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Printing today

Printing Today

Laura gave me this precious little metal purse some time ago and I’ve been thinking it might be nice to use it as inspiration for some new work. It’s a little worn and shows glimpses of some colour that has eroded over time but it’s still beautiful isn’t it? There’s a decorative clasp at the front and these images show a similar hinge at the back – I think they are worth a closer look! I have no idea where this might lead me – it may indeed be nowhere, but I’ll do what I always do which is to make some studies in my sketchbook. I could just begin with drawing but I had a hankering to make prints for a change. As we continue to build the new designmatterstv website I’ve been looking back at some of our  workshops and the great printing techniques we’ve covered over the years got me really excited. I decided the first step was to make a lino print block and to test it by doing a quick rubbing with a solid graphite pencil. You can see the lino block and the rubbing alongside each other here. Having tried a rubbing I think I’ll need to make the cut marks a little deeper for a well defined print but that’s the reason for trying it out with pencil before getting all the print paraphenalia out!

My next step was to make a second print block – this time with self adhesive foam onto a scrap of sturdy card. After gluing the shapes I trimmed away as much of the background card as possible. This ensures the edges of the card won’t print and it also makes registration easier if repeats are part of the plan. I’ve already made a heap of prints on several different paper types from this block and the lino block but I’ll show you more next time. Some of the prints were made by applying acrylic paint to the surface of the block using a small foam roller. When pressed to the paper these prints produce a direct contact image. I had to work very quickly because we are in the middle of a heatwave here and the paint was drying almost as quickly as I put it on – 30C is not ideal for this kind of activity! The double print you can see here was slightly different from that though. This time I covered a gelli plate with black acrylic and pressed the second block onto the wet surface to make an impression of the shapes. Placing a sheet of  paper on top, applying gentle pressure, and lifting it off immediately gave this quite soft print which I rather liked. The visual texture is the imprint of both the foam roller and also the pull of the paint as the paper is lifted off the plate. Of course it won’t stop there – I’ve already started working into the less successful prints to see if a bit of colour can redeem them. It’s early days but I’ll let the ideas percolate and think how I might involve some lovely fabrics soon!

Thanks for visiting my website today – I love to hear from you if you have questions or comments – Linda x

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