Tag Archives: Intaglio Printmaker

The Rainbow Roll

28 Jul

 

rainbow 5

Colour

It’s been years since I did a rainbow roll to put colour into the background of a block print. I’ve been trying out proof prints for my “Streambed” vinyl block and that’s how I ended up doing a rainbow roll. I put out three lumps of Caligo Safewash litho/relief ink – Process Blue on the right, Extender in the middle and Process Blue with Process Yellow on the left and then I rolled them very carefully in one direction until they were blended, with a dark blue merging through an almost-white to green. The colours are very strong and I remembered that I should have used far more Extender and less pigment.

 

 

Masking

I needed to mask out the edge of the coloured area so I ripped a hole in a sheet of newspaper to form a stencil and put it over the rainbow roll.

 

 

Strength

Then I put a piece of Japanese Hosho paper on top of it and rubbed with a baren. The result is reasonable, but I think the pigment is too strong, I need to add far more extender to the colours to make them paler and more translucent. Finally, I overprinted with my “Streambed” block in a black oil-based litho/relief ink from Intaglio Printmaker in London. I like it, it’s different.

 

The FIRE Lab

I based this block on an original sketch I did with colleagues from the FIRELab project at the Zoology Department at Swansea University. Here’s one of the FIRE Lab’s blogs, talking about uses for the saliva of The Tench (it’s a fish).

 

Random Ripping

9 Apr

yellow 3

So, carrying on with my experiment to loosen up and make my approach to art more random and less controlled. I have gone through a process of cutting vinyl blocks randomly, with a selection of tools, then I hacked away at the edges to get rid of the square boundaries. So the next stage is to print them up. I was lucky to have been given some vintage printmaking papers by a friend who was clearing out his late father’s studio. It isn’t watermarked so I don’t know what it is, but it’s a nice off-white, very warm colour and I estimate about 150 gsm or thereabouts.

To keep the randomness going, I gritted my teeth and ripped the paper without measuring it out and using a nice straight edge. It was a horrible experience! It felt like vandalism! I decided to go with a translucent oil-based litho / relief ink (Caligo Safewash), in Process Yellow, mixed 60:40 with Extender.

I inked up the blocks with my best roller and then took the print using a traditional Japanese bamboo baren. The ink was nice and loose because of the amount of Extender I added and the paper thin enough to pick up the ink without needing a heavy press.

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And here’s the first print. I’ll be overlaying this with more colours in the next couple of days to push the randomness as far as I can.

The Japanese Way

23 May

edition

I normally use a printing press to take prints from the plates and blocks I make, but today I had a go taking prints by hand. It hinges on the alchemy between the right sort of ink at the right consistency and the right paper. I’ve been experimenting for a while but today I hit jackpot with a mixture of Intaglio Printmaker’s litho / relief ink mixed with extender onto Hosho paper. I built up lots of layers of very thin ink onto the vinyl block and took the print with a Japanese baren.

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I cut this image into a small block of ‘Softcut’ vinyl from a drawing I did while I was travelling around South West Wales with archaeologist Dewi Bowen who is researching his new book on Neolithic / Bronze Age monuments. His previous book on the stones of Ancient Siluria (South East Wales) can be found here. Accompanying us is film maker Melvyn Williams who is recording a documentary about our experiences. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. If you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

Get Over Yourself

3 Dec

her place 1

 

I recently had a rubber stamp made from a screen print I did a few months back (here) and tried it out today for the first time on some leftover pieces of lovely Shiohara paper. It came out like, well, a rubber stamp. Being a geeky and rather obsessive printmaker, I of course wanted it to be absolutely perfect, like a lino block through a fine Victorian Columbian press.

 

Then I got over myself! A rubber stamp is a completely different animal and the effect of stamping gives a very different finish to a press. And then I started enjoying myself, stamping away. I hung them to dry on my clothes airer, using plastic pegs and cotton wool pads. I’m not sure what I’ll do with them – maybe a 3D piece?

I did it at The SPace, a temporary artspace by Swansea Print Workshop at 217, High Street, Swansea. Open 11.30 – 5.00, Wednesdays to Saturdays until mid-February.

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