Posted: March 29, 2013 Filed under: lithography, printmaking | Tags: contemporary printmaking, direct transfer litho, lithography technique, printmaking, printmaking demo, stone lithography
I’ve gone a bit off-track with my posts of late – excitement about artist books took over for a bit there! So back to lithography. I’ve got a backlog of posts about various processes I’ve been learning. So here’s the first – printing my very first litho stone. (This was actually over a month ago now – how time flies!).
The drawing on the stone was made using hard and soft litho crayons and rubbing block. Unfortunately I forgot to document the processing of the stone – I’ll have to do that with another one. When it came to taking the first prints, I was amazed by the amount of detail the stone retained – it was so true to the original drawing, but after a few more the image started to fill in in the non-image areas, and it was evident that the stone needed some more etching, (despite having had two gum etches already). This is in order to de-sensitise those areas to grease, so that when the oil-based ink is rolled on, it only adheres to the greasy image-areas.
Stone filling in – evident from the grey tone on the non-image areas. This is why it’s important to really look at and try to remember your image before processing and printing, so that you know which marks should and shouldn’t be there.
Applying a further gum etch to the stone with a paint brush. A strong mix of gum arabic and nitric acid is applied to the strong areas of the drawing and non-image areas to clear out any grease, and a weaker mix is used for delicate areas of tone, so as not to clear these areas out completely.
Stone etched back and ready to proof again.
The stone is printed with a 50/50 mix of ‘Noir a Monter’ (non-drying black ink) and Crayon black ink.
A leather nap roller is used to roll the ink. When using any black ink other than non-drying, the roller should be thoroughly scraped after use to avoid it drying out and ruining the roller.
Pulling a print from the stone – Ink is rolled on to the damp stone, damp paper is placed on top, and once run through the direct transfer press the paper is pulled from the stone to reveal the printed image.
My first run of lithographs! I was really happy with how they turned out – especially seeing as they were only a test.
So amazed by the fine detail – something unobtainable with any other print technique. The key is processing the stone so that all the subtleties of the drawing are retained.
Morris under his favourite lamp.
Posted: March 16, 2013 Filed under: artist books, leeds artist book fair, printmaking | Tags: artist book, hand bound book, hard ground etching
As promised, here is the first in my collection of artist books. It’s been fun photographing it. More to come soon.
1. “Construction”, by Thom Walker, 3 hard-ground etchings spread over 6 pages and hand bound in an edition of 12
This is one of the first ever artist books I acquired. ( We actually did a swap). I love the intricate, illustrative drawings, and although I have had it for a couple of years I only realised when I looked at it to photograph it that each drawing leads on from the next, and I always notice something new whenever I look at it.
Posted: March 12, 2013 Filed under: lithography, printmaking | Tags: lithography, printmaking demo, stone lithography demo
Here is a little video of me printing a test litho stone last week. The image is made up of a series of squares in which I have used a different drawing material or technique to produce a different mark. I was really pleased with how it came out, but it might need a bit of etching back this week. It gets slightly tedious about half way through but bear with it! Hopefully it gives a little insight into the printing process, with some nice music as an added bonus. There’s also a photo of the finished print underneath.
Posted: March 10, 2013 Filed under: artist books | Tags: artist books, contemporary printmaking, inspiration, leeds artist book fair
This weekend I had a table at the Leeds International Contemporary Artist Book Fair, along with my friend Aimee Day, a visual artist based in London. It was a great two days, with such a diverse range of work, and so many inspiring conversations with people who really took the time to look at and ask about our work.
I came home feeling thoroughly inspired and energised to make new work. Having set myself a small budget, I also made a few purchases to add to my small but growing collection of artist books. Here are my new purchases in all their loveliness, along with the rest of my collection. Photographing them actually gave me the idea to do a post about each one individually. I’m going to try to do one every couple of weeks, so keep a look out…
Posted: February 22, 2013 Filed under: printmaking
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Posted: February 8, 2013 Filed under: lithography, printmaking | Tags: leicester print workshop, lithography transfer paper, printmaking blog, printmaking techniques, stone lithography process
It was the 4th week on my internship at Leicester Print Workshop this week, and I learned how to transfer a drawn image to a litho stone using transfer paper. I’ll attempt to show the step-by-step process…
Transfer paper is made by painting a 50/50 solution of gum arabic and water onto paper, leaving to dry, and applying another layer if necessary. The paper is then drawn onto with litho pencils, crayons, rubbing block, etc.
The drawing on transfer paper is taped to the stone using gum strip. Depending on how thin the paper is it may be necessary to run through the press a few times at this stage to flatten the paper, (ensuring a protective piece of polythene is laid between the stone and paper so that the drawing is not transferred yet).
The stone is dampened with a clean sponge, the image laid onto the stone and run through the printing press 3-4 times at a pressure slightly lighter than normal printing pressure.
The paper is dampened on top quickly and gently, before running through the press a further 3-4 times. This process is repeated until the gum on the underside of the paper is wet and fluid enough to transfer from the paper to the stone, along with the greasy drawing. A corner is lifted up to check, and when the image is successfully transferred, the paper is lifted up to reveal the drawn image on the stone.
At this stage the drawing is much more fragile than if the drawing was made directly on the stone, so heat is applied the encourage the grease to absorb into the stone.
A second drawing transferred to the stone.
Detail of the stone. This drawing was made on transfer paper using a hard litho pencil.
A final third drawing is added to the stone. The stone is then gummed and processed. This will be my next step – I’m looking forward to seeing the results!
Posted: February 1, 2013 Filed under: colour, printmaking | Tags: colour combinations, colour in nature, colour palettes, muted colours, printmaking blog, revealing colour
I rarely use colour in my work at the moment, and when I do I use it cautiously. I think I get a bit overwhelmed by the connotations behind using a particular colour, or using one colour against another. However I’d like to try to overcome this, and have recently been noticing colour combinations which occur in my everyday surroundings. So this week I decided to go out for walk and photograph a few. I seem to always be drawn towards muted hues, rather than bright, bold colours, particularly peeling paint – when one colour reveals another underneath, hinting at the history of the object. I’m going to try to use some of these colour combinations as inspiration for some new prints this year.