Over the weekend, I took part in a large drypoint print workshop with a small group of artist/printmakers.
My objective was to create a large map in drypoint depicting landmarks of Stockport. I had never printed anything larger than about a3 size in print form before and my last large print was a drypoint of the viaduct using a metal plate. This time around, the printing plate would be flexible plastic sheeting which was 75 cm x 55 cm in size.
I decided on the idea of a map sometime ago and knowing that a 2-day large printmaking workshop was going ahead, I ensured I booked a place as soon as I got the notice.
I began by prepping the map by creating a printed template in reverse that I had sourced a day before the workshop. I used a combination of Photoshop Elements and PowerPoint to tile the large map and print off sections onto manageable a4 paper prints so I could tape them together afterwards.
On Saturday, day 1 of the workshop, I added reversed text and images of landmarks which I etched into the plate using etching tools from roulettes to diamond point tools to get different textures and patterns.
I placed the template I had created underneath the plastic printing plate while I etched the design onto the plastic.
The process took me approximately 9 hours to prepare the plate (1.5 days). I had to carefully placed where all the text and images of the landmarks would go.
Finally, on day 2, I could ink up and print my plate with the assistant of my friend Alan Birch, using a large etching press which we had hired out for the day from an artist studio down the road in Waterfoot, Rossendale called ‘Valley Studios’ only a few minutes travel from Prospect Studios.
I created an artist proof print (AP) using cartridge paper and then managed to print off my first good print on Fabriano paper.
I reckon there are another seven prints I could produce from the plate before it wears out.
The process was long and challenging but the results were very pleasing indeed and well worth the time taken.
Here are some photos taken of the printed map.
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