiction because they are interdependent. Mainly it is to the reader that a writer is obliged. After all, there are many things people can do for themselves and reading is only one of them. In the of digital reproduction, the reading population may be in decline.
Reading takes effort. The reader must direct the monkey mind to attention. That’s why books about memoir and creative writing exist—to suggest ways capture and hold the reader’ attention. It is the same for the playwright and the screenplay writer. The poet, too, may be advised to think how the reader takes in the lines of the poem, and come back to read them again.
In my memoir, our 1964 wedding takes place part way into the third volume of my eight-volume project. This morning, while I’m doting over our anniversary before going to the gallery to write, my monkey mind (more like a sloth-mind) thinks about an empty seat in a theater. I’m fascinated by a play-auction I dreamed up about a dozen years ago.
It’s a staging of a printmaking scene in which a ghost of some memorable person comes on stage where a printer is working. The printer, too, is memorable for a legacy of prints. A huge press, a replica of a 17th Century printing press like the one Rembrandt probably used, is on the stage, and the printmaker looks a lot like self-portraits of the Old Master.
The ghost addresses the printer, making a request or asking a question such as, “Are you a printer?” Dumb question, and it’s here where humor may come in and set the tone for the audience.
The theater seat is empty. The question I am asking myself, “Can you fill that empty seat? Can you convince the person to buy the ticket for that seat? Can you fill all the seats in this theater? What theater is it?” In Seattle, the one theater that comes to mind is the Cornish Playhouse, which has four potential spaces to accommodate 70 – 500 people, ranging from intimate settings for private auctions to dramatic stage settings.
My time is up for doting on our anniversary and this, what it has led to: This freedom of mind to allow the creative process into the theater of my mind, the freedom to contemplate my stage-play idea. For this freedom I’m grateful to Lynda. I have read accounts of artists’ lives, and few of them have been as happy stories as mine, thanks to the wife of my life.

Monday, June 4, 2018

es180604 My last wish 

If I were dying tomorrow, what would be my last wish? In twenty-four hours, I could be dead. In the U.S. today, it happens with growing frequency. They shoot kids in schools. People run red lights at intersections. People get killed without warning. When you’re 76, there’s an increasing chance of a fatal stroke or heart attack, even when you seem healthy.
Then there is the certainty of death – it happens to us all, eventually. If a genie appeared and offered me one last wish, one thing I want to see come true before I die, is to see the printmaking teaching method online that I tinkered with for the past thirty-some years. In 1980 I had the vision of teaching printmaking at a distance using the Washington Educational Network – WETNET. It worked for the UW Hospital; why not the art school?
The reason why not came fast and clear – it was a threat to the faculty. When I presented it to the art department, a plan to teach woodcut to small classes in three rural towns on the WETNET system they said I could not. They would not provide the necessary validation of the course. They refused not because I was not qualified. It was simply that the art department chairman, Richard Arnold, didn’t want to go into using learning technologies that threatened job security.
It happened when I started using videotapes to supplement teaching printmaking. “You will be putting yourself out of a job,” the art faculty said. Although I made dozens of printmaking teaching tapes and those tapes hadn’t put me out of a job. If they had effect it was to enhance my ability to teach.
It didn’t matter that I didn’t get to use WETNET to teach printmaking. I was all right without it. I didn’t fight for it. Now, I wish I had been more of a fighter; but I was born to teach, not fight. After all, did not teaching keep me from being drafted in the military to fight in Vietnam?
I have to ask: “Should I fight to have the printmaking teaching method for distance learning go into effect? Have I been too soft on the subject? Weak? I’ve worked on it for three decades – am I not trying hard enough?”
My one last wish would be to see signs that printmaking experiences can be shared online, that teaching printmaking online can be done. This morning I reviewed a sample of an online Q & A game I thought of using. It dates from 15 years ago, based on trivia questions. It’s a vocabulary game, but it can be extended to include portals to real lessons.
That old sample is not bad. Looking at it I thought of a Hungarian friend, and how she wants to learn intaglio printing. I wonder, among all the gifts I’ve received, all the people whom I’ve met along the path of my life’s journey, is she one who can make my wish come true before I die?
I am trying to help her come to Seattle on an internship so she can work with me to learn intaglio. Am I trying hard enough? Her plan is to get her PhD, partly by this extension of her thesis – intaglio. Is there a chance she can learn printmaking online, or as a hybrid MOOC? That would be a step to being granted my last wish.