Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Playing with Monotypes

Yesterday I enjoyed a printmaking play day with art friends where we explored a couple of different monoprinting techniques.

My favourite monoprinting technique is using stencils, leaves and objects to create layered imagery, but I wanted to explore some more traditional monotype techniques, so we tried subtractive, additive, trace, and pressure printing.

I also wanted to test my Akua inks to see how they performed, instead of my usual oil based etching inks.

Subtractive Monotype - we inked up our plates using rollers, then wiped back the ink off the plate to create our images.  The best results for a quick image were using plastic stencils, where we held onto the stencil and wiped out the ink from the stencil design.  We also played with cotton tips and other mark making tools.

Subtractive Monotype using two stencils

Additive Monotype - well......we didn't have much success using the Akua Inks with this one, perhaps too much blending medium?   More work required, but we decided that we had plenty of other creative techniques to explore.

Trace Monotype - this was an easy one that didn't require the press.  We inked up our plates, placed a piece of paper on top and drew our designs on the back of the paper.  It produced a crisp line when we used pencils, but we could also create tone with our fingers.  A simple technique that I used in conjunction with a paper stencil.

Trace Monotype

Printing from the Trace Monotype plate, using a
bird stencil as a resist
Stratograph or Pressure Printing - this is a technique that I read about being used in letterpress printing, but I wanted to try it to see if I could use it with my Xcut press.  This technique is essentially 'upside down' printing.  We inked up our plates, placed a piece of paper on top, then some dried pressed leaves on top of that, before running it through the Xcut press.  The pressure of the press prints the image of the leaves onto the paper from behind.  We had a lot of fun with this one, so I'll be exploring its possibilities in the coming months.

Wendy's Stratograph (or Pressure Print)
using banksia leaves on handmade paper

My Stratograph print

Print from the Stratograph Plate

I was pleased with the performance of the Akua inks, and they were super easy to clean up.  My intention over the next 12 months is to fully explore their possibilities with the intention of phasing out my oil based etching inks in the long term.  Fun times ahead!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Paper - its good for the Seoul

I've recently returned from holidays in Japan (again) as well as a few days in Seoul, the capital of South Korea.

I was interested in visiting Seoul, given South Korea's reputation for its paper, Hanji.  I found a couple of shops in the Insa-dong area, amongst the tacky tourist shops and restauranteurs touting for business.

The best shop I found is known as Ilsindang.  As usual, its hard to find places using street addresses, but luckily I had walking instructions from another blogger (thanks!).  Find Starbucks (easy), look across the road and up, and there it is.  I could see the paper lanterns alight in the window....magic!

The shop was full of paper goodies - hanji papers, glues, brushes, templates.  Unfortunately for me the people in the shop only spoke Korean, so I just had to help myself.  I've still got a large stash of Japanese papers from my last trip so I had to restrict myself to just a few goodies.

I loved the lanterns, so have included a few photos here (I was thinking of you Ngaire....!).

paper, paper, paper

more paper, almost overwhelming....!

I bought one of the plastic templates for this lantern,
to work on at home

Detail showing the beautiful paper

Like a beautiful rich pumpkin!

The pinholes in this lantern make a beautiful effect.