Explosions: an exercise in Print and Paper, Part 3 printing

When it comes to printing, I’m very much from the ‘Kitchen Table School’ of working, no reliance on big presses mentality, the DIY methods that mean you can do printing at any hour of the day, even when most print workshops have closed their doors. Its something I learnt the hard way asa graduating student and have professed to my own own students since.

For those who enjoy the technical details, I’ll use TN Lawrence oil based inks, ( I’ve had white spirit and aquatint dust coursing through my veins since 1982 so I’m sticking to solvent based ink. I use a ticketed sheet of glass for rolling out ink, hand burnish with a wooden burnisher, sometimes aided with a hard rubber roller….and always wear an apron, can’t afford to keep ruining my best clothes. Its amazing how many students pass on the apron only to get ink over their expensive white D&G shirt.

As the wood engraving blocks are relatively small I’m able to ink up and print in a confined space and with minimal fuss, larger work I’ll tend to print in the University work shops, it has its advantages, space for one but also others can see how you work and that you do actually work.

Its interesting that my friend Chris Brown and before him, his friend, Edward Bawden favoured the home DIY approach, what worked/worked for them is good enough for me.

I’m also preferring to use Japanese tissue ( of varied thicknesses. Justin Sanders advised I use Gampi, but I find it too flimsy, gossamer thin) I prefer Shoji or Chinese rice paper.)

Here are two of the four images. Note the one has had colours applied. These are pantone/pro marker additions just to try out colour variations. Im quite keen to use bright primary colours to give a contemporary ‘Pop’ feel to the otherwise earnest subject matter..as a result of this trial, I’m sticking to one colour for the back grounds.

Wood engraving

Wood engraving

B/W Wood engraving

B/W Wood engraving


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