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Re-Connecting with Carlos Hernandez

Mar 01, 2021

In 2019, Houston-based printmaker and designer and designer Carlos Hernandez participated in Hatch Show Print’s Visiting Artist program.

Carlos founded Burning Bones Press in Houston, Texas, where he and cofounder Patrick Masterson make work, teach workshops, foster the development of young printmakers through an internship program, provide printmaking facilities for fellow experienced printmakers, and bring other artists’ print visions to life as master printers. The studio is a vital organ sustaining the life of the arts in Houston. Carlos also takes on selective commercial projects, including gig posters, and is an official ‘spokesprinter’ for Speedball inks.

After an introduction to all the history and tools that live in the walls and cases of this 140-plus-year-old shop, Carlos basically lived in the shop for two weeks and created a body of work that formed the core of an exhibition in the Haley Gallery in October 2019, called Psychedelic Honky-Tonk Rock n Roll Freak Circus. The limited-edition prints, monoprints, and series of one-of-a-kind collages celebrate the wonderfully raucous side of Hatch Show Print as filtered through the creative process of Carlos Hernandez, a match made in hand-carved printing blocks, ink, and paper.

If you did not have a chance to join us in October 2019, enjoy this video introduction to Carlos and his experience with us in Nashville.

In 2020, the limitations of a global pandemic suspended the Visiting Artist program, as well as the casual visits to the shop from friends far and wide, so we were starving for the company of our fellow inky-hearted makers and feeling connected to our creative community. Like so many who may feel a bit out of sorts these days, we focused on doing our best to stay busy, which for printmakers means getting inky.

While we knew that we could not travel, and we could not ask anyone to travel to make work with us in the shop, we knew that paper could travel quite easily, just about as easily as anything that can be wrapped up in cardboard. We also knew that one of Carlos’ massive (eight feet tall and four feet wide) monoprints was such a hit during the gallery show in 2019, and we wanted to revisit it, in a different size that fits more walls, and rethink how it was made (originally a collaged piece, with letterpress printed pieces atop the serigraph). We were most excited that Carlos was game for a fresh collaboration and the opportunity to talk shop and catch up.

Carlos laid down three layers of ink via screen printing, carefully packed up the prints and shipped them to us, and then Heather got to work, first typesetting and then printing, in three passes, wood type and hand-carved lightning bolts that required some daredevil typesetting.

You can check out more of Carlos’ collaborative work with us in our online shop.

This was a such a wonderful way to close the distance between us and Carlos, we look forward to more collaborations soon. In the meantime, if you’re in the Houston area and have an itch to get dirty in pursuit of making, keep an eye on Burning Bones Press’s website and Instagram (@burningbonespress), and give Carlos a follow too: @electriccalavera.

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