Copper plate x 3
Each 13cm in diameter
Although not the most perfect of prints, and the alignment definitely needs some work, I am really pleased with how this technique worked to get the effects I was after. I have use water bite aquatint on each plate and also added sugar lift to one of the plates too to emulate the texture of the sea.
I am using circular imagery more in my work now, as I feel it helps describe the subjectivity of the gaze, and also helps to enhance the element of division of ‘view’ within landscape as a whole. The circle has many connotations, however I am using it simply to address my interest in the circle as a direct representation of our eye, and of the many devices we use to look through in order to focus the gaze; ie glasses, telescope, microscope.
Recently I have been trying to achieve a more subtle degree of tonality within my printmaking, yet have found the processes I have been through up to this point haven’t given me the consistent results I am looking for. However I came across the aquatint water-bite technique recently that looks like it may be about to help me realise some of my ideas and printmaking aims.
Here are a couple of the test prints I made this afternoon after spending all day getting to know the process. Hopefully I will be able to fine tune and expand upon this technique, which seems to be providing just the process and results I have been searching for.
It will also allow me to work more intuitively with colour and also to experiment with colour separation or multi-plate printmaking.
Some images from the workshop, including the ‘Rocker’ used to score the surface of the copper plate, an image seen in three different proof stages within the process of creating the print, and the final image is the final plate I made during the workshop; a circular image depicting the veils of mist falling over the horizon.
The process is not an easy one. First you use the rocker, moving it over the surface of the plate as you rock it from side to side, turning the plate slightly after each completed journey. The plate needs to be rocked for around 40-50 rotations, so the option to work on a small scale is very appealing as it takes so long to prepare each plate!
Once rocked, the plate can then be worked into and to do this you use a selection of different blades to scrape lightly at the surface in order to remove and smooth down areas that had previously been roughed by the rocker. The smooth areas, depending on how much and how hard or light you scrape, become lighter tonal areas when the plate is printed. This is because the textured ‘rocked’ surface holds a lot of ink whereas the smooth areas can be wiped clean. This makes for very interesting prints and mezzotint is a great process if you are looking to create rich dark areas yet want subtle tonality within the image.
It is worth checking out the work of Tom Kosmo as he is one of the few Norwegian printmakers specialising in Mezzotint.
Also the Mezzotint work of John Martin is always a good example of the excellent usage of the play between light and dark which this process facilitates so wonderfully.
‘The Tower on the Hill’
New print works inspired by ‘location’.
Experiments with hard-ground etch and aquatint.
In homage to the landscape print work of Horst Janssen.
Images © Janssen from the publication ‘Eider-land’
On arriving in a new city that sees little daylight and is enclosed by looming mountains and a cold sea, the process of linking personal physicality to a sense of place was a challenging one. Each day shone a few hours of light on the landscape, giving me a brief snapshot of my surroundings before the impending darkness inked out any familiarity I had begun to feel with certain landmarks or the shape of the horizon.
Thus I began to start work exploring the reaction I was having to this somewhat fractured experience of a landscape and place. I felt a very strong sense of imagery from my surroundings, however it seemed displaced and I became unable to link what I was seeing to other landmarks and places. It was as if I were slowly building up a sort of ‘map’ in my mind’s eye, but whenever I hovered musingly over a certain location or view, it somehow morphed into a similar yet notably different place.
My image – making started to reflect the confused and fractured landscapes I was seeing and trying to piece together, and has formed the foundation of what is to be a new body of work exploring both the newness and the growing familiarity of learning a foreign landscape.
I am currently in Bergen, Norway at the kunst og designhøgskolen i bergen as part of the Erasmus study abroad programme, and will be here from January to June. I’ll be recording my experiences through my blog, alongside some of the new work and ideas I’ll be generating during my stay.
You can follow the blog on Tumblr
And keep up to date with any new work through my Website.
Drawn by Box
An etching made by the impact of a sharp needle scratching onto a copper plate due to the movement made by a bicycle. Both the needle and plate were secure inside a wooden box. The box was strapped to my bike. This is a drawing mapping the moving journey of my daily commute.
Hard ground copper plate etching printed on Somerset paper.
…on the theme of ‘Memory Maps’…
Remembered journeys from my childhood.
monoprint on cartridge paper
A few ideas for the start of a new project are starting to creep in…
LINES OF MEMORY : mapping a walk from A to B from memory