Test prints unearthed

Clutter has slowly been creeping into the  Green Room so I’ve just had a major clean up and throw out.  Lurking underneath piles of  ‘stuff’ were these few random little test prints that I unearthed ! Amongst them some hand coloured polystyrene prints, etched lino, 2 plate collograph plates using stencils and drypoint collographs.  They’re not great,  but a  test plate (a first) always has a certain raw charm and it’s good to keep these proofs  as a record of my learning curve as I experiment with new techniques and mediums.   I went through a monocolour, one layer phase and most of these prints reflect that.  Slowly I am beginning to embrace multi-layers and more colours !!  I thought I’d share this little handful  of  test prints with you 

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Expressing Chemistry through art.

The United Nations has declared 2011, the International year of Chemistry, as a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well bieng of humankind.    To mark and celebrate this I am involved with a printmaking project that has been sponsored by the RACI (Royal Australian Chemical Institute).   The periodic table of elements is the most fundamental rescource used by chemists.  It provides a useful framework to classify, systematize and compare all of the many different forms of chemical behaviour.   The project involves 37 Tasmanian printmakers.   We have been randomly allotted 3 of the 112 elements from the periodic table to portray by means of traditional 15 x 15 cm print.   An edition of 15 bleed prints  has to be produced for each element.   

  At the end of the project all 112 prints will form the full periodic table and will be on permanent display at the RACI head office in Melbourne and New Zealand whilst the other editions may tour nationally.   A poster will also be created to be distributed to Australian  schools.   It’s  exciting to be involved with this educational project.    

My elements are Selenium (Se 34), Indium (In 49) and Chromium (Cr 24). Over the last few weeks,  I have been busy researching my elements, designing my images, creating the plates and  proofing.  Expressing chemistry through art has been quite a challenge.  I have chosen to make 2 plate drypoint collographs for all three elements.    Stay tuned for web links to this project.      Snippets of  detailsof work in progress follow……….

                                 

13th August 2011……    Update………The periodic table has been launched and is about to go on tour.    Check out     http://www.raci.org.au/raci-news/periodic-table-on-show-launch    &  http://www.raci.org.au/periodic-table-on-show)

RIP Cedar

My gorgeous dog Cedar died of old age at Christmas time. He was with me for 13 years and was a constant and delightful friend.   I have lost my faithfull little companion and life seems bleak without him.   To help me get through my feelings of loss and grief, I have been creating some prints of Cedar.  I’ve christened my new press printing this series of three prints and she works like a dream.    I’m attempting to create some intaglio monoprints of Cedar using some of the methods that Ron Pokrasso employs in his work – stay tuned for those as I’m still creating the plates.   In the meantime these 3 proofs are the first little series of “Cedar”.   I’m trying to move away from single layer/mono-colour prints and utilise multi plates and more colour in my images to create more visual interest and complexity.    These prints are 2 plate drypoint collographs.  During Cedar’s last week of life, I took lots of photos of him.  To create these prints  I used some of my photos to make paper cuts of Cedar.  These I collaged and used a drypoint tool to add more detail.  I achieved the background texture with acrylic medium on a separate plate and I used paper stencils  when printing the two plates together with the usual intaglio inking and wiping.   I think that the printing method I used  is referred to as “pochoir” which is a french term for  Stencil technique.  Or maybe pochoir only refers to hand colouring using stencils??  I need to research this.   Anyway here’s my Cedar boy…….     

                                                    

                                    

The Arrival

My Press has finally arrived from Melbourne Etching Supplies.   I could hardly contain my excitement as Boris pulled into the driveway yesterday with my press on the back of the Ute.      I feel so thrilled to have a press here on Bruny.   It is amazing to have such a beautiful press just a couple of steps away in my studio instead of having to travel up to town for a print session.   Thanks to Boris and T-bone it didn’t take long to unpack, carry down (all 170 kgs),  assemble and level.    Thanks guys. 

I’ve lightly oiled the bed and rollers (I live right beside  the sea and I’m so worried about rust !!),  I’ve trimmed the blankets down to size and I’m ready to print.   My dear old dog, Cedar,  died a week before Christmas – so it seems only fitting that the first print I do on my new press is one of  him.   I’m off to the studio to play with my new toy !!