Sunday, September 4, 2011

Interview with Jean-Marc Couffin


Born and raised in Bretagne, in the west part of France, in a 2000 souls village. I always loved drawing, that made me decide to go for Architecture studies. During school, I traveled a lot: from Vietnam to Singapore, studying in Louisiana and then in Montréal where I learnt printmaking at the Saydie Bronfman Center for Arts. I came back to France and kept on doing prints, prints, and more prints. I now live and work in Marseille for now.

Why do you like to print?


When you draw on a zinc plate, the line is so thin that you cannot see it without the help of a magnifying glass . I never found this 'finesse' drawing with the usual pencils, ink pens, etc.


The constant tension between the original and its 'copies'.  It is always a tough exercise to wipe out your inks from the plate in order to make the perfect copy.

What is your favorite print medium and why?

Hard ground+zinc plate+ferric chlorure+lithographic ink+Somerset Paper+My XIXth century Ledeuil Press.
That is a long favourite, It took me a year to find this combination and print exactly the way I want.

How long have you been printing and how has your work evolved?

I have been doing prints since 2003, while in Montréal. I was testing the limits of the print medium at that time. Trying all sorts of techniques, colors, medium. I ended up back to the basics: etching on metal and printing in Black tones. But if I try to think of an evolution, I really found that my prints and drawings are still 'filled' the same way.

What inspires you?

The fantastic bunch of things that surround me in real life and in my dream. I love to work around 'first shot', 'fresh out of the pencil' thoughts. More generally, the fantastic paintings and the surrealistic ones.

How do you promote your work?

I did my website, display some of my works on etsy (indeed) and I try to participate in a lot of competition and exhibitions around the world in printmaking. I am now looking for some galleries for my works as I want to spend most of my time doing rather than trying to sell my works. The latest 'promotion' that I am most proud of, is the selection of one of my prints to the 'New Prints' exhibition at the International Print Center of New York. Not bad for a small french printmaker to have its print sitting next to works of William Kentridge. 

Are you working on any particular projects now?  

I have a very peculiar project right now: I met with Bruno Gary, the Gary Thibeau french press maker, he is quite a reference, and we came up with the project of making plans for a DIY (Do It Yourself) press for under a 100€. The project is undergoing well. I almost finished the plans, and I got half of my materials. The best thing is that we will put the plans online for free. The press is designed mostly in wood, like Abraham Bosse 1645 press.

Tell us one random fact about yourself 

I do 20 things at a time. It keeps me sane.

Check out Jean-Marc's Etsy Shop and  Website

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