"Viewing Lyons' prints could be compared to viewing the interior walls of an old house being demolished, when layers of paint and wallpaper reveal the stratum of lives lived, lives changed and the elements of time and history." - Jenine Culligan, Associate Curator for Exhibitions, Delaware Art Museum Mitch Lyons (1938-2018) forged his own path in the art world with his avant-garde method of printing with clay. In 1980, Mitch rolled out a 6’ x 6’ slab of clay that he used as the matrix upon which he layered colors, textures, and imagery, and from which he hand-pulled his clay monoprints. This innovative technique allows multiple prints to be pulled without any two ever being exactly the same. In the 38 years Mitch printed from the slab, it grew from ¼” thick to 4” thick. He never scraped off any layers from the slab as “it would be like tearing pages out of a diary.” In his own words, “Printing with colored clay fills me with a sense of joy and wonder. It is the most satisfying and cathartic experience I have ever had. Adding pigments to porcelain slip that is then applied to a wet slab of clay and printed onto paper, produces a luminosity that I feel other mediums lack. My work is about making marks into clay. The process rewards the product. Even after all these years, I still have more questions about printing with clay than answers.“ Mitch shared his technique generously through the hundreds of workshops he taught during his lifetime. His clay monoprints can be found in numerous private and public collections throughout the United States.
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