Sunday, 27 July 2014

Alternative Materials

One of the things I love about art is that you never stop learning.  When I was at university I didn't have much time to experiment with my printing press. As much as I wanted to take it back to university with me lugging a huge amount of cast iron across the county just wasn't practical and even if I had been possible I doubt I would have wanted to go back to writing history essays when I could spend my days playing with ink instead! Now I've moved back home to my parents house I have all the time in the world (well employed work permitting) to tryout new techniques and new materials.

One of the most important things a printing press allows is to experiment with what you're printing on.  Printing by hand limits you almost exclusively to very basic printer paper.  However, now with less chance of pesky smudges and able to add extra pressure to the print a whole world of array of textured surfaces.

Here's the original print.

It's something I created for a bit of fun and something I just genuinely thought I'd enjoy cutting. It's quite basic and bold and therefore ideal for testing out new techniques!

 First I tried canvas.

I really like the texture that shows through the image and gives the design a vintage feel.  I think this works particularly well with this print as it has a sort of 'ancient treasure map' quality. Like something that would mark the location of a dangerous sea monster or might adorn a windrose.



 Then I experimented printing on wood.

It took a little while to find out the best type of board to print on but finally I found something lurking in a scrap bag in our back garden! Really I don't know why I didn't look there first.  I printed this one on a piece of plywood. I really like how it's made the lines softer and more gentle as the ink has been absorbed by the wood.

 







This is something I've really enjoyed playing with and will be definitely looking to do again once I've found some more materials :)


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

It's summer whether the weather likes it or not!

Wow it's really been a while since I've posted anything! I guess what with finishing university, moving back home and returning to my summer job at a local ice-cream company I haven't had much time for printing.

I've been pretty keen to utilize some of the skills I've learnt recently so whipped up this summery little number over a couple of my days off.  I really think I've cracked how to get some great results from gradient printing now.  As much as I liked my dainty little perfume bottles I think this technique works much better.  Using a larger printing block for the colour and then overlaying the detail in a darker ink makes the gradual contrasts in colour much more visible and I think more effective.

Making the templates