How to use a plate designed for multiple identical reproductions, but create a different image each time?
This is the challenge I set myself through printmaking.
Using acid to etch into metal plates or diamond tipped tools to scratch into perspex gives such a different quality of mark that you can get from drawing. Each plate takes a lot of work and goes through many stages, which is fine if your ultimate aim is to produce many identical copies…. but I find that too restraining – I like each to be unique!
One way I do this is to use chine collé which is a technique where you add an extra layer of paper between the plate and the base paper as it goes through the press. The end result is a series with different variations in each print. You can see this in the Trappings series and the Blue Horizon series.
Each print is always slightly different as the plate is inked and wiped by hand. This also allows for variations as you decide how much ink to leave or wipe clean from each print which often creates great atmosphere and allows you to select according to mood…
click images to open slideshow
Printmaking continues to inform the way I paint in the studio, sometime I would love to go back to this wonderful but time consuming process… in the meantime take a look at the new paintings partly inspired by the shapes and forms discovered during this time.