seaweed prints


I recently started a beginners printmaking course at a wonderful and friendly print studio and I have come to look forward very much to my Tuesday nights at this inspiring place.

Last week we were introduced to the process of drypoint printing, and I took along an ink drawing of some seaweed as my starting point.


First of all the image had to be scanned and reduced to fit the size of the perspex plate on which we were working.


Then the perspex plate was laid over the image and I carefully 'drew' over it using a drypoint needle, scratching the surface of the perspex to leave the characteristic 'burr' of raised perspex where the needle had been.

After bevelling the edges of the plate, it was then inked up using black intaglio ink which was pressed into the scratch marks with a piece of stiff card and then wiped off gently using scrim and tissue paper.

Then the plate was ready to print, made into a sandwich on the etching press with newsprint, soaked and blotted cartridge paper and heavy wool blankets. The action of rolling the plate through the press is physical and very satisfying.

And this was the result! I was delighted with the quality and expression of the line and the lovely indented plate mark on the paper, as well as the unexpected smudges and smears of ink that mark it out as a learner piece - but one that I was very pleased to produce.


 A closer view of the finished print:


Next week we are doing collograph, but I am going early to see how many more editions I can print from my seaweed plate before the burr deteriorates. I'm very excited by this new process and can already see all sorts of imaginary work in my head... as usual.

16 comments:

Sandra Robinson said...

Sounds like you are really enjoying the course and what a lovely print. I really must make the effort to sign up for one of their courses.

greenrabbitdesigns said...

You are obviously having a lot of fun with this!
Lovely image. :)
Vivienne x

Jerry said...

That is so inspiring; I love your subject matter - full of interest but not over fussy and producing such a lovely print. Are you going t try lino cuts?

caireen said...

these are lovely Sue.. Cx

Dan said...

It sounds like you have really enjoyed this Sue. The end result looks fantastic.
Dan
-x-

Toffeeapple said...

That is a lovely image Sue, very free and expressive.

Frances said...

Sue, I love the velvety inky look of dry point prints, but my dry point work was always a result of drawing on a metal plate. Perspex seems very interesting...I wonder which plate might yield more prints?

Does your print workshop give you opportunities to use the presses even when a formal workshop is not going on?

My fading printmaking memories tell me that the inking and wiping of the plates were an art in themselves.

Your print is lovely! xo

Ruth said...

Love the transformation! :)

Gilly said...

I love that print - now I can see why you are so excited over the course! It looks as though it is tremendous fun.

sue said...

That sounds like a wonderful course. Your little print is gorgeous you must be delighted with it!

acornmoon said...

Oh, how lovely! both the print and the drawing.
I don't know anything about the print method you describe so thanks for showing us. Isn't it inspiring to be in a workshop environment? I am looking forward to seeing more.

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

It's gorgeous! Despite studying fine art at uni I've never done much printing (photography and textiles were my 'thing') ... your course sounds like am amazing opportunity, I'm decidedly envious!

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Printmaking is so enjoyable - love the seaweed print (and the ink drawing too).

The fun of collagraph is that it's possible to include the seaweed itself if you wish, Sue. Just yesterday, I was admiring collagraphs where dried hydrangea petals had been used to great effect. Lesley x

Cottage Garden said...

Looks like a really interesting studio Sue. Certainly looks to be a more comprehensive course than anything one can find via colleges and the like.

Jeanne

ljw said...

Those images are lovely - really delicate

rossichka said...

It looks extremely interesting! You make such exciting art journeys, Sue! I'm impressed by your desire to learn more, to try new techniques... Happy May!:)