TGIF for Icarus at Atelier Circulaire


Traditionally Fridays have always been animated at Atelier Circulaire. The studio comes alive as artists work, socialize and congregate around presses and the kitchen table. The phone rings off the hook and visitors flow in and out the door. The atmosphere is nothing short of electric.

Deborah inking my linoleum plate

Last Friday was no exception. Deborah, Michel, Noémie and I worked on our Icarus print, a collaborative project involving six artists.

Michel’s plate on the Potter Proof Press

Michel and I made test proofs of our linoleum plates. Deborah adjusted the pressure of her 1910 Potter Proof Press, designed to proof handset type for corrections before the final printing of a newspaper. It was a treat to have Deborah ink my plate and print it on this handsome machine. I was relieved to discover that I’ll be able to work with the bubbly texture that resulted from leaving my plate in the oven too long (see previous blog, Icarus Flew In My Oven).

Michel’s first proof

Michel carved a plate with a section of the sun, and another with a fragment of thigh and buttock. True to his experimental nature, for the sun he created a radiating array dots with a drill, playing with different bits. On his other plate Michel juxtaposed the body with a linear geometric treatment.

Our printing was followed by a carving session. I worked with Deborah, sharing her sophisticated tools, which she gets sharpened professionally at l’Aiguiserie on Papineau. At ease with her tools, carving fluidly, Deborah lets her imagination flow freely. I witnessed the fine balance between preplanned composition and improvised textural development on her plate.

After Deborah and I treated ourselves to a delectable Chinese lunch at Luck Hop Foo on St. Laurent, we got back to work at our table, where Noémie joined us. She has the second half of Michel’s sun and used the electric drill to continue Michel’s dots on her plate.


Noémie didn’t need a power tool for speed. When she switched to hand tools, her image progressed rapidly, revealing her uniquely graphic style. As Deborah, Noémie and I carved our plates side by side, it felt like we were participating in a quilting bee. Our easy, jovial chit-chat was punctuated by spells of concentrated silence, as each of us embellished pieces of what will become one image.

Collective carving session

It is a privilege working with the other artists in my group. I threw myself into this project without much premeditated thought. I was drawn to the idea of having a big piece printed under a steamroller, in front of a live audience. I didn’t realize that the process of getting to that point would be so rich and rewarding.

Talleen Hacikyan

1 Réponse à “TGIF for Icarus at Atelier Circulaire”

  • J’ai trouvé troublant que ta partie d’Icare a presque subi le même sort qu’Icare même, aux ailes fondues par le soleil. Je suis très heureuse que le test d’impression a été concluant! Bonne continuation à toute l’équipe. J’aime votre sens de la coordination.

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