Recycled printmaking.

 

Something which is very important in my work is the amount of recycled materials I can possibly use in the process. I like the idea of making something beautiful from essentially rubbish. Thats why I love collagraph making as I tend to use old cardboard packets. another bonus of this is the fact that its a very cheap material, so the pressure of potentially messing up materials you have bought just for the task are not there.

 

 

fish starbucks cup fish

fish 2 starbucks cup fish

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These fish were made from a used coffee cup. the plastic coated card great for wiping ink off of.

Anybody else that have found recycled materials that are great for printmaking? or anything crafty really ?

thanks for reading.

Printmaking in the garden with a home made press!

I have posted a new video on my YouTube channel. I finally finished putting my pasta machine press together and thought I would try out printing from plants with it, and why not do it in the garden as it is a very mobile press!

So please check it out if interested.(Link below) I think the pasta press works remarkably well for soft thin items, like you would mono print with. The idea to mount it on its side came from Snake artist who has great fun art videos on you tube.

Monoprinting with a pasta machine

Cheers!

Cmyk hay!

This Saturday, the 23rd of February, at Hay on Wye, in Herefordshire I will be taking my work to this brand new print and illustration fair.

Great for a day out, Hay is full of amazing second hand book stores and cafes. At the globe in hay , you will find lots of illustration and print fun, with lots of chances to pick up some art straight from the artists.

Would be great if you came and said hi!

Tru dat…

Collagraph and letterpress print that I did for my family for Christmas. I made a very limited edition of 4 .

I started with the idea of some ratties for my brother and his fiancée who have pet rats. But when it came to printing them as little individual cardboard plates, I thought they needed something else.

Its the little things in life that do make it better, like family and friends. Little furry friends as well. Flowers, a sunny day or just a really good cup of tea when you are thirsty.

So this print came to be, I spaced my rats out to leave a go for me to stamp some wood block letters into the space.

And now all the households in my immediate family have the same print and message in it. ( and all like rats thankfully 😂)

Kitchen Litho How To

Hello, in a previous post I talked about how excitied I was to finally try Kitchen Litho as it is known. Here is my attempt at a how to on the process. It is not a very hard proccess at all , or even that long winded, and I am sure you could have a go and have loads of fun with it !

I originally found this process in a copy of Printmaking Today,  back in 2012 written by a lady called Emilie Aizier-Brouard. 

 

Step 1: Gather STUFF!

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  • Cola (fresh is better )
  • Aluminium foil (the stronger the better )
  • tape ( parcel is better )
  • clean damp sponge (the wetter the better !!… er, no, wet but not dripping is best)
  • a plastic or metal sheet to wrap foil around
  • thick oil based ink and roller
  • a plastic tub to hold you bath of cola. (not shown here )
  • Paper to print on , and blotting paper if using soaked paper
  • Drawing materials:  softest graphite, anything oily to make a mark with , permenant markers, biros. (plenty of chance to experiment here )

 

Step 2: Preparing your plate ( fiddliest bit)

wrapping plate

You will be drawing on the mat side of the foil, BUT BE CAREFUL NOT TO TOUCH IT WITH YOUR BEAR HANDS !  Any hint of grease will show in your final print ( see my print below *sigh*), wear disposable gloves to be sure, I did not have any to hand….

Take your plate , I used an old bit of perspex to wrap my foil around.  Cut the foil larger than your plate . then with mat side out ( make sureit is resting on something clean and grease free) wrap your sheet.

back of plate

Here is the back side of my wrapped and stuck plate. Parcel tape is good, as it is water resitant and thin . Make sure that there are not any gaps or holes where cola can get underneath your foil otherwise it will get messy! Cola squirting out when you least expect it …

I used clean( ish ) tissue paper to work on to help keep the plate grease free.

 

Step 3 : Drawing on the plate

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I chose a picture that I thought would suit the sketchy line style that this printing process is best at.

I kept to a simple selection of drawing materials, soft grapihte pencil ( 8B or 9B is  best) and a graphite stick, again soft.

drawing on plste

You have to keep your hand from touching the suface as you draw. I like this as it keeps you from spending too long on the drawing . From my brief foray into this process the print quality is lovely but leans towards the informal. It would be hard to make it very clean and precise. I might be wrong and would love to know  what other people are doing with the process.

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Finished drawing

Step 4: Sensitizing the plate

cola bath time

Pour your fresh cola into a plastic tub, enough to submerge your plate, and leave for 5 seconds and then go and rinse with clean water. Simple as that !!

IF I had used other drawing tools, such as oil pastels,  and was going to try to print in another colour other than black, I would now have to wash off the drawn marks after sensitizing the plate.  To do this you pour a little oil ( such as rapeseed) on the plate and wipe it off quickly and gently with a soft cloth, you should see a phantom image apear . then wipe over with a clean damp sponge .  If you left marks on the plate which left a residue,  when you tried to ink it up it would clog.

The phosphoric acid and gum arabic in the cola makes the areas that have not been drawn on , hydrophilic. This means water will sit in a film on the surface, but be repelled from the drawn areas, which will catch the ink from your roller.

Senefelders Maxim – water repels grease.

 

Step 5: Inking and Printing

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Ink rolled out , Im using intaglio ink, Raw Umber and bone black . Thick ink is important, but I’m not sure why!

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Before you roll your ink over, you need to make sure you wipe over your plate with your wet sponge, getting the right amount of water on the plate is important and you will just have to try it out and see what works for you.

When you first ink up your plate it will need several passes of ink , wiping over with your sponge in between, and probably will not be as dense a print as the next one, as more ink gets built up on the plate. S0101015

You can see here where in the top half of the image I touched it with my fingers  it has picked up my finger prints, woops!  If there are areas where ink is gathering and its not supposed to be , you can use a brush dipped in cola to clean off those areas .

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Printing using my mini printing press.

I tried both damp and non damp paper , using  a spoon as a baren and the printing press to compare results.  I will post the results in another entry.

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I got at least 10 Prints from this plate , and I think I could get more from it  which is pretty good going.

My technique needs perfecting as my plate gathered quite a bit of ink as it went along. I will try;

less ink on roller,

adding chalk to ink to make it thicker,

wiping with sponge before every pass of roller,

and having roller that is same size as plate.

and being more careful touching the edges of my plate in the first place !

Hope you find this post useful and I would love to see what you make with it .

Thanks for reading.

New mini printing press! 

It was my birthday recently, and I happened to see this little desktop printing press that I had had my eye on for a while, was on sale, so birthday pressie for myself I bought it .

I have had a few goes on it trying different plates, it has its own way of printing which I need to master, but it’s looking promising for much fun in the future 😁

Fixing it to my desk …

A bit of rumaging around in the garage for some bits that would make suitable brackets and bolts to attach it.

One of the first prints with it, from a collograph plate , a pretty good impression ! 

Pilgrimage , Salmon

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This was my unique Lino and monoprint, called Pilgrimage, for an exhibition of the same name shown at Gloucester Cathedral , a beautiful place for an exhibition .

This print I took  the theme pilgrimage and the first thing that came to mind was salmon going back up river  to spawn. So I lino cut my slamon , printed several of him, some on tissue paper, then monoprinted the background , and then using rabbit skin glue as it is neutral and I know it doesn`t show  too much, I pasted layers together with several of my salmon just staggered to give a sense of depth . then popped him in a box frame and mounted him so the warped and cockled paper hung suspened .

Alchemy Exhibtion

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James Ferguson ,’Insight 1′, Etching
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Beth Jenkins, woodcut. Fran Christian, letterpress and collograph.
Wendy Rhodes, Etching and aquatint

 

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Here are some pictures from the Alchemy exhibition in Stroud that a piece of mine was in this April.

Members of the printmaking co-op I am part of, hung a lovely show with an eclectic mix of work from some talented printmakers .

any questions please ask!