Monday, 23 March 2015

Artistic Explorations: Intaglio Printmaking (3)

Last week Gray's School of Art organised an exhibition for all students who had participated in any of their short courses. As I had mentioned in my article Intaglio Printmaking (2) I got really excited about collagraphy so the last few weeks of the course I worked very hard to get my final piece ready to be shown.

The concept was the easiest of the whole process. Little did I know then about the amount of work it would involve to actually get a good print result! Via Pinterest, where I pin down all the things I'm inspired by, I saw two prints created by artist Kerry Buck which were made up by a collection of collagraph plates and photopolymer plates.

Fields II by Kerry Buck

Hedgerow by Kerry Buck

My concept was based on the rich textures, shapes and movement I saw in the landscape of the Isle of Harris while on holiday. I made several quick compositional sketches and calculations of how big the plates should be to end up with a 20 x 20 cm print. Once I was happy I cut out the required shapes from grey board. Each collagraph plate was then collaged with different material such as dried lichen, dried plants, gel, powder filler with embossed materials, fabric, thread, textured paper and sand. One plate was made of perspex which was left blank to create texture during the scrimming process to represent the cloud formation and change of light. All collagraph plates were then sealed with multiple thin layers of Shellac knotting, made from flakes and meths.

The plates were inked with Caligo waterbased ink, then scrimmed and finally assembled onto a registration plate. Strips of mountboard were then added with tweezers to keep all the plates in place and to keep them separate from eachother. This was the trickiest bit as the strips were less than 5 mm wide and they had to fit in perfectly!

My patience was being tested during the whole process but in the end it paid off as I managed to get two prints I'm quite happy with. The first one was displayed at the exhibition last week and I received wonderful feedback from various people! The second one will be submitted for the exhibition Mark Making in Aberdeen in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and hopefully it will be selected.

Organic Composition I in Sepia, edition 1/10 ©Fenfolio2015

Organic Composition I in Brown/Black, edition 4/10 ©Fenfolio2015

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