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Thursday, 3 February 2011

Getting Back in to the Studio!

The festive season was busy busy. I traveled back to Scotland on the train for about a week over Christmas. Stayed with my mum, caught up with friends and partied... a lot! I had to be back in Cambridge for work and spent New Year at a house party in London which was great fun! After that it was back to work again to raise funds for my snowboarding trip to France with the University ski and snowboard club which was utterly epic!

Since returning from France I have been back at my job and just had my first couple of weeks back in the Print Studio! Last week was a bit daunting, getting back in to the swing of things after such a long break! It was great to see everyone, catch up and start using my new inks and paper I purchased back in December!

I've only been printing my small test plate at the moment to try the different colours. I got violet red which is bright and vibrant, gold and silver, which are not as metallic as I would have liked but still give an interesting effect and something I have not tried before - wiping compound. You add a tiny amount to the ink and mix it through which then makes wiping the ink from the plate a lot easier! Today I was testing the gold ink. I printed 2 straight etchings to get the ink in to the plate, then I printed the same thing 3 times on to the one, long piece on 275gsm Fabriano, registering the plates each time so they all lined up. For each image I chine-colled bright pink tissue paper, highlighting a different area of the print each time.

The 3 Prints together, different colour ways.

Close-up No. 1

Close-up No. 2

Close-up No. 3

Here are some pieces I was working on before Christmas too. I decided to move on and print the medium sized etching plate with lino print on top. For the etching layer I wanted to use a strong contrasting colour for the chine-colle so used some of my Japanese origami paper with a pink, orange and gold pattern on it.

I traced the pieces of chine-colle from the plate before it was inked, numbered each piece then took a photograph so I knew where each one went when the plate was inked and I was ready to place them on for printing. I cannot explain how useful I found this picture and would recommend this technique to anyone chin-colle-ing a lot of small pieces.

So useful!!!

Personally, I think I preferred the print as seen above before I printed the lino on top as I think I cleaned out the bright white areas really precisely and with the green on top I dont think my efforts show through but hey, that's Print Making I suppose! With the green on top, however, this does add another dimension to the print and creates strong contrasts, which I was looking for to start out with. The picture bellow shows the inked up etching plate along with the lino plate, lino proof and final print.

Final Print - Etching, monoprint, lino with chine-colle
I also finished another addition of my 3 large plates. I printed these for proofs before pulling my biggest print and couldn't see a reason for them to go to waste so, to add some colour, and another level to the print, I decided to sew them together. I made each hole through the paper with a pin then hand stitched them together using a combination of white, red, peach and violet threads (please view original image to see the stitching in more detail). I like the effect the stitching gives as the colours seem to flow in to each other which works well with the organic feel of the piece. It also aids the viewer to feel more involved with the piece as the reaction I have had from most people who have actually seen it is, "Can I touch it?" Which I like as some of the most effective art I have seen I have felt the urge to touch it!

Each piece remains separate while being bound to each other by a strand of colour.

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