Word Tattoo

I invite you to join me on a journey to explore memories of the future.

a blog by john-michael korpal


Working in studio everyday allows me the most wonderful opportunity to try out different ideas and concepts that challenge me creatively.


But with this there is a fragile balance between the level of excitement of expanding my comfort level  and the potential of the process falling apart along the way.


Even though this bowl did not turn out the way I planned, (the paper stuck to the mold and there was no way to make it release except to peel it off in pieces).


It was a good reminder for me that things that are broken can still be beautiful in their own way.


Image Transfer on Handmade Paper

August was about mixing it up in the studio by trying to introduce different ideas and mediums into my  daily art practice.

The two main mediums that I have been exploring for the last month, paper-making and image transfer.


Both have a very different process then I am used to and both are very messy. The studio always looks trashed and I have found paper pulp everywhere!


The paper is composed of  bills and junk-mail that I have acquired over the last month. It is shredded soaked and put through the blender  until it is the texture of lumpy potatoes and then some of the remaining shredded paper is then mixed into the pulp. The mixture is drained pushed into a form and shaped on a screen and allowed to dry… this takes 1-2 days to completely dry.


The dried handmade paper is then lightly coated with a layer of  acrylic gesso in the area I plan to put the transfer and allowed to dry.


The image is printed out on a laser printer on thin copier paper. Another layer of gesso is applied over the first and the printed image is placed face down and pressed into the wet gesso. This is allowed to sit for about 15-20 minutes and then a heat gun (aka hairdryer) it passed over it until the image paper is completely dry. The back of the copy paper is gently rubbed off with wet fingers as the image is slowly revealed.


Image transfer on handmade paper
10in x 19.5in



Not All Paper Is Flat

My first attempt in paper that is not flat.

Handmade Paper Bowl
6in x 14in

Portrait Of Fruit

Disclosed / Undisclosed

Opening Night for Disclosed /Undisclosed
Hyde Park Arts Center!

August 9 -August 27 in Gallery 5


The Exhibition Features Emerging Artists and Curators from the Visual Arts Certification Program at the University of Chicago


“Disclosed/Undisclosed” features a selection of painting, photography, collage, ceramic and installation work by artists whose practices are informed by unique, at times obscure, intentions. Presenting a range of formal, philosophical, historical and existential issues driving the artists’ formal decisions, the artworks transcend materiality to deliver a backstory, a disclosure. At the same time the artworks prompt the viewer to consider the works’ individual propositions and to speculate about what may be inconclusive or undisclosed. “Disclosed/Undisclosed” offers intersections of highly diverse pieces, ranging from expressions of rigorous mathematics to cultural signifiers to highly personal tactile forms.

Through the exhibition, the curators contemplate their position as interpreter, often translating to the audience the ideas — whether hidden, mysterious, or obvious — that exist in the artwork.

“Disclosed/Undisclosed” was conceived, produced and installed by Marian Carow, Danielle Eady, Deirdre Fox, Makeba Kedem-DuBose, John-Michael Korpal, and Anita Orlikoff, with assistance from Allison Peters Quinn, Director of Exhibition & Residency programs at Hyde Park Art Center.

The exhibition includes work by Marcus Sterling Alleyne, Larissa Borteh, Assaf Evron, Brent Fogt, David Anthony Geary, Ruyell Ho, K.A. Letts, Tara Noftsier, and Monika Wulfers.