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Friday, 6 May 2011

If at First You Don't Succeed...

After my last attempt to print my new plate and messing it up I was determined to achieve the results I desired in the studio today! After an early shift at work I headed for uni armed with cardboard boxes that had contained the delivery. When I got to uni I made up a couple of folders from the boxes to contain my work to be handed in for assessment.

Once I had gathered my work together in the folders I was eager for a successful session of printing! I inked my long thin plate for printing, rolled through the press, to no avail! The plate had been over wiped in areas and, again, I wasn't happy with the print. Although my efforts hadn't been completely wasted, at least my plate would be beginning to take the ink and the next print taken was almost guaranteed to be better than the previous attempts.

And... it was! Finally! Bellow is the successful print!

I also had a plan in mind to try when printing this plate, and now I had a basic print of it, so I decided to try it. I inked up the plate and wiped off the excess ink as normal. When the plate was on the press ready to be printed I randomly placed on a selection of different sized rectangles I had cut previously from some tracing paper to mask ares on the plate. I took this idea from an ething I had seen by Chris Olfili called Castell Harlech and can be seen by following this link.

I like the contrast between to flowing lines and the rigid square shapes. Before, the eye followed the lines and swept through the design, where as now, I find, you are not quite sure whether to gaze at the pattern or be attracted to the rectangle shapes with their bright white and wonder why they have been placed in such a way. Quite a different outcome than my previous prints.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Patience & Print Making, Learning Lessons Through Mistakes

Since my last post I have been enjoying the Easter break! I managed to even tickle the creative bones of my housemates! On Easter Sunday, we had some good clean fun; I hard boiled some eggs and we sat out in the lovely sun decorating them with my Posca pens! It was pretty childish but we had a laugh and it proved to be more fun than everyone originally thought! We then went a walk to roll the eggs... neither of them had ever herd of this tradition which struck me as pretty strange! Here are the results and what wee all produced!

Apart from having Easter laughs I also got one of my pieces framed which was actually really exciting! The piece I got framed was the one that is going to be shown in The Assembly House Arts Show 2011, Norwich. When I went to get it framed I was given a choice of different coloured frames and mounts in which to show off the image. As I hadn't had anything professionally framed before it was hard for me to decide but in the end I chose a grey frame with an off-white mount. I think I made the right choice as the frame really does compliment the etching. I now have the piece hanging in my living room but have forced myself to keep the protective cardboard corners on it so as I don't get too used to it having pride of place on the wall as it will have to go to the exhibition in August! I think I will be sad to see it go and will also be left with a big blank space in my lounge!

A group of friends and I also took a little trip through to London where we enjoyed the atmosphere and surroundings of Camden Town in the sun during the day and in the evening we went to see Bonobo, which I have recently been introduced to, at the KoKo Club. The live band played renditions perfectly of the DJ's amazingly chilled out, dreamy tracks. The albums have become a favorite in the print studio, being enjoyed by the majority of the Print Makers at Cambridge School of Art.

I went in to college today for my first day back after the break. I had a long thin plate to etch which I had decided to fill with my pattern (92cm x 11cm). I'm trying to learn how to judge the depth of the bite in the plate but am finding it very difficult to judge. But practice makes perfect and hopefully with experience I'll be able to judge this in time.

The photos above show the bitten plate with the ground still on. This is the stage where you have to decide whether you leave the ground on and return the plate to the ferwick or remove the ground with white spirit and begin to print. If the ground is taken too early and the ferwick has not bitten the plate deeply enough the print taken from the plate will be too faint.

Here are a few photos of the plate with the ground removed and ready to ink up and print.

It always pays to be patient and don't rush at each crucial stage of Print Making, as my unsuccessful results proved to me! I was too eager and impatient and didn't blot the excess water from the paper enough, resulting in the paper ripping and me leaving the studio without managing to pull off a print of my newly etched plate! I was gutted!

So once again I have learned another important lesson from Print Making; Be patient, concentrate and don't rush. It's not all bad though as the piece isn't completely ruined and I can print it again from the same plate, just part of the constant learning curve!