Friday, 14 September 2007

Oh I finally got restarted on my printmaking !!

It is peculiar how you can know, in yourself, that there is something that you need to/ought to, be getting on with and for some peculiar reason you just kind of do other things and "don't get on with it".
What is that all about?
Well one thing I suppose is that I do like to have a 'clear day' when I am going to be involving myself in studio activity. And all of this week I have had to shoot out either in the morning or in the afternoon for shopping or appointments and so... well that didn't help matters.

Prior to my visit to Sweden,I had made about 11 or 12 small print plates using card, sandpaper, aluminium, toray plate and then applied Lascaux hard ground, to some of them. These I had varyingly varnished on their back and front sides. I had had a bit of a trial trying to transfer an image I had drawn, onto a plate The plate in particular that I am referring to, was one of those ready made school drypoint plates.

Eventually the very thing that I was sure, most probably, wouldn't work, DID.
By which - I mean the process of outlining your design with a pastel pencil, 'Carb Othello' and then placing that, face down, onto your receiving plate and running it all through the etching press.
I was then able to 'sgrafitto' over this so that there was an impression onto the plate. I think I did one which was pressed in as just described and another where I carved into it with a surgical scalpel oh and another with an etching needle.

I transferred the image the same way on to a "Toray" plate which I have had, in my possession, since I did the residency at Lowick Print Workshop, in Cumbria in 1997.

That was a wonderful experience. I should dig the few relevant photos I have out some time and post about it on here.

Well getting back to todays activities. One of the things that was disappointing was that I had followed the instructions in the most recently purchased technical manual (Intaglio by Carol Adams and Robert Adamson) for applying Lascaux hard ground, to a collagraph surface - in this case- aluminium, and it just hasn't worked out.
Blast it !!

I degreased the plate and then applied 3 layers of Lascaux hard ground, with a smooth haired brush, in succession, onto its surface and when these were dry scribed a design into it. In this case it was like a mathematical formula which related to COBALT. I didn't scribe too deeply as I did not want to raise a burr in the aluminium - just enough I thought to break through the layers.

I inked it up and ran it through the press whereupon I realized that very little of the ink seemed to have got wedged into the grooves In fact not much of anything came out in the print on the paper.

I was pleased to see that the sandpaper plates where I had painted on the Lascaux hard ground in different strengths and dilutions DID come out successfully so thats a nice technique that I can develop further especially for what I refer to as 'backgrounds"

The Toray plate upon which I had used an etching needle, to scrape away my design was successful also.


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