I have enjoyed this section of work much more than the previous one. This is apparent by the volume of work I have produced.
I began by testing out some of the methods that would be used with materials I already had at home. This gave me a good insight in to what these materials could do and also how some of the techniques should be approached.
I had done some printing before but had set my goal during this section of work to learn the techniques of printing rather than focus on the end resulting print. By this I mean that I wanted to make the plates, ink them well, get crisp images not fuzzy blurred prints and to have a chance to use the roller press that had been at home gathering dust for a number of years. The press wasn’t essential to this work but I wanted to use it to see if I could work out how to set it correctly and if it could be of more use to me in future projects.
I feel that through some trial and error I have achieved these aims. I am confident in how to set my press up now and how to get a good image off a variety of plate surfaces. There were some problems inking the plates to begin with, not enough ink was added by just rolling on so brushes of various types and sizes were employed to get the ink in to all the places I needed it to be.
I did not use too many types of paper for these prints, this was in part that I needed heavy paper that could hold its shape once it had been soaked in water. Lighter paper could not do this so many of the prints are on the similar surfaces. I don’t feel that this is a negative as the prints obtained have been well done and fulfil my criteria of being clear and well-printed.
There were some not so well-printed images though. Working slowly with some inked plates the paper used stuck to them and the print was incomplete. I looked in to how to use these prints and have salvaged many of them by cutting out the interesting sections and in some cases painting over the sections I didn’t like to obscure them, leaving only the sucessful parts.
I also found the back drawing exercise gave few pleasing results. I might have been a little heavy-handed with those prints and with a lighter touch and a slightly different technique it might be possible to get some clearer images.
My research focused on technique rather than final outcomes but if there was a particular print that I liked I endeavoured to find out how it had been made.
The work of Suzie Mackenzie helped to steer me towards using mount board for one of my collatype plates. Her work combines a lot of detail but only by careful manipulation of the mount board surface and the coloured inks added is the contrast in the final print achieved. I did not achieve half as much detail as she had but I would be interested to try out this technique in the future.
Something else for the future is printing on fabric. I got so caught up in printing on paper that I didn’t print on to any other media enough as I should have. The few pieces I did worked well but they were using acrylic paint which just sat on the surface of the fabric, dried very hard and rubbed off a little as I was sewing in to it. It would be nice to use some sort of thickened dye in future projects so that the print would be transferred to the fabric but that the fabric would retain its smooth surface and could still be sewn into easily by hand.
From the previous exercises I may like to print from some of the items I cast. There were some plaster pieces that broke while I was making them that could find a new place as items to be printed from.
It would also be possible to print papers to be used in the exercises in Part One or to print fabric to be used in the wrapping of items in Part Two.
I would like to use printing again in future. I would like to look into artists that combine collatype and stitch as I feel these two techniques may complement each other, stitch could be used to highlight areas of the printed surface.
Overall I feel that I have produced a good selection of work and that my printing technique is much improved after completing this part of the course. I look forward to Part Five.