The Studio of Colour Etchingrun by Swietlan Kraczyna opened its door today for the exhibition at end of the colour multi plate etchings course by his group of students for 2009. The work shop was three weeks of intimate and intense study of new methods of Intaglio printing. The group focused on the precision and detailed work of the subtractive methods in Intaglio. Intaglio is a type of printmaking where the template is a metal plate or sheet, in this case it was zinc, but copper is also used. By focusing on the “subtractive” or the removal of the etched area, also called ‘scraping, “burning”, or mezzo tinting”, they were able to control the release of specific colour combinations using the three primary colours (red, yellow, blue of ink applied to three templates of etched zinc.
USA: Katherine Godwin, Priscilla Weidlein, Maya Hardin | India: Aysha Vemuri. | Italy: Lucia Pedri
Swietlan Kraczyna was born on the Polish-Russian border March 1, 1940. At the outbreak of World War the family moved westward and at the end of the war in 1945 ended up in the refugee camps in Germany. After six years, in 1951, the family emigrated to the United States.
Swietlan received his BFA degree in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and in 1962 he spent a year in Italy doing independent studies in Rome and Florence on an EHP scholarship from RISD. In 1962-64 he went back to the United States to study for a MFA degree and received a teaching fellowship at the University of Southern Illinois. In the autumn of 1964 he returned to Italy and although he lives and works in Florence in the 13th century home of Michelangelo’s teacher, Domenico Ghirlandaio, he exhibits one-man shows annually in the United States.
In 1966 his interests turned completely to the graphic world and at this time he set up the etching department at Villa Schifanoia (Rosary College Graduate School of Fine Arts) in Florence, where he still continues to teach. In 1970 Kraczyna was one of ten artists to represent the United States in the Palazzo Strozzi Biennale di Grafica, and his multi-plate color etchings are represented in the Uffizi Gallery Prints and Drawings Collection. From 1973 until 1980 he worked as the technical assistant to Marino Marini on all his color etchings.
Kraczyna has been invited to different Universities and art schools in the United States, England, Italy, Mexico, and Columbia, and South America to give demonstrations of his own multi-plate color etching technique. He is one of the founders of the “Il Bisonte” International School of Advanced Printmaking in Florence where he teaches all the techniques of color etching, and is also the co-author of “I Segni Incisi”, the first Italian comprehensive textbook on the history and techniques of etching.
Lucia Pedri was featured on barganews back in May during the exhibition “18 women artists in Castelnuovo” with her finely detailed allegorical paintings.
Additional reporting by Marta Micchi and Ilda Torre – which also includes a long interview with Swietlan where he explains some the forces that have driven him over the past decades shaping the way that he makes his images and also talking about just how much his beloved Barga has changed over those decades. The interview (in Italiano) can be listened to by clicking the link below