On Tuesday night, master printer Greg Burnet talked about his experiences collaborating with printmaker Richard Tuttle to a receptive audience of students, faculty and community members. The prints that Burnet worked on are currently on display at the Bowdoin Museum of Art as part of a larger exhibition, “Richard Tuttle: A Print Retrospective.”  
As a part of the Gallery Conversations hosted by the Bowdoin Museum of Art, Burnet spoke about his past as both an artist and a master printer, and how he came to work with Tuttle.
As a master printer, Burnet is responsible for printing the physical images created by printmakers such as Tuttle. The individual printmaker comes up with the ideas and helps with small details, but the majority of the actual printing process is the work of a master printer like Burnet.
 This job requires him to “jump through a lot of hoops and be able to be technically 100 percent proficient,” Burnet said. “But [it also helps to] have a good idea of what the artist is about within a couple days of working with the artist.”
“[Tuttle] really pushes the envelope of prints to look deceptively simple,” said Burnet.
 Burnet also went into detail about the various methods used in making some of the pieces. He and Tuttle used material ranging from sandpaper and Tarleton—a mesh-like material—to acid and plastic barbed wire to create many of the more intricate designs.
 Tuttle and Burnet primarily use a printmaking technique called a la poupee, meaning “of the doll” in French. The technique involves applying different colored inks directly onto the etched surface of a copper plate before running it through a printing press. 
During his lecture, Burnet elaborated on the procedure behind specific prints and was able to pass around the original copper plates he and Tuttle used.
Before becoming a master printer, Burnet, a native of Australia, was an aspiring painter. After art school he moved to London where he started looking for work. While in London, he was able to get a job reprinting Australian botanical flowers, a project he worked on for four years. He moved to New York City in 1991, he met Tuttle, and their collaboration began.
Burnet and Tuttle have worked together on five of Tuttle’s pieces: Line, Edge, Edges, Gold and Cloth, all of which are currently on display at the Bowdoin Museum of Art. 
Line, Edge, Edges and Gold each took a year to create, and Cloth took four years. Each is a series of prints that range from 13 to 16 individual pieces.
Burnet currently owns his own studio in New York and has worked with various printmakers from Robert Mangold and Inka Essenhigh to Kiki Smith and Carroll Dunham. Burnet says he is always working with at least two or three artists at a time. Many of their prints can be viewed on his website burneteditions.com.  
Many students attending Tuesday’s lecture were taking Printmaking I. 
Garreth Helm ’18, a student in Printmaking I, said the lecture was interesting and thought-provoking and noted how much work goes into printmaking.
Lizzy Takyi ’17, who is also in Printmaking I, said “what he was saying, I could almost picture happening because we have been talking about using some of these materials,”
Associate Professor of Art Michael Kolster also attended the lecture. 
“I didn’t know what to expect before I came, so it was nice to see a master printer talk about process and have some insight as to how the pieces were made,” said Kolster.
Kolster said he also found the relationship between a printmaker and a master printer to be very intriguing.
“Tuttle is working in a way that is very gestural and also very inspired in the moment by what he discovers,” he said. “Then the master printer has to, in essence, respond to that and be able to create a series of that spontaneity,” Kolster said.
The Richard Tuttle: A Print Retrospective exhibition will be on display in the Museum until October 19.