Challenging Art

For Graphic Designer Laura Woodruff, creating a work of art has to be a challenge, or it’s not worth doing. And her sterling silver bracelet, with its seemingly effortless flow, is a shining example.

Laura first sketched her vision on paper, creating a template. She etched the lines onto a flat plate of sterling silver, drilled holes in the negative spaces to admit the blade of a jeweler’s saw, and then carefully, slowly, liberated the design she saw trapped in the metal. Next, all evidence of the cuts was smoothed out; the bracelet was pounded and rounded into shape on an anvil, and polished. In all, that serene piece of silver represents about 20 hours of exacting handwork.

For this pencil drawing, Laura chose as a subject a curved, reflective surface that holds drawings within the drawing.

And for this charcoal self-portrait, she set herself the task of being both model and artist by sitting between a mirror and her drawing paper for seven hours, so she could precisely render each texture, shadow and highlight.

These whimsical flowers began simply as a marker drawing, but then were cut into black wax on a copper plate and bathed in acid before the plate could be used to create the etching you see.

Her hot chocolate screen print needed no acid bath, but each of its four colors required its own screen and perfect registration as every print was made.

Laura's love of printmaking led her to a stint at Hatch Show Print in Nashville, Tennessee. Founded in 1879, Hatch is one of the oldest letterpress print shops in the nation.

Working in time-honored ways with wood and metal that had seen and made history, Laura designed and printed posters in the iconic Hatch style.

As Laura doesn’t own printing equipment (Santa?), drawing is currently her main mode of expression, “the means to create whenever I want to.” And while printing projects are demanding and start out as sketches or drawings, she finds something uniquely satisfying about drawings, about having the only one of something in existence.