Everything is Better With Steamroller: Print Matters' Annual DIY Printmaking Fair

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Magic happens when ink and paper are smushed underneath a steamroller.

Typically, a printing press can deal with a carved block that’s measured in inches. Once a block or board approaches a foot or feet, forget about traditional printmaking means. “The steamroller acts as a make-shift printing press, as most printing presses cannot accommodate a block as large as the ones our artists are carving,” says Print Matters president Katherine Rhodes Fields, who adds that some artists in Print Matters’ yearly Rockin’ Rollin’ Prints are carving woodblocks that measure three-by-five and three-by-four feet.

Watching the application of two tons of pressure to an oversized woodblock – which can be viewed live and for free from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 24, in the parking lot of Saint Arnold Brewery, 2000 Lyons Avenue – is a blast to witness. This year, more than 50 artists from throughout Texas, such as Leamon Green, Monica Villarreal, Eileen McClellan, and Andis Applewhite, will participate. Some of the prints, which will hang throughout the day at the brewery (there will also be art vendors and food trucks at the print fair) will move over to the Williams Tower, where a juried exhibition is scheduled to take place from June 9 to July 15.

“[The Under Pressure theme] maintains the idea of the pressure of the steamroller makes the image come to fruition when the ink and paper connect under the weight of the machine,” says Fields. “I think, conceptually, it’s a great theme for our artists in that phrase ‘under pressure’ takes on a lot of meanings and can make manifest some interesting image making.”

Here are some images, courtesy of Print Matters, of the steamroller in action and the results from the 2015 edition of Rockin’ Rollin’ Prints:

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.