I have been busy working from home during the lockdown as I my day job is as a Software Analyst. Today was my birthday so I decided to get my portable press out and do some printing.
Last month, I managed to complete all the aquatint tones on my print depicting the 192 bus. I usually attend a monthly printmaking workshop organised by my friend Alan Birch at his studio in the Rossendale valley. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, I have not been able to visit my friend in over a month due to lockdown restrictions, so consequently my bus etching was never printed until now. I am hoping to create some more prints in the coming weeks on other subjects related to my printing project. Look out for further updates! Bye for now.
Over the last few years, I have been creating a portfolio of prints in different styles and printing techniques. I reckon there is still many more subjects to cover for the Stockport In Print project which should conclude by the end of next year. A lot of my work centres around architecture new and old and the changing surroundings of Stockport with all the new developments going up. As my project progresses, I will include these new buildings in my work. The latest is the new RedRock entertainment and dining quarter. Stockport Exchange near the railway station is another development of new glass and metal office blocks, shops and a hotel.
As I am in the fifth year of the project, it is a good time to review my work. I will be adding all the prints I have created so far to this blog site.
Whenever the subject of Etching Aquatint comes into the conversation, I am asked what it is? and how do you create an etching? I have had an idea which has been mulling over in my head for a bit. The idea would be to create a short video describing the process from start to finish. I will be filming this video sometime in the near future for broadcast soon.
For now I am having a short break from the project and hope to return next month with a new print.
Last Sunday, I continued working on my Robinson’s brewery etching using a mezzotint technique. The plate I am using was originally for another print which didn’t turn out the way I wanted. I had only etched the outline of the design but decided to start a fresh. The only problem was I had deep etched lines in the print which needed to be removed. The answer was to add Aquatint and then place the plate in strong acid for 15 minutes and let the lines disappear. I then creating my new etching from there. As the plate had been etched back, when I did a test print it came out black. This is where I used a ball burnisher and my own curved burnishing tool to smooth out the areas I wanted to be printed light. Any areas left in burnished would be printed dark.
Burnishing is a delicate and long process which requires concentration and good light. I will be showing the final results in my next post in the New Year.
Yesterday, I made a big decision which should benefit this printmaking project. I decided to order a brand new A3 printing press. I’ll be printing in my Jim Jams soon. Pictures to follow… (of the printing press)
Today, I resumed my printmaking activities with a new print entitled ‘The Armoury’ which depicts the Grade II listed building at the end of Greek Street. I will upload a photo of today’s print in my next post as soon as it has dried!
I had a good day at the print fair on Saturday. It was nice to see familiar faces at the event. I managed to sell a Gum Arabic print of a Panda. It was also nice to see the poster I designed on display at the fair.