The printing press is like a partner and I collaborate with it to bring something unpredictable to the work I have done preparing and inking my plates. Because it has scope for multiple techniques and materials, Printmaking also offers me endless opportunity for creativity…. and a little magic.
Most of my prints combine at least two plates to achieve the integration of colour and image I am looking for. During printing the ink from the two plates blends while the paper is still wet.
I primarily work in zinc intaglio, but I also use collagraph, lino cut and silk screen printing.
For anyone new to Printmaking this is the jist of the process:
First an image has to be designed. This is then reversed and transferred to a metal plate using ‘resists’ – these are chemical paints which will control the location and depth of the fierce bite of the acid. This is how the image is ‘burnt’ into the plate. The depth of the acid ‘bite’ over the surface of the plate determines how much ink each part of the plate will hold. Various techniques can be used and combined to create the plate – soft ground, open bite, sugar lift, hard ground, photo-etching (see: Techniques).
Once I’ve created the plate a third creative process starts because now I treat it as if it were a blank canvas on which the ink can be applied in an infinite number of ways to achieve the effect I want. For this reason, no two of my prints are identical and my editions are small.