I’ve now completed printing the remaining solar plates featuring Banksia designs that I was given. These are currently being dried ready to be formed into a book showcasing the best of the plates.
Here are a few more of the final prints. Some are repeats of previously shown plates but in new colourways. All shown here are the initial prints on 250gsm Hahnemuhle printing paper with further prints having been made directly onto the 200gsm Magnani Pescia Editions book paper I recently dyed for this project.
This plate has come up well in both colour schemes I’ve tried and I’m especially happy with the blending as it will be terrific with the dyed paper in the book.
This was difficult to print as some areas simply would not hold any plate tone.
Again, difficult to hold enough ink on the plate to print well. I don’t have any idea how many times they’ve been printed by their original owner but my sense is they haven’t been exposed long enough to embed the image into the plate in the first place.
I love the strength of colour in this image even though it is pretty much unrecognisable as part of a Banksia plant.
Printing these at home without the stress of being in a hurried class situation has allowed me time to experiment with multiple colours on a single plate and practice accurate colour placement and blending.
This is another showing significant areas where the ink simply wipes away from the plate. However, I do like the residual texture.
This is the third time I’ve printed this plate and the best I think.
Once I started printing these plates I realised how semi-abstract they are and so didn’t try to keep to the actual colours of the Banksia pods, instead treating them as experimental reflections of my own.
Whilst working with the only large plate, showing a full branch of Banksia pods, I decided it might be nice to try it on very lightweight paper suitable for chine colle.
Having spent close to an hour carefully inking in a variety of colours – intending to use this print on the book cover – the paper stuck to the plate.
I painstakingly removed it inch by inch leaving a coating of hairy paper fibres across the entire plate surface. What a disaster.
The print amuses me because it reminds me of the serendipity of printmaking on occasion. No matter how much of your heart and soul you put into something it doesn’t always work out and you are continually relearning the lesson of having, and maintaining, patience.
Here it is.
Imagine you’re looking at a Banksia tree through a mist, or just smile and think about how long it took me to rescue the solar plate ready to reprint. Not a process I’m in a hurry to repeat.