Richard Ozanne

  1959 -
  City of Birth:
St Louis

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Richard 's Story > Chapters > Tucson My School Years-1966-1983

"Mr Henshels Studio/ Studio Graphics-Assist" 


Date Range: 09/20/1978 To 09/20/1983   Comments: 0   Views: 16
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Graphic for the Pianists Foundation of America for Brochures and Recording Label -Low Resolution photo of engraved foil printed Article/Graphic- c. 1978 An early "job" as an artist/assistant in Tucson working for a Robert Henchel graphic designer, typesetter, print artist. (Richard Ozanne 1978-83) Some of my early work in Tucson Arizona 1978-1983 In the days before computers and photoshop, one had actual work to be done that was labor intensive to get art, illustrations and graphics completed. During this era, we had advantages of press type and other forms of graphic helps, but it was only a little beyond 1940’s technology at least in the private studio. Big studios were developing however. The computer industry at this time had to their advantage some shortcuts and big helps for the manual labor of drawing in, hand coloring and type setting. Often this was far in advance of the neighborhood studio which I worked in producing art and assisting a seasoned artist in his soon to be gone technology of putting together graphics, setting type and burning gigs into copper, or leaning airbrush techniques, graphics work that now is mostly done via computer. To cut an actual copper jig, for a logo by hand.... I did have some commissions, and others I did, and assisted with, working for Robert Henchel, a Tucson Artist who worked out of his own garage. I believe I met Henchel at an art show, sometime during a period when I was randomly exhibiting via a Tucson Area Artist group. During this period I had a lot of contacts, and was visiting a lot of studios, making some deliveries for others and doing spot work from my own garage as photographer. I was commissioned to do logos and handwork by various people and needed the extra eye for perfection. Several graphics in particular where going on the professional level and needed the extra eye, so to speak for the commercial touch. It was 1978 when I began work for Henschel. It was an hour a week at first, mostly doing deliveries. I was only 19 at the time, and it was important, rather very important not to have a job at this point that would consume all my time as I was attending the University of Arizona in Tucson. Henschel would connect me with photographic possibilities. I set out signs and card on my own as well. Here was the deal, on our first meeting. I was an assistant and he was going to teach me some studio graphic ropes, so to speak, valuable lessons and tricks of the trade in return for errands and light work at his studio. I wasn't paid initially but I would work towards being-hired on- and at that time at full respectful hourly wage. Henschel was an artist. He did copper plate etchings and free hand drawings that showed a great deal of clarity and skill, but this was his hobby now, once in a while exhibiting at an arts and crafts venue which were Of course I did have some help from an elderly graphic artist in Tucson (in turn would pay me for assisting him as well with projects) with the old fashioned camera-ready layout/and drafting machines we put this together 3x a week in the evenings in an old studio about the size of double normal garage. Recalling Mr Henschel's studio- The space was cramped with old machinery and typesetting devices--die cutting apparatus, with cans and bottles of solvent placed up an aisle and litho ink in another ( Mr Henschel smoked a big ole smelly cigar, but was a kindly fellow, but no sense of smell whatsoever- and it was winter- cold in Tucson- heat up high on the thermostat, to heat the neighborhood on the is open burner fireplace...a gas leak from this throwback to the dinosaur age of the 30's leaked so much, and it was fed from a home-spun garden hose, with black tape fed into the wall, a ratchet on one end, homespun style. He just would throw a match in there and WOOSH!! I remember one time he was starting it up it came loose and started to wreath around the room like a snake, gas filling the room--"Tis happen again!" he would say, joking about Murphy law. I had to help him outside to get some air on this occasion and another. Mr Henschel was a pensioner, and had to make to with what he could put together, "Ody o, d ody al ' I guess that didn't work did it.." he would say - he was an endearing man, but on the practical level he needed an assistant. He could be strict, dynamic and exact, but most of all he had a friendly approach that was serious when he needed to be...exacting He became a family friend, with love of music and art, and was sincere towards my progress, suggesting that I give my passion of “Fine Art” a good go, rather than the laborious and tedious methods of commercial art, studio labor, and being a printsman. He would sometimes sit back and talk about old graphic artist tales, rather ‘shop’ from the studio he had back east in New Jersey, or during his old days in Chicago before he officially retired as a manager in some printing-design firm that knew contracts of RCA, Bell and Howell, Philco and others. He was retired now and frequently he would sit over a cup of joe and talk before and after work of the old people he knew, and graphic artist tales while his cats wandered around.his very comfortable but small home, pictures of his now passed wife along the walls. Mr Henschel was alone now, worked as he could, when he could, his rates very reasonable at 45.00 per hour, special rates always considered. My father Ozan Marsh paid for a new electric heater (replacing the old junkyard) and new gear for his studio that year as a Christmas gift, always in an anonymous way, as my father often did his gifting, rather than just cut a check or give cash to someone, get one of his students or me to buy it...just purchase it, so no one loses face, and arrange another possibility conveniently as a trade, prepaid, abstract arrangements...etc. Mr Henschel was pleased and rather surprised. My father had this way about him. he would often buy something from someone, that was completely and utterly useless to him- say the broken stove or heater at Henckels or another apparatus at the given price of an upgraded replacement, and have it hauled off to the junkyard, then hire another job for any other needs of a balance between, even if not needed, only to see needs of another are met..with a suggestion, brief, cleverly put, but in a whimsical way a kindness of heart. My father was sort of like this in many ways, never giving a handout, but making a exchange in goods..tit for tat. He would come and buy some article of mine at price, only to tell him...he bought that for me ten years previous. “Yes, I know but you need something new” he may add, I think you ought to think about a replacement of that...only to find it gone, and hauled off, whether it be an old television or a car, paid in full for a replacement., if he felt it was needed, outdated or dangerous. My father was a pragmatist with a generous spirit, that was full hearted but hated the direct transaction of a gift of any sort straight on. Maybe I learned this too as a young man, to work for ones living and be satisfied at the wages...although I admit having even at this age encounters many times with exploitation and being taken advantage of with projects, that my teacher and co-workers were insulted by, knowing the ‘spirits’ that were out there. We were both concerned, and it seemed a good gift , rather a trade, also to get some help with his home, and other things that were needed in his home after all of his help, in a way that he would respond to. I thought on each visit was this going to be the last time I see Mr. Henschel or his studio if something wasn't done.) Old Mr Henchel had knowledge of chemistry enough to etch the copper jig before it went to the final layout company/printing company. Yes, I didn't get much credit but it was experience. Henschel and I did everything. He was a person of integrity working with him at night or on afternoons when needed about 10 hours a week. We laid out magazines, did stencils, book covers, overlays and illustrations for magazines. He was a precise fellow in many old ways--old school--I learned allot from him--The whopping 15.00 dollars an hour I was making was a great asset in 1982-83. (He was a good man) Turning me to the side, he placed his hand on my shoulder. “I never want you ever to work for less than 20.00 dollars an hour on any project...get me clear? Or else my ghost, when I pass on is going to come back and haunt that person day and night until they pay you what your worth!!!” Henschel barked, in an uncommon way. I remember that last meeting as we parted. I was to leave for NYC soon. He handed me his best wishes. Later I worked on several other projects but generally overseeing his work, and assisting him still as he became ill with an incapacitating illness. He later passed away in the mid-80s. I will always remember Mr. Henschel and his studio. Artists like him are very rare. I do not know of a person who knew how to set a book from scratch or bind, setup type or lay in copper engraved plates in a series like he did right from his studio. Plus he was a wonderful person, true to his work ethic. Today 2014, graphics and illustrations like these take almost no time to do however, forever in photoshop and other computer programs. In the old was time consuming, labor intensive and moreover---much more expensive, and printing a three color -four color lithographic plate....something of a lost art, the old-fashioned way.

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