My name is Isabel Rosen-‐Hamilton and I am going into my junior year as a printmaking major after spending the summer studio assisting at the print shop Harlan & Weaver located in New York City. I discovered this particular studio through researching artists that I am interested in such as Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith and James Sienna. Discovering that Harlan & Weaver has printed most of these artists’ work, as well as others, I began researching the studio itself. Established in 1985 in its still original location on Canal Street, I was pleased to find out that, not only in my hometown, they were in a very familiar neighborhood in which I had spent much of my childhood. Through a family member to an old family friend, I made an appointment to visit the shop and meet with Felix Harlan and Carol Weaver, the original owners and printers.
The studio focuses on specifically Intaglio printmaking, which includes etching and drypoint, aquatint, sugarlift and spit-‐bite techniques. Having previous knowledge with these processes, I felt ready to use what I knew to bring my printing and myself to a more confident level. As a studio assistant, I was often manning the job of the “clean hands person”. While printing, I was in charge with handling all paper, from soaking it to moving it to a plastic wrapper to keep it moist to placing and removing sheets from the press itself. However, I had lots of responsibilities before any actual printing was to commence. I mixed batches of ink, set up the press with the proper pressure and blankets intact and to make sure everything that would be needed was stocked and within reach of the work area.
Throughout the summer, I found Carol and Felix to be extremely informal and supportive. Not only would they explain a task to me before expecting me to follow through, they would explain all the inner workings of each aspect or process of working in the studio. Although many of the things I learned were things I already knew, but the most important part of my time at Harlan & Weaver was that I was taught how to perform at a professional level in the studio. Whether assisting in another print shop or when producing my own work, I will always think back to how Carol properly wrapped and packaged a print after it was sold or how I watched Felix meticulously hand wiped each plate countless times.