Anyone following our facebook page will know by now that ‘Impression’, our printmaking exhibition, opened on Friday last week. Featuring work from five completely different printmakers, the exhibition really has something for everyone, and was really fun to hang. Part of the aim of this show was to explore the incredible range of processes in printmaking – from etching to solarplates, collagraphs to linocuts, each method uses different materials and produces different textures and effects. It’s great to see the results first hand, so why not pay us a visit? But if you haven’t got a chance to do that, here’s a brief explanation of some of the printmaking methods featured in Impression, and the artists that use them…
In the true sense of the word, a collagraph is a print made from a collage but it has become a more general term for mixed-media printmaking. The plate, which is usually made from board or stiff card, is collaged onto with textured materials (such as leaves, feathers, sand and PVA glue), or cut into which will create definitions in colour. The plate is then sealed (varnished), ink is applied and the plate is passed through a press on top of a piece of damp paper. This method is commonly used by printmaker Hester Cox.
Linocuts and woodcuts
Woodcuts are created using a plank of wood or plywood on which the artist draws a design and then carves away the wood in the parts of the picture that are not to be printed. The raised surface retains some of the pattern of the wood grain which shows up in the finished prints. Ink is applied with a roller and the image is transferred by apply pressure using a press or by hand. Linoleum cuts, or lino cuts, are almost identical to woodcuts. Angie Roger’s beautiful birds are achieved through woodcuts, and Helen Peyton’s cooker is created using lino cuts.
Etching is a method of making prints from a metal plate, usually copper, into which the design has been incised by acid. The copperplate is first coated with an acid-resistant substance, called the etching ground, through which the design is drawn with a sharp tool.
The plate is then exposed to acid, which eats away those areas of the plate unprotected by the ground, forming a pattern of recessed lines. These lines hold the ink, and, when the plate is applied to moist paper, the design transfers to the paper, making a finished print.
Printmakers Catherine Sutcliffe-Fuller and Janis Goodman both use this process in their work.
Impression is on display until August the 15th, so don’t miss it!
Our next exhibition begins on the 26th of August, and has been organised by me (Rosie)! Titled ‘Trace’ this show will feature a plethora of skills from a handful of brilliant artists and makers, all responding to the many meanings of the title. Ceramics, jewellery, collage, painting, and papercraft from Charlotte Morrison, Josie Beszant, Amanda Mercer, Phiona Richards, Angela Davies and Rosie Scott-Massie. Just to tempt you in, here are a few examples of what will be on offer…
Have a great month, we look forward to seeing you soon!