Making prints is a new adventure for me. I am naturally a curious person who likes to explore new ideas and techniques. It started a couple of years ago when I bought a cheap set of lino cutting tools and started messing around with a bit of lino. It is an easy method to do at home with very little equipment. I then went on a Ian Phillip reduction lino course at Handprinted.co.uk in Bognor Regis. This method is also called a suicide lino. It is called this as each time you print another colour you cut away a bit more lino. So if you make a mistake there is no going back. Arrgg!! Very Stressful. Here is my very first reduction lino – “Teddy Bear. I am quite pleased with him. But I prefer the multi-plate version. One colour on each plate. It also means you can go back again and make new prints using different colours.
I was really looking for a method that looked more like a drawing showing multiple overlapping lines and crosshatching. So I discovered Dry point Etching. This only became available to me when I bought a little printing press. Now a whole new world opened up to me. I use perspex and scratch lines into the plastic. I ink up the plate by pushing ink into the scratches. When put though the press the damp paper is forced into the groves and picks up the ink. It can be inked up different each time resulting in a unique print each time. Which I like a lot.
Collograph Printing. Now this was a challenge. This should have been easy! Using collage, bits of paper, pva glue and anything with texture, you build up a bumpy surface on a piece of card. The ink gets caught in the textures and along edges creating lovely accidental effects when printed. I spent a lot of time trying to work out what glue to use, how thick it should be and the right pressure to print the final image. Well many weeks later and a lot of wasted paper, and a few very helpful emails from the ink companies and the local print studio I did it.
Whilst on holiday, we had storms blowing all night and I couldn’t sleep. So i turned on my ipad and discovered woodcut printing making. By the time i had come home I had looked at all the YouTube videos and researched where to get the supplies. So by the time I got home I was raring to go. Again is took me a few attempts to get the right tools, plywood, paint and paper to use. But I got there. And so far I am pleased with my results.
I think Dry Point Etching is still my favourite of all these methods tried to date.