Monday, 8 June 2015

Printy Inky Messy Day!

I spent last weekend in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, staying with friends.  However, the reason I was there, was to attend a day of Monoprinting at The Yard Artspace, with Sue Brown.  

We had a really good day, trying a great technique for producing pieces of work, using a sheet of clear acrylic plastic, inks and a small press, with cut out card shapes, pieces of non-absorbent materials (such as lace, textured wallpapers) and dried flowers and leaves.

I enjoyed the day very much and was quite pleased with the results that I achieved. There were four of us, plus Sue and we all produced some very different results, using the same basic techniques.  

The large red area is ink (oil-based relief printing ink) rolled onto a sheet of clear plastic (which just shows up as slightly grey against the magazine behind it).  Over this I placed some torn strips of textured wallpaper - face down.  This was rolled through the press, to leave ink on the surface of the wallpaper.  

Here you can see the strips of wallpaper, with red ink on them, also the plastic, with more red ink.  This time there are two birds, cut from shiny (non-absorbent) card offcuts, plus some dried leaves.  Again, the idea was to transfer ink onto the surface of those items, in order to print from them.  You can see that the birds were inked in yellow for a previous print... 

These two prints were made from a plate inked with deep blue, with the bird shapes and some dried cow parsley placed on top.  Paper was then laid over the whole plate and it was put through the press.  The shapes & flower acted as masks, preventing ink being transferred to the paper (the blue-inked birds and flower were used for another print later).  I then used those red wallpaper strips, over the top of the first blue print.  Work in progress.... 

Here you can see the original bird prints, before the red strips were added... also some other basic prints from a blue-inked plate and that red-inked plate that I showed in the photo above, with wallpaper strips on top.  
The second print from the left was made from the plate After the fifth print (the deep blue with outlines of ferns & cow parsley, using the ink that remained after printing and removing the plants from the plate.  The same thing applies to the third and sixth prints, with the birds & cow parsley.  
The fourth print is from a plate that was printed in green, after the plants had been removed; the print was then run back through the press, with the blue-inked plants from the print to its right, thus making a second print on top of the green.   
In this way, prints were worked and re-worked, to build up layers and patterns.  I was very pleased with some of the results... 

Left) A basic one colour print, with the shapes of cow parsley and ferns showing as white paper (where they had been placed on the plate, to act as masks). 

Middle) The red print with yellow birds and white leaf outlines was made by re-printing the red-inked plate, after removing the wallpaper strips, birds and leaves.  I inked up the birds with yellow ink (by rolling the ink directly onto the bird shapes) and placed them over the empty area where the original masks had been.  The whole was rolled back through the press (with a sheet of paper!), to make this impression.  

Right) The right-hand print has been worked in several layers.  First a red print, from the inked plastic sheet.  Then a green-inked plate; I scratched a design into the green ink, then placed a dried flower and the leaves over the green ink, before printing again onto the red print.  I then re-printed by laying the blue-inked ferns and a piece of plastic mesh - also inked with blue - directly onto the printed paper, covering with scrap paper (magazine paper is shiny and doesn't stick), then rolling through the press

Various attempts at producing interesting layered images. 
I also tried a print in silver, onto kozo tissue paper - a loose-textured hand made paper.  I wanted to see what would happen.  In fact, it made a very good impression, though the ink soaked through the paper.  I hope to float it on glass, in a frame, so that the print can be seen, as I think it looks pretty nice.  
The third print from the left is an attempt at collage.  After printing in silver, with various feathers, leaves, flowers and pieces of handmade paper as masks, I attached some of the mask items to the print.  Not sure about this one... I'll leave it a few days and then take another look.  

Layers...and no layers - the blue print is just a second impression from a blue-inked plate, after the mask items were removed.  It's very simple and I really like it.  

And more experiments...  The left-hand item is an experiment in print and collage, using a page from a magazine as the support, then overprinting with red, green and silver and finally adding collage elements.  Again, I think it needs a few days before I can decide if I like it! 

So, those were my own pieces of work.  I have mixed feelings about the end results, but the process itself was good fun and a very rewarding experience.  I'm very grateful to Sue, who is a great teacher and very nice person! 

The others didn't mind me photographing some of their work to show you.  However, I'm afraid I am hopeless with names and I have forgotten all but one...and there were only three to remember! I do wish I'd written their names down. Sorry ladies!

Some beautiful results from experiments with ferns, snowdrops and allium flowers.  Also simple shaped masks, overprinted with different colours.  I like all of these very much! 

The four prints to the right of this photo are Sue's demo prints, using cut-out shapes, dried flowers and textured wallpaper.  
The other seven prints belong to Kate, who used leaves, flowers and strips of textured paper, also a bird cut-out.  I love how she has achieved some very delicate prints from her inked-up leaves and flowers.  Also the lovely results from the textured paper - not sure how she achieved the orange... by careful over-printing I think.  Really lovely prints! 

These landscape-like prints are really quite fabulous!  The artist used masking and overprinting to produce the layered-up prints.  They looked even better in real life.  You can actually see their creator through the window there - making herself a cuppa! In her "day job", she is a printmaker, who creates work inspired by Dartmoor - the area near where she lives.  I just wish I'd asked her to write down her name, website etc... So silly of me. 

Anyway, thank you for reading.  If you've made it this far, you have done really well!  I hope you enjoyed seeing what can be achieved, with a sheet of plastic, six colours of ink, a printing press and some bits & pieces.  Such different results from five people, all using those same materials! 

* * * 

And just for a change... some Bunny cuteness!  This is my friends' house-rabbit. Her name is Cassie (though everyone calls her "Bunny") and she is ten years old and still going strong.  She sleeps all day, but can be very lively in the mornings and evenings - especially on warm sunny days.  


  1. Golly, you have been busy, Lizzie. What an amazing range of prints from so few colours/tools ... Nice to see you are getting time away for playing :).

    1. I was lucky that the workshop was in Cheltenham, as I stayed with my BFF and had a lovely break! Sarah and my mum's carers helped her over the weekend, so I was Free!!

  2. Wow, that are a lot of beautiful prints. It sure looks like the workshop must have been fun!

  3. Hi Lizzie, so pleased you enjoyed the workshop at the yard:ARTspace, it was a very creative weekend, hope to see you again.

    1. Many thanks, Sue. It was a lovely day. I have a bit of Studio Envy - The yard:ARTspace is a great space to create.

  4. We experimented with mono printing at school. Such fun isn't it! Yours looks fab!

  5. Looks like a lot of fun! Lots of potential for books in this!

    1. Hi Laura! Yes, so I think covers, artist books... Exciting! And I can try out the technique with materials and my tiny press at home.


I love to read your comments!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...