Wsteamroller-print-400x308hat can you do with lightweight acrylic sheets?

Well, you can make window inserts that create a more energy efficient built environment. That’s what we do.

Turns out you can also use them to make steamroller prints! What, you ask, is a steamroller print?

You paint a picture on something like a piece of acrylic, lay a piece of paper over it, then a blanket and and then drive a huge steamroller over it all to create a monotype which is a one-of-a-kind print. Put a fresh piece of paper over that painted acrylic and you can get a second “ghost” print that’s lighter, more ethereal.

We love that the oh-so-utilitarian acrylic we use to make window inserts can also make steamroller prints and are happy to supply acrylic for the Portland Art Museum’s “Miller Family Free Day” where artist Jane Pagliarulo of Atelier Meridian will be helping kids and adults make their own prints from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 30. 

Jane is a veteran print maker who has been making monotype prints for 35 years. She has a fancy etching press in her studio, which she uses to etch copper although she has etched acrylic too. She squeegees the ink into the etched lines and wipes away the excess with a stiff material called a tarlatan and then runs it through the press to transfer the image onto paper.

‘“It’s more fun to do it with a steamroller,” she said.

None of this would be possible without the invention of that heavy machine and we have Louis Lemoine of France in 1860 to thank for that, FYI.

And we have Andy Warhol to thank for inspiring this family free day at the Portland Art Museum because it’s all in celebration of the exhibit of his screen prints that opened Oct. 8: Andy Warhol: Prints from the Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation.

If you go, though, be sure to stop by and see the Corita Kent “spiritual pop” exhibit. She was a nun who began screen printing in the 1950s and eventually began incorporating the Los Angeles cityscape into her biblical work which transformed “the mundane into joyful messages of hope and calls to action.”

And be sure to make a steamroller print! If you do, take a picture and email it to [email protected]. We’d love to post it!