Developing relief prints
Task 1 (Project 8)
- Select two prints of a reduction method linoprint
- Brief critical statement
Both pieces are on Arches 88 and relate back to my post of 7/5/2015.
It’s a complex design with many narrow lines and there is a high degree of difficulty when registering. Neither print is 100% accurate but they are the best of 14 prints taken. In this project I followed the course instructions for registering layers to test how it compared with what I had learned from Tony Ameniero. I made notes on this point in this post and remarked on the shortfalls of the OCA recommended method throughout the project:
This method of registration is just not accurate enough when you are holding a carved & inked lino piece which has a tendency to bend, over a sheet of paper, hoping to place it down in exactly the right spot – and there is also the slight wobbling, or movement, of the hands as you hover over the previously printed layers, praying desperately that you can keep still enough to get it in the right place.
A huge amount of thought and work went into this project and the results are less than I would have hoped. On the bright side, I’m extremely satisfied with the colour outcomes as I had set myself some specific goals re colour saturation, density of ink to extender and colour-mixing results. Both colour schemes are vibrant and lively ready to be inserted, as focal-point repeat-pattern fabrics, into the current trend of minimalist neutral living areas.
Task 2 (Project 9)
- Select two prints of the test linocut
- Brief critical statement
Above top: Elephant dung paper. Tools used as follows –
Top row left to right: cork-screw jabbing & dragging,eyelet tools, metal skewer dragging, metal skewer jabbing.
Middle left section, clockwise from top left: Philips bits, slot bits, star drive bits, push-pin & screw marks.
Middle right section, left to right: paint scraper corner dragged, gas lighter end.
Bottom left to right: sandpaper & file scratching, cheese grater.
Above lower: 125gsm Bamboo paper
Top down: soldering iron, saw blade, sandpaper, eyelet tools.
A fascinating exercise (as were the later test pieces in project 10) but some tools I thought would be effective really didn’t give good results. The main one of these was the ability to create a sanded back area. I tried a wide range of sandpaper but it had no effect on the lino. Scratching, punching and soldering the surface, as well as digging into it with different implements all worked well.
I’ve included a close-up of the second Bamboo sample as it shows the effect of rolling on the opposite side of the Bamboo paper from the first piece (one side is fluffy and the other deckled). This allows the texture of the paper to come through mingled with the hole-punch indents.
Although not required, I went ahead and printed a simple design that I had been working on in my sketchbook. The details of the method and tools used is in my post here.
Task 3 (Project 10)
- Select three impressions of the experimental relief print
- Brief critical statement
I’ve decided to select 4 images – two in each colour scheme, one of each scheme on cartridge paper and one on better quality paper.
Tools used for first layer: Stanley knife, awl, double ended stylus, clay modelling tool with spike at one end and flat spatula at the other, angled cutter, saw blade, 0.5mm lino tool, 3 x hole punches (different sizes).
Second layer: dab printing using cotton wool stuffed dabbing tool.
Third layer: 1mm & 0.5mm lino tools, eyelet tools, flat spatula, sandpaper, Stanley knife. Cotton dabber has been used to remove some of the ink before printing this layer.
As is very evident from the pictures, the dabber was used on the third layer in slightly different places on each print. I guess that really means that I haven’t made an edition, even though I’ve numbered them consecutively, as each is unique. I suspect they should all be marked A.P. for Artist Proof instead.
My registration on these prints is vastly better than for project 8, which is heartening, and they really are well aligned. I have an issue with speckling instead of even coverage of ink and I’ve mentioned this throughout this project. I’m hoping my tutor can give feedback on that. I wonder if my inks are too thick? but if I thin them with too much burnt plate oil I’m afraid they will sink into my cut areas. I’m sure with her experience my tutor will be able to give some recommendations.
I’m extremely pleased with the colour outcomes. In project 8 I wanted lively, bright prints but here I was looking for something more muted and settled. The sepia, olive-green and blue/black has come out especially well.
I think I’ve made a lot of progress, not only from when I started the course, but also just within this assignment. However, I still feel like I’m a beginner and there is a lot more improvement to be made. Printing seems to be a pastime that contains continual learning and refining of techniques and products. Probably unending, in fact.
Assessment criteria points:
Demonstration of technical and visual skills: I’ve put a lot of effort into developing my designs and working on the composition of outcomes. I’ve explored several themes: from something abstract to suit a large fabric design to a simplified but recognisable landscape. Both of these were worked on over time and developed from initial basic sketches into complex finished pieces.
Quality of outcome: The only place where I feel I was lacking here was in the registration of project 8. I created an elaborate design with many small areas which needed precise placement and I wasn’t able to achieve this to my own satisfaction. However, I believe my conceptualization of thoughts, communication of ideas and presentation of work has been good throughout. Being a methodical person and working within a structured framework suits me well.
Demonstration of creativity: I’m getting more adventurous, I’ve experimented on many fronts and explored the exercises thoroughly. I’m slowly developing a leaning towards my own personal voice but I feel there is a way to go with this yet. I’m still very much in experimental mode and wanting to try everything out to see what attracts me. One thing I know is that my brain doesn’t seem to grasp simplification of shape and form. My designs continue to be fairly fine lined and complex which creates problems of speed and accuracy as I work. But do I want to change? I need to see where this course takes me and how i evolve.
Context: I love the research parts of the course and I delve right into them. They give fantastic ideas and stimulation for my own progress. I also attend whatever printing classes and exhibitions I can to gain knowledge. I record everything in my learning log including course research, my own personal research, trails and errors, other printing and mark making I’m undertaking that may not necessarily be part of the course, my work progress – both good and bad – and design development. And I’m continually reflecting on what is working and what is not.
At the end of each project I have also written a critical review.
I’ve done the best I can at this stage of my development.