Prints & Process
Printers & Printing
Prints produced by gallery and invited artists
Joanna Allen, Shelley Burgoyne, Julia Briet, Jo Brown, Gordon Cain, Loretta Carney-Ventner, Paul Czainski, Janine Denby, Ross Loveday, Louise Oliver, Duncan Pearson, Sara Philpott, Angie Rogers, Tim Southall, Judith Stroud, Richard Wincer
Relief Printing is a generic term which covers linocuts, woodcuts, wood engraving and printing from modern materials like mdf and plastic. It also includes letterpress or printing from type or wooden blocks.
Cutting tools can be used to cut a design into a flat block of material leaving the image as a raised surface. It also includes ‘found’ or assembled textures and surfaces which are inked up from the raised or relief surface. Using a roller, ink is applied evenly to the raised surface. Paper is then placed on top. Pressure is applied evenly to the back of the paper using a press or by hand burnishing, which transfers the ink to the paper.
It is a hugely versatile medium with a wide range of approaches, from very free expressionist cutting to meticulous and detailed engraving.
Materials used include many wood products, plywood, block board, veneered ply, medium density fibreboard (MDF), hardboard and chipboard. There are also suitable plastic and rubber based products for cutting as well as linoleum and cast plaster blocks. Any tools which can make a mark, including motorized power tools. There are specialised gouges and knives which give more predictable results. In addition to one-colour printing, multiple blocks can be used to produce multi colour prints each block carries different colours and need to be registered carefully when printing
Relief Printing is a generic term which covers linocuts, woodcuts, wood engraving and printing from modern materials like mdf and plastic. It also includes letterpress or printing from type or wooden blocks. Cutting tools can be used to cut a design into a flat block of material leaving the image as a raised surface. It also includes ‘found’ or assembled textures and surfaces which are inked up from the raised or relief surface. Using a roller, ink is applied evenly to the raised surface. Paper is then placed on top. Pressure is applied evenly to the back of the paper using a press or by hand burnishing, which transfers the ink to the paper. It is a hugely versatile medium with a wide range of approaches, from very free expressionist cutting to meticulous and detailed engraving. Materials used include many wood products, plywood, block board, veneered ply, medium density fibreboard (MDF), hardboard and chipboard. There are also suitable plastic and rubber based products for cutting as well as linoleum and cast plaster blocks. Any tools which can make a mark, including motorized power tools. There are specialised gouges and knives which give more predictable results. In addition to one-colour printing, multiple blocks can be used to produce multi colour prints each block carries different colours and need to be registered carefully when printing.
Linoleum was being made from around the 1860’s but its potential as a printmaking material was not exploited until around the turn of the century. Franz Cisek, a Viennese art educator introduced it as a medium for children to use. Its potential was quickly recognised by artists and illustrators alike and it has continued to be widely used in schools. It was also a great medium for making posters and features largely in the history of oppressed groups of people who were denied access to commercial printing methods.
A plank or block of wood with a flat parallel surface is selected. Originally wood was only available cut along the grain or cut across it.
The plank wood cut along the grain has hard and soft areas related to the growth of the tree. It is therefore less predictable to cut into. Wood cut across the grain is usually reserved for finer work like wood engraving. Nowadays there are a wide variety of wood products available plywood, block board, veneered ply, medium density fibreboard (MDF), hardboard and chipboard all offer advantages in terms of grain or texture.
Woodcuts are suitable for a more robust approach than lino , the direction of the grain plays an important part in the type of mark that can be made for example cutting across the grain causes a splintered edge to the line. It is a hugely versatile medium with a wide range of approaches, from very free expressionist cutting to meticulous and detailed engraving.
Cutting tools, knives, motorised power tools can be used to cut a design into a flat block of material leaving the image as a raised surface.
Using a roller, ink is applied evenly to the raised surface. Paper is then placed on top. Pressure is applied evenly to the back of the paper using a press or by hand burnishing, which transfers the ink to the paper.
The woodcut is the earliest and most ancient method of making a print.
The Chinese first developed true printing thousands of years before other civilisations. In the 15th Century it was used extensively in Europe to print illustrated texts. After the development of moveable type it was used very largely in an illustrative capacity as it could be made the same height as the type and printed alongside the text. Artist such as Albrecht Durer disseminated his work widely through woodcuts which were cut by professional craftsmen after he had drawn on the block. The technique was overtaken by engraving and wood engraving as a more subtle process of reproduction. It enjoyed a revival at the end of the 19th Century through the interests of artist printmakers as a very direct method of working. Access to a wider range of products in the 20th Century has seen yet another renaissance, notably German Expressionists such as Kitchner.
Intaglio Processes include etchings, aquatints, photoetch , drypoint and collagraphs. All these processes are defined by the great pressure required. Ink is deposited into the lines and textures of the plate or block and the surface ink is wiped away. The extreme pressure of the press pushes dampened paper into these lower areas and picks up the ink. Heavily etched plates and some collagraphs have an almost embossed effect in the finished print.
The image is developed by corroding a metal plate in a bath with acid or salts. Acid resistant coverings known as grounds are used to protect the areas not to be etched. The ground is drawn into with a pointed instrument. After a period in the etchant, the plate is cleaned, and inked up. This is done by pushing ink into the deep etched lines. The surface or relief of the plate is wiped clean The plate is then placed on a press, dampened paper is placed over it and it is run through the press at great pressure. The paper is forced into the etched or incised lines picking up the ink and transferring the image. Prints are often distinguished by a ‘plate mark’, a deep mark at the edge of the printing plate
The variety of materials and techniques that can be applied to etching makes it a very versatile and expressive area of printmaking. The many different ways to manipulate the grounds during the mark-making process , the action and extent of the corrosion and the printing itself all give the artist an infinite range of creative possibilities. Etching is one of the intaglio group of printmaking terms which covers a range of techniques including hardground, softground, aquatint ,sugarlift and photo-etch.
his process combines the use of images and marks from photographic, digital and hand drawn sources with the range of marks and textures offered by the etching process. A positive of the image on acetate is placed onto a plate covered in photo -emulsion and then exposed to UV light . The image is transferred to the plate, developed with caustic soda and etched in the normal way . Photo- etch offers a huge range off possibilities both in the design stage using Photoshop for example and also in the etching stage where the whole range of etching methods can be called on to further develop the image.
Photo etch is the process of transferring a design which is on a semi transparent material, to a plate by means of a light sensitive emulsion which also acts as a resist to the etchant.
Using carborundum powder (abrasive composed of silicon carbide) to add areas of differing tones, textures or very strong colour. It can be mixed with pva wood glue to create a surface which holds inks. The mix can be painted directly on to a thoroughly degreased aluminium plate, often combined with drypoint drawing. The areas in the plate which are to print are covered with the mix, When dry that area retains ink, just as in any other intaglio process.It give a rich velvety surface.This is a relatively new process (1930’s)
Drypoint is traditionally associated with metal printing plates. The image is drawn directly onto the metal plate using a sharp needle. The drypoint needle is of necessity heavier and harder than an ordinary etching needle. The line gouged into the metal throws up a burr of displaced metal which holds the ink when the plate is wiped and gives the drypoint print its distinctive rich and velvety quality.
As there is no etching involved drypoint is a very accessible and portable way of producing a plate, it does however need to be printed on dampened paper using an etching press. Quite often drypoint is used on a plate to supplement etching. Successive prints wear out the burr and the prints will gradually become lighter.
It is possible to use other materials in this way, Perspex and even card, which is then treated like a collagraph and varnished. A whole range of tools are also available to make direct textures into the plate without using an etchant Some of these have rotating heads with teeth which can be used to simulate areas of tone.
Collagraph is a printmaking technique which operates, as the name suggests, on the basis of collage. The physical activity involved in creating a collagraph plate is the interaction with a selection of materials of varying textures. It is a particularly robust, direct and unfussy type of printmaking and the surfaces created are relatively unpredictable. Indeed, much of the joy of working with collagraph lies in the tremendous scope there is for innovation and experiment.
The nature and breadth of Collagraph as a means of creating uniquely rich and interesting printed imagery makes it one of the most dynamic innovations to take place within printmaking in recent decades. Unlike other intaglio and relief methods, which rely on a set of one or more highly technical processes, Collagraph is a process which enables you to work directly with materials, and to explore the qualities of those materials.
The collagraph plate can be made from ‘liquid’ materials, which are painted on to the plate or applied in a liquid or semi-liquid form, with a brush, palette knife or squeegee, such as PVA glue, ceramic tile cement or epoxy resin or from materials which are cut-out and glued down, for example, tissue paper gauze, scrim and fabric.
Collagraph lends itself to a more abstract approach to image-making with the emphasis on texture, colour and bold shapes.
Is an increasingly popular method of printing for beginners and professionals alike, because it can accommodate a wide range of finished effects, it is a stencil process which is also known as silkscreening or serigraphy.
A screen is made by tightly stretching a fine mesh of material on a frame. Areas of the mesh are blocked with a stencil, and then a squeegee is used to pull ink through the unblocked areas. The simplest approach uses cut-paper stencils.
There are many variations which include hand drawn and painted monoprints, the use of photostencils, and the printing of multi-colour editions. Screenprinting is more versatile than many traditional print-making techniques, as the surface does not have to be printed under pressure.
The earliest form of screenprinting was simple stencilling, most notably the Japanese ‘katazome‘ The modern screenprinting process originated from patents taken out in the early 1900s in England. The idea was then adopted in the USA and in 1914 multi-colour prints were created.
During the First World War screenprinting was used as an industrial process for printing flags and banners. The use of photographic stencils at this time further increased the versatility of the process and encouraged its wide-spread use.
During the 1930s a number of American artists began making artworks in screenprint and by the end of that decade the term ‘serigraph’ was devised to distinguish artists’ prints from commercial prints.
During the 1960s screenprints came into greater prominence, particularly due to the Pop Art movement. Pop artists were attracted to their bold areas of unmodulated colour, their flat surfaces and their generally commercial look. Many of Andy Warhol’s most famous works were created using the technique.
Screenprinting is currently popular both in Fine Art and in small-scale commercial printing, where it is commonly used to put images on T-shirts, hats, ceramics, glass, polyethylene, polypropylene, paper, metals, and wood.
Monoprinting combines printmaking, drawing and painting techniques. A single image developed on a flat surface with oil or water based ink is transferred to paper by means of a printing press or by hand burnishing.
Transparent materials such as glass, Perspex or acetate allow a sketch to be placed underneath which can be used as a guide and all sorts of interesting marks to be made with brushes and other tools. Areas that you are not satisfactory can easily be rubbed out and reworked
The earliest known monoprints date back to the early 17th century and they have been produced over the years by many artists including William Blake, Degas, Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso to name a few.
Photographic Prints – Lambda
Lambda printing gives true continuous tone, ultra sharp photographic images with crisp and precise edge to edge printing and absolutely no distortion.
Lambda photographic technology has taken over from the traditional photographic process and uses three lasers merged into a single beam to expose images on to photosensitive materials up to 1270 mm (50 inches) in width, producing the whole image in a single pass. The photosensitive material is then internally “wet” processed in the same manner as traditional photography.
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