Tag Archives: etching press

The Right Combo

17 Jan

Mari Lwyd (with chine colle)

Spent the day at Swansea Print Workshop making more monotypes based on the drawings I did while I followed around two local Mari Lwyd in December and January. I’m experimenting to find the right combination of ink, paper and glue (for the chine collé). I originally used Bockingford, Somerset then switched to a vintage paper by J Green & Sons (supplied by the Vintage Paper Co in Orkney). Today I just used the J Green paper which doesn’t need soaking, just a little spritz of clean water

Last time I tried out Intaglio Printmaker’s Litho / Relief oil-based ink with varying amounts of Extender but found it too tacky, it was quite hard to work the drawing onto the plate and it didn’t want to release the chine collé when it went through the press, so today I gave Caligo Easy Wash Relief ink a go. It worked much better although it was too loose to hold fine detail through the printing press.

Previously, I tried Pritt for the chine collé but today I used ‘YES’ paste which was much easier to apply and stuck the light tissues to the main print perfectly. Very impressed with it. I’ve changed everything from my starting point, it can take some time and experimentation to get the right combo.


The ‘ghost’ print

After taking the first print with chine collé, I put another sheet of the dampened J Green paper onto the plate and took a ‘ghost’ print which I will work into with artist-quality oil pastels or maybe collage.



I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Printing The Plate

16 Jan


After preparing the plate with my image of a Mari Lwyd, I printed it on one of the smaller etching presses at Swansea Print Workshop. For this one I used a vintage paper, by J Green & Sons that was manufactured between 1969 and 1974, sourced from the Vintage Paper Co. I didn’t have to soak it, just a spritz with clean water from a squirty bottle. That saved some time and hassle. It gave a good dense black and plenty of definition.


I put another piece of spritzed paper through to take a ghost print which didn’t, of course, have any chine collé. I’m thinking of working into this with top quality oil pastels.



I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

The Bagpuss Window

4 Sep

I’ve made Bagpuss look a bit mad, bad and dangerous. This is our sign.

People outside the UK might not know who Bagpuss is. Brits of a certain age have very fond memories of this children’s television series from way back in the 1970s. Bagpuss lived in a shop window which was full of curios and strange objects. Local artist Melanie Ezra and I have taken over an old shop in Swansea’s High Street, courtesy of Coastal Housing Group, and we’ll be working from the premises throughout September. It’s earmarked for demolition so it’s pretty ropey and we’re using it as a sort of pop-up studio for ourselves and some other artists, but we’re also using the window as a constantly changing display of our art, work-in-progress, materials, tools and all sorts of curious objects that inspire  and interest us.

It’s an arty Bagpuss window…….

This is what we did today. Mel did a sterling job cleaning up (I was otherwise occupied) and then we dressed the window for the first time. Sculptor David Meredith and Filmaker Melvyn Williams helped to manoeuvre two etching presses into position, lent by Swansea Print Workshop (thank you Jackie Ford).

I’ll be doing regular updates as the window changes throughout the month.

In The Zone

8 Nov

08 wip2

I’m working flat out to make 20 new small drawings for a group exhibition at The Brunswick in December. I’m making transfer prints from digital photos I’ve taken and then drawing on top of them in Indian ink. I print out a digital photo in standard inkjet inks (good quality ones don’t work) on cheap paper and put the image face down onto good quality art paper on an etching press. I quickly rub cheap nail-varnish remover (good quality ones don’t work) onto the back of the printed photo and put several sheets of tissue on top and put it through the etching press on a tight etching setting. This transfers the image to the artpaper but it the process the colours change considerably and also randomly so you don’t know what you’ve got until you peel back the tissue. Oh – and open the windows because the fumes are smelly.

Here’s a detail of one of the drawings. I’m using dip pens and Indian ink and I’m getting into the mark-making; it’s very repetitive and meditative once I’m in the zone.

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