It’s been an intense and working summer for me so far.
Made even more so because I was determined to finish my internship/probationary period at my Oxford Printmakers Guild.
So every Tuesday and Saturday I have been walking into Oxford from the park and ride with a small rolling suitcase full of papers, tools, inks and ideas, and organising those ideas out on a table.
Then I would tear up my papers to size and get them soaking before anything else.
Then I would ink up my plate, wipe the ink off, make a guide for registration, put the plate into one of the old industrial presses, grab one of my soaked papers, blot it off, lay it on the plate, and…
…cover it with tissue and the felt blankets, and run it thru.
I also learned to do soft ground etchings on copper plates.
I did three of these plates. So far it’s the most exciting and fulfilling plate making intaglio process, but I have to master aquatints yet. Those I think I’d love to pieces.
Here is a print of one of these soft ground plates.
This is the second one. The twigs were harder to run thru the press than the ferns were.
This is a small selection of plates you can see. I made copper plates, zinc, aluminium ones and even some plastic drypoint etchings.
Of course, all this came with a great big investment in new tools and materials…as is often the case, but the end result is so wonderful. Here is a registration try at three moth prints.
This is the third soft ground copper plate I made. All of these copper plates are supporting my wish to show how wild animals survive and adapt in the urban heat island that is our city scape.
Of course, the worst thing about printing is that you have to flatten your prints between tissue and leave them for a few days to dry! No coming home right away with beautiful works of art!
But then, there’s always a new plate to make at home in the meantime.
I was in London recently and the trip led me to make a plate of some London tube mosquitos on a piece of aluminium I got from Robert.
They’re really interesting. They’ve evolved to stay in the tube station and not hibernate, to breed all year long instead of seasonally, they have a fresh and adequate supply of blood all year long, and they’ve separated into different genomes because they cannot travel thru the tubes, (except in the train itself), and there is no need for them to go outside. A whole bunch of subspecies which live and die and evolve different characteristics underground.
I’m waffling on, but here is the print.
Hope you like this art.