Chuck Loose Strives to Keep Screen Printing Alive
By Helene Foster
Chuck Loose, drummer turned graphic artist, has drawn designs for numerous rock album covers and posters. Originally from New Mexico, Loose has had a lifelong appreciation for serigraph posters. He and his company, Iron Forge Press in Wilton Manors, have been designing a variety of merchandise since 2004.
A self-taught artist and former drummer for the Crumbs, he has taken his affinity for screen printing to new heights most recently by designing the logo for the South Florida Day of the Dead Celebration on November 2. Based on Dia de Los Muertos, the Mexican tradition of honoring the living and celebrating the departed, the observance is full of spirited live entertainment, puppetry and visual art.
Thanks to a Creative Investment Program Grant from the Broward Cultural Division, the public was invited to learn about and try the printing process for themselves. While the first workshop was more of a demonstration of his work, the second one was a hands-on opportunity for all ages. “Each person got to pull his or her own print. The piece was a single color replica of the Day of the Dead poster that we designed. So, they had their own original keepsake from the event,” Loose says.
He was glad to take part in the occasion, which has grown from a small gathering of about 700 to thousands of participants at several venues in its fourth year. This was his first time presenting the workshops and he already looks forward to next year to reach out to more people. Printmaking, according to Loose, is gaining more prominence at a time where computer graphics have become more the norm.
“There is more and more appreciation for things that are handmade,” he states. Although computers are used in design projects, especially to make color separations for printing, the original designs are still hand-drawn. This is important, Loose explains, because as more and more music is available via download from the Internet there has been a decline in purchasing music on CD with artistic covers. So, there is a return to Sixties-style psychedelic posters.
“The original artwork starts in pencil, then ink and then is assembled on the computer for printing. Loose adds. “For musicians, especially the local or Indie artists, posters are a way that they can promote themselves and still make money.”
Loose is planning to host more workshops for the public at Iron Forge Press and encourages those interested to check out his website at www.ironforgepress.com for details on upcoming events.