Sunday, December 14, 2014


I'm thankful to have been able to take advantage of a free printmaking workshop sponsored by the Tea Tree Gully Council and taught by none other than Simone. 8 of us got together and learned the basics of collagraphing using recycled materials. Collagraphs are basically a type of collage that you can ink up and make some interesting prints with anything from onion bags to paper doilies.

I spent most of the time chatting to others while I waited to use the press. Even if people specialise in different mediums I like to hear what people are up to and what influences they use for their work. I tend not to make friends that easily but conversation seems to flow a lot smoother when it comes to creativity.

When my turn came around, I learned I had some issues with the design placement. I wanted to layer everything in one go but you can't really pile things on top of each other and make it work. The plate also didn't really want to stay in place at first and neither did the objects placed on top. I think the image below was made by printing the inky plate after removing all of the objects.

For the second one I just used the bits of plastic I removed, then ran it through the press again to get kind of a 'ghosting' effect. I wasn't really sure what to do and there wasn't a lot of time to be indecisive. Not quite what I imagined (with printmaking it usually isn't) but hey - it was free, got to meet some cool people and managed to score some free rollers!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Adventures in Drypoint

This Saturday I returned to Union Street Printmakers with Chad for a casual Saturday class. Simone, the instructor, thought drypoint would be a good entry point for us to get into intaglio printmaking. Intaglio techniques are just ones where you etch your image onto a surface, ink it up and then print. Drypoint uses a needle or sharp instrument and in this case, was etched onto a plastic surface. The act of scratching into it makes a sound that personally makes me cringe but I managed to block out some of it and just go with it! 

The technique and the effect is similar to drawing, which is probably why I found it a bit easier to get my head around in the first go than with lino cutting where you have to carve away surfaces. I still have to get used to the image printing from back to front which sometimes makes a slightly more abstract image, like with the orchid below. I chose the initial print to add a little watercolour to when I got home. The second print I decided to leave alone, but it has a cleaner look because I took off more ink before putting it through the press.

I drew the second image more quickly. It wouldn't pass as a scientific illustration but it's sufficient for the experience.

At least I'm keeping up momentum a little. There's a few classes in my line of sight in the near future, and I'm in the process of hunting around for some projects to fiddle around with at home ... so stay tuned.