Meet the Makers – Jessica and the PRT Rollers

Jessica and PRT Rollers

Tell us about yourself.
I am a Milwaukee-based artist and Area Head of Print and Narrative Forms at UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts. I was traditionally trained in printmaking and book arts, and create large-scale print assemblages, artist’s books and hybrid media works. As a printMAKER and educator, I’m passionate about facilitating hands-on, communal workshop environments in and outside of the classroom. I, along with UWM and (now) MIAD students, often offer live printmaking events around the city.

What are you presenting at Maker Faire Milwaukee?
Last summer, I joined a group of Milwaukee Art Museum Print Forum members and we traveled to the UW-Manitowoc campus to see the “Really BIGPRINTS” steamroller event. I caught the bug and wanted to bring a similar event to Milwaukee! Presenting at Maker Faire is a wonderful venue for offering visitors a chance to ink and print their own works of art alongside Milwaukee-based emerging and established artists. At this event, established printmakers, Melissa Wagner Lawler and Jenie Gao along with several advanced printmaking students will be printing their enormous woodcuts! Bringing the community together and having people with ranging skill levels working in tandem is a wonderful way to showcase the Printmaking discipline and incredible talent in the area.

Jessica and PRT Rollers

Why is making important to you?
I travel extensively and have learned traditional and ancient printmaking, binding, and paper craft techniques through shadowing master artisans. The process of making has been a catalyst for interaction. It transcends language and facilitates a deeper understanding of individuals, their cultures, traditions, and histories.

Jessica and PRT Rollers

What was the first thing you remember making?
When I was a toddler, my dad created a pig-like form out of clay and gave me an orange-sized ball of wet clay. I embellished the creature with what I though looked like polka-dots, but really looked like warts. I still have it.

Jessica and PRT Rollers

Given an unlimited budget, what would you make?
That’s a good question. I would love to start up a collective printshop that offers after school and weekend programs (centered around citizenship and collaboration) for talented youth and young adults. Members would learn printmaking and paper craft techniques via assisting with publishing endeavors, community projects, and workshops. I think it would be an amazing extension of what we do in the Print and Narrative Forms classrooms at UWM.