Printmaking course 2015 – Drypoint

I’ve decided to keep to my theme of the acorn – this way I can appreciate the different methods and results of print making.

I taped a piece of Rhenalon over an image of the acorn then scratched the out line using the end of a pair of compasses. I quickly became absorbed in the process and found it far more satisfying than the lino cut, it was almost a meditative process.

Using a soft piece of old t-shirt I rubbed ink into the grooves on the plate then carefully wiped round the outline. I’d missed marking some lines so scratched them in, then played with colour and the amount of ink on the plate.


Missing marks added.P1000417

Too much black on the cap – should have wiped more away….should have also checked the newsprint paper I placed on the top was clean!P1000420

Wiped the plate clean and re-inked using a dark green for the cap.


More green on the cap (still not enough) and the bottom left.P1000423

Cut another image of the acorn and placed it on my plate, over the scratched image – inked with a roller a piece of embossed wall paper – placed over the plate – ran through the press.P1000419

Then ran the plate through the press again – without re-inking the acorn.

Wiped the plate clean again – re-inked the acorn – laid the cut-out acorn on top then rollered the plate.


This was done a real hurry – the paper was too wet and the ink not wiped correctly.


On the reverse side of the plate I ran this image made from sandpaper through the press.


It was difficult for me to see where the edges were so I’ve missed inking at the top – I think it would be better had I used this as a base for my print rather than a stand alone print.


The first thing I did was to make another sandpaper acorn so I could etch the texture onto the side of the plate I’d etched last week.

P1000477This gave the print more texture – this was my first print and one of my favourites for this week.
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Experimenting with different colour combinations.P1000480

I deliberately left some wipe marks after inking the acorn – would be improved with more ink wiped from the cap,


Too much ink left on – I think I was being influenced by other people’s moody results….. but a moody acorn?


This was the same technique I’d used last week – rollered textured wallpaper – laid it onto the plate after masking off the acorn – then removed the wallpaper and the mask and took a print.


A print taken from the rollered wallpaper.P1000485 P1000486

I used someone else’s ink to roller my plate… I took her meaning of ‘thin ink’ to mean very light – the 2nd one taken without re-inking but neither are a success.

Another enjoyable week. I’ve decided I prefer to ink my plates then wipe most off before taking a print. I like to see the etched detail rather than the mono print effect gained from leaving ink on.


Printmaking Course 2015 – Lino cut

Firstly I traced a simple image of an acorn onto the lino. I’d managed to work out the reverses and mirror images by using photoshop so I was confident but the lino was hard, I tried various tools to cut into it but I laboured in vain. I had time to make just one black and white print.


My tutor suggested I cut the lines wider to give more definition so during the week I made alterations but wished I’d added more smaller lines to the cap.


In spite of the disaster I had with the yellow ink when collagraph printing I was assured that the original  black on my plate would knock the colour back – thankfully it did. P1000292

I inked up the plate again with blue – a small amount of the yellow showed through but nothing exciting.

P1000297I decided to cut out the acorn shape so I could ink the background a different colour.


On the one above I used the back of a wooden spoon but unfortunately the acorn wasn’t fully aligned with the background so I ended up with a white halo.P1000294

More colours added – by this time I’d learnt not to roll so much ink onto the plate, if any at all at times.


Sometimes I’d ink just the acorn.


At other times just the background. By this time the rollers were becoming a confusion of colour so giving a softer finish to the prints.

In all I made 17 prints and felt it was one of my better days in the studio in terms of experimentation.


Printmaking Course 2015 – Lino-cut Research

Lino-cut is going to be difficult for me because not only have I to cope with the negative and positive but also mirror images. Unfortunately my two hour class doesn’t allow much  time for explanations; I’m usually in there making prints before I’ve had time to absorb the principles of the techniques. This is why I need to research before I go into the studio. Also I don’t work figuratively – instead I use abstract concepts in my work. At the moment I’m thinking about my g+grand mothers and so far  I’ve not found my way forward.

I’m thinking about doing a sampler as Will Karp has done.z_pr_111_480


Then there’s these two by Charmaine Watkiss.



Natasha Rusell‘s work is exceptionally fine.


Maybe I should be a little more ambitious!

I’ve come up with a couple of images I may investigate further.





Printmaking Course 2015 – Colour Collagraph

A beautiful walk to the studio today – cold with bright sunshine.

I’d made a plate yesterday – working on the theme of my ancestral mothers – the lace knitting represents my grandmother who taught me how to knit; she often wore lace patterned cardigans and the leaves are for my mother who loved gardening.

P1000056 I don’t know what possessed me to use the yellow ink – maybe too much sun on the way in!

However I liked the image left on the roller after I’d brayered it across my plate so I inked up a piece of paper with it


I added more colours but too vibrant.


Gradually I removed the yellow.P1000061 P1000063 P1000064

At last I felt I was getting somewhere with the colour – more muted shades.


Then I turned the plate over and used the reverse.


A few scratches into the cardboard and a light touch of ink.


Someone else was using paper doilies so I pinched a bit and laid it on top.P1000067

Another doily layer.

Then I printed twice on the same paper – firstly using the back of the plate then the front.

I still struggle working in 2D and with colour; again nothing here that are worth more than reminders of experimental samples but I had a fun morning.

Printmaking Course 2015 – B&W Collagraph

Thankfully the class went much better for me this week and I enjoyed my time in the studio.

Firstly I made up my plate by attaching materials to a piece of grey-board.I’d knitted some small leaves in fine cotton thread and had brought along scraps of lace-like fabrics  Due to time constrains the plates couldn’t be made up in the conventional manner, that is sticking down materials then sealing them with waterproof varnish. I had to use glue stick, masking tape, parcel tape and sellotape.


This is the plate but after modifications. The first print (below) held too much ink for me. On the left hand side I’d used brown package tape over the crocheted fabric and details was lost; on the other side was masking tape so I replaced the brown tape with it. The sellotape holding down the knitted leaves (top middle) also covered some detail. I removed the ric-rac.


After the alterations I inked the plate again but this time with a piece of cloth – much better definition.


Then i wiped away even more ink – the knitted leaves under the sellotape have come out better on this one.

Next I inked up the Renolon plate I’d used for mono printing and placed some pieces of fabric onto it. The plate was then put through the press.


I carefully lifted the pieces of fabric off the plate, onto a damp piece of paper and through the press once more. The result reminds me of the illustrations found in old knitting manuals. I can see me using this technique when I explore the word eidolon.


Lastly I took a ghost print from the Renolon plate – another result worth exploring.


Printmaking Course 2015 – Collagraph Research

I’m mindful that I was drastically unprepared for last week’s class so have done some research for this week’s by looking at other artists’ work; to encourage me; to give me some ideas to take along. As I don’t work figuratively or use the naturalistic world as a starting base  I struggled to find many works on a more conceptual or abstract level. At the back of my mind I’m still wanting to use my fore mothers in my work but not use the obvious sepia photographs – more of a hint, a ghost, a shadow, a shade. I’ve come across the word eidolon and it’s perfect for my concept. It means ‘an image, a phantom or apparition, a confusing reflection or reflected image’ – as taken from Chambers 20th Century Dictionary or ‘ an unsubstantial image, spectre, phantom’ – OED.

My idea is to take materials to represent my fore mothers – my mother was a passionate gardener and Jan Bulley has kick-started some ideas for me.

hydrangea-filigree-web nigella-seedhead-3 waterfront-5

My maternal grandmother taught me to knit so I must have some knitting in my piece and Ann Symes includes knitting in her work.


Dawn Cole has used found textiles to illustrate her ‘Thought Patterns’. For once I know where I’m going …… will it happen on the day of print making?

Printmaking course 2015 – Mono print – colour

You win some and loose some and today was certainly a loose day. For a start I’d forgotten to take to class my printing plate I’d been given the previous week and I also think I’d forgotten my brain – all morning I struggled to focus on what I was doing. I wasn’t distracted by other thoughts, my mind wasn’t elsewhere but I had no inspiration, no ideas and I floundered with the task in hand, often wandering around the studio saying to myself “what shall I do, I’m lost”. At one point I attempted to capture my lost-ness but failed. I’ve been thinking why I didn’t get to grips with colour printing and have come to conclusion I was too caught up with the colour aspect and not enough with the print – I wasn’t thinking beyond inking up the plate – I was concentrating too much on getting the ink onto the surface and not removing any to make an image. I had a tiny break through when a hair accidentally fell onto my inked up plate. I’d metaphorically been tearing my hair out so for my last two prints I physically torn out some of my hair. The results still abysmal!

It’s ironic that the scanned images have also failed – the colours are distorted – but this is just a reminder for myself so I’m not fretting.img550 (4)

Ink removed – but I was too intend on merging the colours.

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Ink added. img551On dry paper
img551 (2) On wet paper. img552 (3)Who know what I was attempting here!
img552 (2) Cleaning the plate – a bit of water always adds to the effect!
img553 (2)

Tearing my hair out.