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printmaking techniques

All of the works shown on this website are original hand-made prints, created using a range of printmaking processes. Whilst there is often confusion around the use of the term 'print' because it can also be used to refer to a mechanical reproduction or copy of an artist's work, the following descriptions describe the hand processes I have used to create the work shown here.  

Linocut
This is a relief printing process - the image is created by cutting into the lino, removing either the negative or positive space of a design.The surface of the lino that remains will be the printable surface of the plate when inked up using a roller. There are two techniques of creating a linocut. One is known as a reduction linocut wher a multicoloured print is created using a single piece of lino, cutting away more of the image after printing each colour, until left with the final colour alone. The print in its entirety (all of the layers) cannot therefore be repeated. Alternatively, each colour printed can be from a separate piece of lino, printing each layer using a different colour and overprinting the one before, all of these 'plates' continue to exist, so this method allows re printing to complete an edition (number of prints) or experiment with colour choices.
This is also a process with which it is usual to print an edition of numbered prints.

Photo Lithography
The lithographs here are made using photosensitive lithographic plates. The image/s (in this case drawings) are exposed onto the plates by means of ultraviolet light and a chemical developing process which then reveals the image on the plate, from which the image is printed by hand. Each plate represents a separate colour or layer and the final image can be printed in a number of layers. 

Screenprint
The artworks for screenprinting begin life as drawings or photographic images used to create colour separated film positives which are in turn 'exposed' onto screens coated woith a light sensitive material. With the images then visible on the screen, ink is the 'squeezed' through it using a squeegee. A fresh screen is used to print each colour layer.


Monoprint
Monoprints are unique, one-off original artworks, more akin to an original painting. The image is created by applying inks to a plate (metal or acrylic), or to materials eg leaves, fabric etc. using rollers, brushes and other mark making tools. The resulting image is then transferred to paper with or without the use of a press and most frequently results in the printing of a single print, in either a single or multiple layers. 
This flexible and often experimental printmaking process lends itself beautifully to either a painterly approach or graphic drawing, a technique used to great effect by both Picasso and Matisse. 

linocut demo
IMG_5878
From top:
Lino plates for Inula Seedheads in Autumn Border; Inking up photolitho plates showing drawing on plate; Screenprinting first colour of Botanical collection; colour mixing for screenprint series; Monoprint - single colour on metal plate and inked up skeletons of leaves, Pauline Burbidge, monoprint workshop.