Tag Archives: photopolymer plate

Renaissance In Bath

3 Jul

Rose Davies drawing Rose Davies etching

Next week I’m exhibiting some work in Bath with an artist collective, Commensalis. I’m showing a group of drawings and photopolymer plate etchings based on the concept of Rinascere, which is an Italian word meaning ‘to be reborn’ or ‘to revive’. I chose it because I have been deliberately working with Renaissance techniques and materials for some time and the word ‘rinascere’ is the root of the word ‘renaissance’. I also identified with it’s meaning ‘to revive’ in the light of the current art trends which have moved away from traditional skills such as drawing and etching. I’m using those traditional techniques in my drawings and then adapting the drawings, done from life (as Renaissance artists did), into intaglio prints.


So if you fancy a day trip to beautiful Bath next week, we’re opening with a party on Monday evening and there will be an artist-in-residence each day demonstrating our techniques. On the final Sunday, from 3-4, there’s tea with the artists with lashings of tea, scones and Victoria Sandwich. The Walcot Mortuary Chapel dates from the 1790s and it’s along Walcot Road, about 10 minutes walk from the railway station. It’s in the artisan area, with very old architecture and loads of antique shops, building salvage yards, vintage clothes and foodie places. It’s gert lush and a nice day out.


Tired And Manky

27 Mar

step 1I spent the afternoon at Swansea Print Workshop, editioning a photopolymer intaglio plate. First I cut 15 pieces of BFK Rives 250gsm paper and put them to soak in clean water. I set up my workspace around the hotplate that I preheated and put some Intaglio Printmaker’s drypoint shop mix oil-based ink in black onto the glass work surface and mixed it a bit with a mini squeegee to get it nice and malleable.

step 2

I spread the ink over the  photopolymer plate that I’d put onto the hotplate (with newspaper to keep the hotplate clean). Once it was well covered, I removed excess ink with the edge of a piece of stiff card then took the photopolymer plate off the heat and onto the work surface to continue removing the ink with a piece of washed scrim.

step 3

After a final polish on the areas I want to highlight, I cleaned the edges of the plate with a rag and put the plate onto the small Inverleith etching press. I’d already placed a registration sheet on the press bed and covered it with a piece of acetate to keep it clean. Then, using ‘paper fingers’ I took one of the pieces of paper, that had soaked for about an hour, from the tray.

step 4

I schlepped it against a white board and squegeed it once to get rid of excess surface water, then put it between several sheets of blotting paper and rolled it a couple of times so it was damp, not sodden.

step 5

Again with clean ‘paper fingers’, I placed the paper carefully onto the inked plate, put a piece of clean tissue on top then the three swansdown blankets and turned the wheel to take the whole lot through the press.

step 6

Phew! A perfect print. But I’m tired and manky. 🙂


Cat ‘n’ Cheeses

3 Mar

03 foodie

I spent a busy morning at the print workshop, making a small edition from a photopolymer intaglio plate for the excellent Leftovers IV. It’s a little portrait of Sparta Puss, my furry feline felon.

When I got back, I settled into my comfy chair with a modest cheese sandwich and a mug of tea for a late lunch. I was idly channel-hopping and locked onto a programme that was simultaneously revolting and fascinating. It’s called Man vs Food. O!M!G! People actually eat like THAT?!

03 manvsfood

My little cheese sarnie had two skinny slices of brie. This guy had THREE AND A HALF POUNDS of 14 different molten cheeses in his toastie. YCHYFI! (That’s Welsh for GROSS!). I’d never seen this programme before. I’ll definitely watch it again 😀

Taking It Further….

24 Feb

towel small

Once I decide that a rough sketch is worth developing, I like to see how many different ways I can take it. This is a very small scribble I made in a life drawing session a couple of years ago in a sketchbook size A5. I drew the reflection of the model in a mirror.

Then I developed a small oil painting, size A3; I don’t often paint but I wanted to do some technical exercises with oils.

yellow towel small

Then I scaled up the drawing and used it as the basis for a full colour monotype, along with it’s ‘ghost’ below. These are A2 size.

yellow towel final small

yellow towel ghost small

And finally, back to A5 and a photopolymer plate etching.

24 towel

I wonder where I’ll go next with it? hmmmmmmmmm 🙂



Printing An Etching Plate

15 Feb

strip a

I’m getting better each day and I spent half a day at Swansea Print Workshop printing some of my etching plates. I used Intaglio Printmaker’s black etching ink (drypoint shopmix) and BFK Rives 250 gsm paper. I soaked it for about an hour and a half while I prepared some registration sheets and fixed them to the bed of the etching press, under a sheet of clear plastic. I got my workstation set up, with plenty of newspaper and some small sheets cut from Yellow Pages, washed scrim and set the hotplate to medium.

strip b

I put the steel photopolymer plate onto the hotplate to warm up and spread some ink across it with a small rubber squeegee, pressing it into the grooves. Then I rubbed it with a piece of soft, washed scrim in a circular motion until the excess ink had been removed and finally rubbed over areas I wanted to highlight with a cotton bud (Q Tip).

strip c

I cleaned my hands with vegetable oil then washed them and, using ‘paper fingers’, rtemoved a sheet of soaked paper from the tray and slapped it up against the white board. Then I squeegeed it to remove excess water, then put it between some sheets of blotting paper an rolled over the top to get damp, but not too wet. I put the inked-up plate onto the plastic sheet on the press bed, over it’s registration marks.

strip d

I placed the damp paper, again with ‘paper fingers’ over the plate, using the second set of registration marks, put some clean tissue paper on top and put the swansdown blankets over the whole thing. Don’t worry, they’re not made from real swans. Then I turned the wheel and put the whole thing through the rollers.

strip e

Then I took the print, called ‘The Towel’, off the plate and put it to dry between sheets of acid-free tissue between two fibre boards for a couple of days. It’s one of a number of my pieces going into a new group exhibition in Fountain Fine Art gallery in Llandeilo, opening on Saturday 23rd February. If you’re in the area, please pop in 🙂

Solar Etching

27 Jun

Another long hard day, this time at Swansea Print Workshop, doing the final day of a photopolymer [solar plate] course. I’ve completed the plate I started last week and taken some proof prints, using Charbonnel ink, which I haven’t tried before – it’s gorgeous. Here’s one of the proofs. I’m hoping to do a fairly large edition. I also exposed another 4 x A6 plates and I’ll go in next week to print them up.


Tired now 🙂


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