Bill Ritchie's art in the

Lee Mann Collection

Journey of Vladimir Petroslovana Chichinoff

2007. Artist's Book. Approximately 5 X 4 inches in. Ten etchings printed on Arches Cover in white and gray Signed inside back cover.

Artist's Comment: Writing a story about a lost Russian child who lived and died in the 18th Century, I illustrated the fatal end of the imaginary ship he sailed on that I call the Emeralda. The ten etchings are supposedly those he made while living on the ship with the printmaker Navigator, his mentor. Each etching depicts a domain-of-expertise in my lexicon of terms for a game for which this story I am writing is.


Mini Halfwood Press #35

2008. Mini Halfwood Press No. 35. Ipe, walnut, steel, brass.

Press Maker's Comment: I build every Halfwood Press by hand so I make variations, some so small they would not be noticed. The steel frame and moving parts are also hand made, but without variations. Bronze guides hold the ends of the top roller shaft, and the shaft rides on precision ball bearings. The guides have fine-threaded screws for a smooth pressure adjustment. Both steel rollers are mounted on sealed ball bearings that never need lubrication.

A lightweight polycarbonate bed is the standard portable bed, riding on 12 miniature ball bearing rollers. The base has two holes to use if the user wants to anchor it to a workbench or table top.

The woods used on this press are solid black walnut, ironwood cladding, and peruvian walnut with ebony and rosewood. Walnut makes up base. The hood is walnut with ironwood and rosewood caps on the ends. All the parts have been cut and finished to fit the steel parts, oiled with teak oil and rubbed to a smooth finish. The press is held on the base with four machine screws concealed in square brass tubes, allowing for a box between the base’ sides for storing felts and printmakers’ instruments.

The base plate came from a plank of walnut that had bad edge. I routed it away and inset a strip to fix it, giving this one a nice finish. At one of my favorite hangouts--Rockler Woodworking--I found a piece of walnut in their cut-off bin. It had a beautiful knot in it that I wanted to incorporate the burl-like swirl into the hood of #35. It was so hard I broke two sawblades cutting it. No. 36, in Wisconsin, shares this piece of wood in its hood.


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Email: ritchie@emeralda.com

For more information about his art and activities, contact ritchie@emeralda.com.