Sunday, March 18, 2018

Printing & Books: Pressure printing

Pressure printing, or stratography, uses a flexible plate and type-high surfaces. The image is transferred with variating amounts of pressure to the sheet of paper.  The resulting image shows a combination of ink density based on the amount of pressure applied to each area.  The printed image is not as clear and sharp as ones made by direct impressions.

horsetail stained paper
The process is an easy and quick way to make an image that is not reversed.  It can also be used to create textures and patterns from paper, fabric, leaves or other thin objects.  I experimented with paper stacks as well as different leaves. 

For my first print I used a combination of stacked paper, dried false papyrus leaves and fresh horsetail stalks.  There was a significant difference in thickness between these objects and as a result some of the print received too much ink and other parts too little ink.   The horsetails, since they was green and not dry, stained the paper green.  The image at the right shows both the stalks and cut stalks that show up as circles. 

The second print I did using dried ginko leaves and I was able to make a reversed second print.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Printing & Books: monoprint stencils

Inked stencils (after printing)
In our second class we created a monoprint using stencils.  To create a two color flower print I cut two stencils from card stock.  One stencil represents the flower, with negative space in the center.  The second stencil is of a stem with 3 leaves.  The flower stencil was inked in a pink, and the stem was inked in green. 

We used a floor model printing press to make our prints.

  1. A sheet of paper was placed on the press.  
  2. The stem & leaf stencil was placed ink side down on the paper.
  3. A larger sheet of paper was placed over it all.
  4. The stack was rolled under the press.
  5. The first stencil was removed and the flower stencil was places ink side down on the paper.
  6. The stack was again rolled through the press.
Flower print

The ink from the first printing bled through the ink from the second printing were they overlap.  This could be because the ink from the first printing wasn't dry, or due to the choice of colors.

Using this process you can do multiple printings to create complex prints.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Printing & Books: Start at the beginning

It was inevitable that after working on an art book that contained text I would start thinking about printing.  Coincidentally I discovered, a "Printing and Book Arts" class offered locally by Katherine Miller, a MFA Candidate in Printmaking & Book Arts at the UGA Lamar Dodd School of Art.  The class included instruction on making various types of prints, and making a simple book.  A perfect fit for me.

Our introduction to printing was to make "direct trace drawings".  The trace monotype process was invented by Paul Gauguin, and has been used by many painters to create prints.  Monoprints and Monotypes are called the "most painterly printmaking process".  I can understand why.  There is a soft beauty to this spontaneous printing process.  Each print is unique, and the printer directly influences the image during the printing process by adding, subtracting and manipulating the print.

Ink drawing
The setup:
  1. Evenly ink a plexiglass plate.  
  2. Place a sheet of thin smooth paper on top of the ink.  
  3. Place a second slightly larger sheet of piece of paper on top of the first sheet.   
Carefully draw an image on the second sheet of paper.  Pressure from the pencil/pen transfers the ink to the middle sheet of paper.

Pressure print
The resulting print is a reverse of the drawing.  So if you want to add text to your print, you will have to learn how to write backwards.

Where I pressed harder when drawing more ink was transferred.  Where lines were close together or crosshatched more ink was transferred.  You can also see smudges of ink where where my hand leaned on the paper while I was drawing.  Fingers or spoons can be used to add texture.