Monday, August 3, 2015

Black and White

. . . and shades of gray.

I'm finding printmaking processes very compelling, and I anticipate a long stay in this medium. As I write many ideas are rumbling around in my head. It feels like I've jumped off a tall building, eyes wide open into a new world, and I like it.

Here are two first proofs I completed yesterday. If I decided to edition either print, there would be more copies of these with slight variations. I could even add color in a number of ways if I want.

703 Reference  6"x8" carborundum drypoint on plexiglass  1/

Corner Hupman  9"x12" carborundum drypoint on acrylic  1/

A couple of Intaglio subset techniques I tried in these first efforts are.

Carborundum: A rock hard mineral ground down to various grits (fine, medium, course) used to achieve texture, detail, and darker darks. The tiny spaces between pieces of the grit hold onto ink and create darker textured areas. I've used here fine grade marble powder as an alternative because it is what I had in the studio. I mixed the powder with a PVA glue and diluted the mix slightly with water to ease the flow onto my acrylic plate in one case and plexiglass in the case of my smaller print, 703 Reference.

Drypoint: A method of Intaglio printing where lines are scribed with cutting tools into metal, plexi, or other surfaces (even mat board), creating gullies with furrows where ink rests and is subsequently pressed into paper with hand tools or by using an etching press. Scribing lines can be seen more readily in 703 Reference in the house roof and in various other clearly lined areas.

Let me step back a moment for anyone who does not know or has forgotten. There are basically two printmaking systems, RELIEF and INTAGLIO (pronounced intalio, tal like pal). A relief print receives the ink placed on a raised surface of a plate, as in a woodblock print. An Intaglio print receives the ink from the carved out areas, recessed areas, or etched areas. That said it is not entirely that simple, and a combination of methods can be applied to a print.

More to come from my new home print shop in the coming days.