For our anniversary last month, Ben got me a truly awesome present - he paid for me to go to printmaking classes! It's a kind of crash course introduction to printmaking spread across three Saturday's and I went to the first one yesterday. It's only the beginning but I already love it. I'm having my eyes opened to so many new techniques for producing an image, which is exactly what I need. I'm gonna see which technique in particular suits me best so I can produce some prints of my work which are up until now only available as greetings cards.
The studio where it's held is the West Yorkshire Print Workshop in Mirfield (which I managed to get to on time despite getting lost numerous times!)
It's your typical artists playground inside with several rooms all overflowing with tools, textiles, paints, everything! The printing room itself had some beautiful old presses in (and gorgeous wooden floorboards.)
So I want to share with you all what I got up to on day one!
This basically is carving or etching into a surface with a sharp pointed tool. We did three, one metal, one perspex and one card. The whole surface is then covered in an oil based paint and wiped off so the only remaining ink is in the groove that's been created.
The plate (surface you've carved into) is then put onto the press with the paper over it and away you go! Rolling the press was quite a work out on the arms but really cool.
There he is, Mickey dowg! This was my best attempt at it. It was so hard to keep the plate clean after wiping it when you're hands are completely black with ink. If you don't like to get messy this isn't for you. Oil based too so it was a bitch to get off!
Secondly, Mono Printing
This was so fun to do and the results were amazing. I really enjoyed mono printing. What you do is coat a sheet of perspex in one colour, we used a water based ink for this, and place on top whatever you want. The kind of things you'd find in your average artist/crafter/hoarder's bits and bobs box! The tutor told us she once held up traffic to collect some netting from the middle of the road because it was too good to pass up.
You then run it through the press with your paper over the top to create a really cool effect and a one off print. You can do this again several times onto the same piece of paper, each with a different colour. The colours will over lap as will the gaps made by the objects you've used. The finished print is usually very bright and expressive and very fun!
These were the experiments I did using this method. It's giving me loads of ideas for making prints of my octopus designs.
I can't wait to see what we'll be doing next week. If you're even remotely interested in it I would recommend you try it out.
So who else out there has dabbled in printmaking?