Mirka Hokkanen was born in 1979 in Finland. Her favorite things growing up were found in the woods and in her grandmother's house which both continue to be a source of inspiration for her art.
Mirka moved the the U.S. in 1998 to attend Rockford College in Illinois (BFA 2002). She received both Master of Arts (2004) and Master of Fine Arts (2006) degrees in printmaking from the University of Dallas, TX.
About the Work:
Carving and printing linocuts and wood engravings takes time and patience. When I started in my printmaking class, I knew it was what I was supposed to do. No matter how many obstacles I face while completing an edition, at the end of a studio day, I could not be happier.
I start by transferring my drawing onto a piece of linoleum or wood block. I often finish the drawing with pencil shading directly on the block before reaching for my tools and carving in a wood or linoleum relief print, the uncut surface of the block will print the ink. So I take my time and carve away all the white areas of the print. This can usually take anywhere from one day to weeks depending on the size and detail of the image.
Once the block is ready to print, I measure it and tear large sheets of paper to smaller sizes leaving enough room to leave a nice white border around the print.
The block is then placed on a press, and ink mixed up. Lots of measuring and adjusting takes place for the print and the paper to line up. If color is used, often several proofs need to be pulled test for the right shade.
When everything is set, I hand ink each print separately before they are printed on the press. The prints are then laid on a rack to dry for several days. If successive colors are printed, a new block needs to be carved for each color.
Afte the ink is dry, I inspect each print for quality and the prints that are accepted into an edition are then titled, numbered and signed. Each print is truly a labor of love.