Sunflower Dragon Surrounded by Flame  

Sarah Bouhuys, ’22 with her print of sunflower dragon surrounded by flame

The annual steamroller event is organized by the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Printmaking program. The Steamroller class is dedicated to this event, and students in the Etching and Relief class also participate. Students had approximately one month to prepare for print day. In that time, Sarah Bouhuys, ’22, made the sketch, transferred it onto the block, and carved for what seemed like forever, according to her. Sarah created a sunflower dragon surrounded by flame, inspired by the idea of fire as a creative and unifying element rather than a destructive one. Sarah reflects that “a spark dropped from the sun to create a flower is the same that gives a dragon breath.” The process of transferring her sketch onto the 7 by 3 foot block of MDF involved projecting her image and tracing it with thick sharpies. Before she could get to carving, she used diluted pink ink as a toner to cover the entire block so that when she carved away from it, she could see where she was carving and how much she had left to do. When it was finally printing day, printing students and faculty gathered on Shaw Quad and got to work. Sarah describes the ‘dirty hands’ station where people used big rollers to put ink on the blocks. Then the blocks were put on the ground where ‘clean hands’ people carefully stretched fabric across the blocks and put a cushion across to keep it safe under the steamroller. Next, a professor drove the steamroller on top of the block and the students pulled up the fabric to see the print! Each student’s block was printed twice. Printing four times took about an hour, so they were there for quite some time. With pride, Sarah notes that “It was hard work but well worth it for the results!”

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