I first fell in love with printmaking on my Art Foundation – carving that first piece of lino, then discovering how the plate allows for play was a revelation, and that feeling of experimenting is something that has stayed with me throughout my career. I always turn to one technique or another to push my work forwards, as it is filled with what I call “happy accidents”….as one can spend hours working on a plate, or an image for a screen, but can only be seen when the image is printed and it can reveal something quite new and unexpected.
Here you can see my main techniques, starting with Collagraphs:
My first love are collagraphs, where a plate is created by cutting into, and collaging onto a surface. The ink is then pushed into, and wiped away from the plate and damp paper is placed over the top, and finally put through a press. I often wait with baited breath as my husband turns the wheel and carefully reveals the print to me. I keep the scale small – with the largest being no bigger than A4, and some as small as A7. I want them to feel like icons, like treasures and I rarely edition my prints, choosing to ink the plate differently each time so each print is slightly unique.
I also create work using screen printing, and find this a liberating experience compared to the intensity of collagraphs. For this process, I create textural, often narrative images for the “key” layer using drawing and monoprints and then print this onto hand painted and collaged backgrounds:
My third process is Lino – once my only method of printmaking, so my oldest friend. Here I cut into a piece of lino, and then ink is rolled onto the remaining surface. I primarily work in black and white for this process, creating single layered prints. I then either create collaged or marbled backgrounds for these graphic or work into images digitally, adding colour and texture afterwards:
And Finally, we have my Monoprints. These are quite different from other forms of printmaking, as the name says, it is one print…. Ink is painted or rolled onto a surface then areas wiped away, and the image is then transferred onto paper. I find it the most unpredictable and exciting technique, and have often used it at the beginning of a new project to experiment with ideas and images. Often, as you may have spotted, these are then collaged to make the key layers for my screenprints: