Learning More About a Friend and an Art Form


I’ve known my friend Maria Kaiser for approximately 15 years. We got to know one another as members of the Cleveland Photographic Society and she and I share a love of photojournalistic/documentary photography. I also knew that Maria did some printmaking and I had seen a few of her print creations. What I didn’t know however, was that she was a serious printmaker! Last year she held a print show at the Shaker Nature Center and I saw for the first time her zeal and skill in this art form that I knew little about. Her printmaking is spectacular and I wanted to learn more about it.

Amazingly, Maria works on her prints several times a week in the printmaking studio at Cuyahoga Community College and the studio is less than 100 feet from the classroom where I teach digital photography. I asked if I could visit some sessions and was given permission by printmaking instructor Keegan Adams.


Instructor Keegan Adams conducts a critique session

DSC_5024 copy

I learned that there are many different techniques of printmaking and all involve many complicated steps using different tools, chemicals, inks, plate materials and papers. I visited the studio on 4 different occasions, observing and photographing many different steps and techniques and speaking with a number of the other artists working alongside Maria.

DSC_4989 copyDSC_5228DSC_5239

Images are made on different types of materials, wood blocks, metal plates, plexiglass and others just to name a few. The images are made through etching, carving and engraving on these different materials. The tools used are varied.


Maria uses a Lawson solution to transfer one of her photos directly onto a metal plate for printing


Keegan Adams demonstrates some engraving techniques


Maria engraves on a coated plate


Instructor Keegan Adams mixes an acid solution for etching


Fabiana Olivier prepares a plate for etching

After the plates are produced they are prepared for printing by mixing inks and applying them to the plates and then run through a press to print on various types of paper or other materials.



Maria adjusting the pressure on the press


My fifth visit was to view a show at the college’s gallery where many of the artists I had been observing were exhibiting their work.


Cookie Kless displays her artwork


Maria Kaiser and Instructor Keegan Adams stand by Maria’s artwork


Sally Baden displays her complex print

The printmaking process was fascinating for me to learn about and I may have to sign up for some classes to learn how to do it myself. The creativity and possibilities are endless.

I’d like to thank Maria, Keegan, the Visual Arts Program at Cuyahoga Community College and of course all of the artists who welcomed and tolerated me looking over their shoulders and clicking my camera while they worked.

About Kolman Rosenberg

My interest in photography began as a college newspaper and yearbook photographer during the stormy 1960s and 1970s. I was influenced by many of the great photojournalists and documentary photographers such as W. Eugene Smith, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, Margaret Bourke-White and other black and white photographers of Life Magazine and the earlier Farm Security Administration. Though many of these photographers documented the horrors of war and the plight of poverty, they also showed me the dignity and adaptability of human beings in their desire to prevail.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Learning More About a Friend and an Art Form

  1. This was great, Kolman. I tried to leave a comment, but it wouldn’t go through.



  2. Good to see you back online. Thanks for posting this – looks like you had a lot of fun!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s