Printmaking student finds passion in plants

IUS Horizon

Wende Cudmore, fine arts senior, rolls ink onto her panel, one step of the printmaking process.
College is about developing skills and learning what passion and drives oneself has. Wende Cudmore, fine arts senior, has a passion for learning and has found a skill she is very good at — printmaking.

Cudmore said she not only creates prints but puts them on the paper she has made herself out of a variety of vegetables and fruits.

“I love the process of printmaking,” Cudmore said. “I like to layer my work to invoke people to wonder my process.”

In the printmaking studio, Cudmore said she goes through the printmaking process, and the completed product is her own, original print.

She began experimenting with fruits and vegetables to make scrap paper, and her experimenting turned into award-winning artwork.

She has won the Chancellor’s Award at student art shows twice and received a Fellowship Award for her vegetable papyrus.

The Fellowship Award was given to her, not only for her work, but how she gathered her supplies.

Wende Cudmore, fine arts senior, rolls ink into her solar plate in order to produce a print. Cudmore uses fruits and vegetables to create her artwork.
The award was granted for her art skill and using America’s waste as her media. Cudmore made an agreement with two grocery stores. They would give her their old fruits and vegetables and she would make her artwork out of it.

“I gather my inspirations from nature, plants and the roots of plants,” Cudmore said. “I like to use materials that may not work together, or may not look like they go together but to make them work successfully.”

Cudmore is from Buffalo, N.Y., and was convinced by her current fiancé in 2001 to move to Southern Indiana.

She is 60 years old, keeping up a household and going to school full-time. Cudmore has two children and five grandchildren.

“I quit my job and became a full-time student,” Cudmore said. “It was a very scary decision, but I needed to focus on school, on my art.”

Brian Jones, professor of fine arts, is Cudmore’s major mentor and said he thought Wende is a remarkable student.

“As a non-traditional student, Wende has a different sense of motivation, and she realizes her priorities,” Jones said. “She is a year from graduating, and I don’t want to not have her in the studio.”

Cudmore said she expressed the desire to teach and show others what she has learned.

“We have done paper demonstrations in Louisville,” Cudmore said, “and I would love to do more papermaking classes.”

Paper is not the only creation she makes with her fruits and vegetables. She has also made hats out of dried fruits and vegetables.

“I thought it would be fun and a little weird,” Cudmore said. “I’m working on making a derby hat next.”