So much has to happen with printmaking before the ink comes out.
Collecting! The collecting is an integral part of my printmaking. I’m forever collecting stuff for my plate making…..bits & bobs, scraps of this & that, botanical specimens etc. The foraging & collecting is a continual & ongoing process for me.
Next…. The worst part for me is nutting out the scale & measurements of print area, paper size & borders !
Next ….. Design the bare bones of the composition & make the printing plates & stencils (my favourite bit). I never go overboard with the planning here & I leave heaps of things unresolved for spontaneity later on in the process. The ink has a mind of its own ! My plate making / stencil making takes weeks.
Next…..when the plates are complete its paper time. Tear all the paper down to size. A printmaker always tears the paper ! Soak the paper, blot the paper, stack & wrap the wet paper.
Set up the press ….make the registration sheet & adjust the pressure on the press… Each plate needs a specific & ideal pressure. A task in itself but I’m getting better at it. Too much pressure can wreck the printing plate, not enough pressure & you get a crappy print.
Then the ink comes out & colour mixing & testing begins. Ink is not like paint….& colour mixing is an art in itself. I use plate oil & transparent ink to achieve my colours. It’s tricky. I write down most of my colour recipes. I’ve still got so much to learn here.
The actual printing (my other favourite bit) is where the magic happens ….. But that’s another story ! Better get to work …. I’m nearly at ink stage for my series “Bird on Rock”