Members Takeover: Week 2 - Lucy Moyes

During week 2, Lucy is bringing us lots of fun facts about print...

Original Print

Long before the printing press was invented, printmaking was a medium of communication. The first evidence of the use of a stencil to create an image was found in the cave paintings in France and Spain. Prehistoric people placed their hands on the walls of caves then blew pulverized pigment around it.
Ancient Sumerians engraved designs on stone cylinder seals some 3000 years ago, using them to print on clay tablets. Historians believe that it was the Chinese who produced the first prints on paper, as far back as the 2nd century AD. By 600 AD, the Chinese were stenciling intricate and colourful patterns on the fabrics worn by the wealthy. It was the Japanese, however, who refined the woodblock print and authenticated editions of prints, beginning commercialized art trade. These prints were distributed throughout Europe, eventually leading to the printing of playing cards and religious imagery.
Maybe people presume printmaking is a modern art form, the minimum age for (the outline of the hands in cave) is 39,900 years old, which makes it the oldest piece of art in the world. The oldest art recorded is a print!
Printmaking is paramount as the roots of the printing process still go back to the ancient ways of creating an impression. We should celebrate and preserve the spirit of those who have been following this art and helping it to live further.

 

Ps; See more of Lucy's own work here 

Common Phrases you didn't realise originated in the printing industry!

MAKING A GOOD IMPRESSION
Essential for job interviews and first dates, making a good impression wasn’t always defined as crucial advice to guarantee others have a good opinion of you. It was actually an instruction to printers to ensure the printing plates and blocks made a good impression on the paper to let the ink soak in. For doing something that makes you memorable, it’s all tied up in a word for “printing.” The Latin word imprimere means “to press into or upon.” Whether you’re making a good impression or dressed to impress, you’re using a term that made it into English thanks to the printing press. Make an impression... be a printmaker!

STEROTYPE
The French coined the word as a ‘method of printing from a solid plate’, until it developed to mean ‘fix firmly or unchangeable’ in a more figurative sense. When printing presses were used, the cast iron plate that reproduced the words, phrases, or images was called a stereotype. The Oxford Dictionary didnt’t record its modern connotation of oversimplified and typical characteristics of people until 1953. The process of stereotyping sought to address the scarcity of type supplies by making molds of already set type, then casting whole metal plates of the page for reprinting later. Stereotyping was expensive, but imagine that poor compositor having to re-set some ridiculously popular book for the 26th time. A book had to reach a certain level of demand to merit the high expense of stereotyping, but it was worth it.
Take the idea of creating thousands of exact printed copies from a single original setting of type just one step further and you get the modern meaning: assuming that every person from a single group is the exact same.

CLICHÉ
Was adopted as printers' jargon to refer to a stereotype, cast plate or block print that could reproduce type or images repeatedly. Cliché originally referred to the solid plate of type metal which was made from a cast. This fixed printing cast is where we find the source of the recent meaning in the English Language, of a fixed idea or phrase which hasn’t changed overtime until it is completely overused and unoriginal.

UPPERCASE AND LOWERCASE
In the dawn of the printing press, letter blocks were stowed in organised cases. Capital letters were kept above their smaller counterparts, however if the case had room for all letter blocks, capital letters were pushed backward so they were ‘higher’ if the case was upright (‘uppercase’), and the smaller letters were lower down (…you get the picture).

AGAINST THE GRAIN
Popularised by Shakespeare in Coriolanus, the contemporary implication of this phrase describes going against social norms and practices. Although it was Shakespeare who brought this phrase out of the woodwork, it actually derives from cutting wood with the grain to ensure a smooth paper finish. It is much easier to work with and print on paper made by moving with the grain.

HOT OFF THE PRESS
Newspapers used to be made by the ‘hot metal printing’ process from pouring molten lead into the printing block moulds. It came from the “hot” type cast on the Linotype machine Invented by the German-born American immigrant Ottmar Mergenthaler, this machine allowed compositors to type on a keyboard what they wanted to print. The hot newspapers were then distributed, with the first readers grasping the juicy stories before anyone else, leading to its more common meaning of breaking news stories.

MIND YOUR Ps AND Qs!
Now denoting to minding your manners, the origins of this officious word are hotly debated in linguistic history. One theory is that printers had to warn their apprentices when distinguishing between the backward facing lowercase p’s and q’s which often led to confusion and error.

OUT OF SORTS
For those moving in the printing world, sort is another name for a single piece of type. When you run out of letters, you’re literally, out of sorts. This of course is very frustrating for print workers who keep impatient customers waiting whilst they source more lettering. Nowadays, when we feel under the weather or not quite right we’re out of sorts – not a far cry from those irritated workers and customers.

DITTO
This word, used as a shorthand to repeat something that’s already been said, it comes from the Italian word detto, the past participle of “to say.” But the word gained steam in the early 20th century with a duplicating printing machine produced by DITTO, Inc. The company’s logo was a single set of quotation marks, which we use to mean “ditto.”

PRINTMAKING FACT! - The Blankets

An etching press requires a set of blankets. Did you know each blanket serves a different purpose? Each is a different thickness, either woven felt or pressed felt. Each different, but together are a great team. Etching felts are used in sets of three on the press, they provide the cushion that creates embossment by pressing the paper into the plate.

The order is important aswell!...why? From the press bed to the drum each blanket should be layered in this order.
1. SIZING CATCHER
2. CUSHION
3. PUSHER
What do they do?
CATCHER: known as Swan Skin (like the material on a pool table) or Fronting Blanket. This is placed closest to the work on the press bed. This blanket can be cleaned if it becomes soiled with ink. It is the least expensive felt is more durable than the other felt. Imagine it as an armour I suppose, protecting the centre blanket from damage.

CUSHION: Also known as the ‘forming blanket’, the cushion blanket helps to transfer printing pressure from the press to the paper-to-plate contact area. The cushion allows the paper to contact the uneven surfaces of the plate. It gets those nooks and crannies! This contact allows ink to transfer from plate to paper. Imagine this as the important filler/middle to a sandwich or cake, it needs the two other layers to support it.

PUSHER: The pusher blanket is placed over the cushion blanket to assist the cushion. Protecting it again in a sense as it is made of a highly reliable woven felt. Being woven the pusher resists wear due to pressure from the upper drum of the etching press. Blankets are expessive and it’s important to take good care and not cress them or fold them.

PRINT VS REPRODUCTION

A print is an original work of art! Have you ever visited a furniture shop or even an airport gift shop for example and picked up a poster,framed copy or magnet of a painting? Although most people would call this “a print” it’s actually a reproduction. Reproductions are mass-produced by commercial printers and companies; whereas, original prints are created by individual artists, using one or more of printmaking processes. The print may be a unique image, or a series of images called an edition; either way, each print is by hand and hard work. It is an original work of art! Here are some key words and terms we printmakers use:

ETCHING: The act or process of making designs or pictures on a metal plate, glass, etc., by the corrosive action of an acid instead of by a burin.

LIMITED EDITION: A limited edition print is one in which a limit is placed on the number of impressions pulled in order to create a scarcity of the print

WATERMARK: A watermark is a design embossed into a piece of paper during its production and used for identification of the paper and papermaker. The watermark can be seen when the paper is held up to light.

EMBOSSING: Any process used to create a raised or depressed surface, sometimes without ink

BLEEDING: Printing that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming

DECKLED: Edge of paper left ragged as it comes from the papermaking machine instead of being cleanly cut. Also called feather edge.

DENSITY: Regarding ink, the relative thickness of a layer of printed ink.

EMULSION: Casting of light-sensitive chemicals on papers, films, printing plates and stencils.

MISTING: Phenomenon of droplets of ink being thrown off the roller train. Also called flying ink.

MOTTLE: Spotty, uneven ink absorption. Also called sinkage. A mottled image may be called mealy

NOVELTY PRINTING: Printing on products such as coasters, pencils, balloons, golf balls and ashtrays, known as advertising specialties or premiums.

REGISTER: To place printing properly with regard to the edges of paper and other printing on the same sheet. Such printing is said to be in register.

REGISTER MARKS: Cross-hair lines on mechanicals and film that help keep flats, plates, and printing in register. Also called crossmarks and position marks.

FOXING: Age spots in old paper. It is thought that foxing is caused by fungal growth or oxidized materials incorporated in the original pulp material. A professional paper conservator may offer advice as to the cost of mitigating foxing in a valuable piece.

BLEND ROLL: Also called rainbow roll or split fountain. A technique of simultaneously rolling several colors on a stone or relief surface from the same roller. Colors have a soft blended transition from one to the next.

COMPOSITE PRINT: A print made from a number of individual plates combining different techniques or images in the same print

GHOST PRINT: The remaining ink on a printing matrix after a print has been pulled. This may be printed, or in the case of monoprint or monotype, may provide the basis for working up a subsequent image.

INK: Coloring material composed of pigment (color) , a binder, and a vehicle. Ink is usually thicker than most paints, and has a slower drying rate.

PRINTING PRESS: A device used by a fine art printmaker to produce prints one copy at a time. It applies pressure between a sheet of paper and an inked printing plate. Presses for intaglio printing apply considerable pressure as they force the paper and plate between a roller and a flat bed, thus squeezing the paper into the inked grooves of the plate

SILKSCREEN: A print made by forcing ink through a stencil attached to a woven mesh. The screen has Certain areas blocked out to prevent ink from getting through those areas. The stencil may be painted on by hand or done photographically.

CHINE COLLÉ:Areas of thin colored tissue / rice paper mounted (collage or Collé) on or glued to the surface of a print. Frequently combined with etching or lithography this process, the ink of the plate glues the thin paper to the substrate as the print is run through the press

GOUGE: In relief printing, a tool for clearing non-image areas from a block of wood or linoleum.

SCRIM: Also called muslin or tarlatan. A stiff loosely woven fabric not unlike net curtains which is used to wipe ink off the surface of the inked etching plate - leaving ink in the lines

WIPING THE PLATE In etching or engraving the plate ink is pushed in to the lines which requires covering the whole surface of the plate with ink (attempting to ink areas more selectively will result in a patchy plate tone) Wiping is the action of removing ink from the surface of the plate whilst leaving it in the lines. This is done using a folded pad of scrim which is swept across the surface of the plate. Care is needed not to rub the plate as this will drag ink out of the lines. The plate can be finished off by hand wiping the plate with the edge of the hand which will heighten the contrast of the print.

PROOF: Impression or print pulled prior to the final regular edition. A trial or working proof is a print taken so the artist can gauge the progress of work on the matrix and decide whether to continue or decide that it is ready to edition or Bon a tirer. Proofs showing the progress of work are know n as states.

ARTIST’S PROOF (A/P) Part of the print run reserved for the artist taken out of the numbered limited edition. Can comprise 10% of the edition. Often can be differently coloured or experimentally printed.

BATH: A term applied to the acid container used in the etching process, It is also the receptacle used to dampen paper before printing

IMPRESSION: The resultant print from a plate or stone after passing through the press

PLATE: A (metal plate is a flat sheet of metal, usually copper, steel or zinc, used as a matrix for a print. Metal plates are used for intaglio prints and for some lithographs)

LET’S TALK: PAPER!

Its common among artists that they love paper and printmakers have their own favourites. Paper choices are driven by the processes they use, and the surface effect they aim to achieve. All steps leading and preparing for a print are extremely important, especially the role of paper. Some papers are better for relief printing techniques such as lino or woodcuts some for silkscreen. Printmaking papers have different qualities of absorbency, weight and size. There are many to choose from, at all sorts of prices, and it can be confusing when you are just beginning,or experimenting.

With quality expensive paper, the harder the hit if something doesn’t go to plan, but that’s just the way it goes. After trial and error you learn. The paper and the print have a symbiotic relationship in a way, the paper absorbs the inked image and in turn, the image has a place to live and flourish. A beneficial balance. You have to correspond throughout your process with your materials, if they aren’t working they reveal that to you. When you get the right paper you are heartened to continue your practice. It makes all the difference.

One of the most vital things to remember is to first dampen the paper so that it is sufficiently receptive to the ink. Different paper can be left in the water for different times, some paper the longer its left the better. After this you use a ‘squeegee’-(like the thing window cleaners use) you use this to get rid of the excess water. The paper mustnt be too damp. We then can also use newsprint or what you would call ‘Blotting Paper’ which is highly absorbent to absorb an excess of liquid substances by putting our paper inbetween it and massaging the newsprint/blotting paper. This is quite therapeutic I must say!!

“Can’t I just print onto dry paper?”, the reasons for that are simple. Dry paper won’t pick up all of the ink! You will end up with a poor-quality or lack of image on the paper. After all the work you’ve put in so far you want to demonstrate and show that off! Dry paper’s lack of pliability means that when it is stretched due to being put through the press, it will fold and crease. We don’t want to take away from your artwork.
Another crucial aspect of preparing paper is how it is handled. Damp paper has receptiveness to ink means it will also pick up any other kind of dirt very easily. For example inky hand prints. Other than that annoying smudge from a finger it renders it unsuitable to be exhibited professionally, unfortunately. If this does happen however, do not panic if the paper is treated quickly with a bit of water and soft sponge, gently you can remove this. This is risky however, so it might be better just to take your time and be especially attentive during this part of the process.

‘Paper fingers’ are used to handle the paper in its damp state. This can be done by taking old (clean of course) postcards, cutting each one in half and then folding each half across its centre. Or make use of scrap bits of paper left over from when you were cutting your paper to print. Printing is all about the process and each stage requires your time and appreciation, from beginning to end.

  • paper

What's Special about printmaking?

To me one of the most notable and special things about print making is - Printmaking caters to all. Well art does, don’t you think? However, in printmaking the process is special, and the results can be instant. Are you a messy person? The process and attentiveness needed requires you to calm, and organise; then when you are in full swing you get to be messy again! It can help regulate the mess and distraction that you ‘feel’ at times; it is my escapism. If you are obsessed about cleanliness and order even better; printing will teach you a few things and bring you out of your comfort zone.
We do things differently from other 2d art forms for example the ‘intaglio Process’ (where you engrave into metal ‘and as a learner perhaps some plastic) if you were to write something or add some kind of typography - you would have to write in a mirror image so it prints ‘correctly.’ I was going to write about how mirror writing is vital so that the text is correct in the print. However, what makes this process and printmaking so exciting and brilliant is that its freeform, what we write is never wrong because it is just artistic expression. When told in other academia that your writing is not correct, in printmaking there is no incorrect. This is where their ‘incorrect’ can be ‘correct!’
Many people who have epileptic fits, strokes, dyslexia, or those of us who are left-handed are known to write in a mirror image. Unfortunately, people and children are often stigmatised and have low confidence because their writing does not conform, to what is deemed as the ‘norm.’ Many children go through a stage of mirroring of certain letters, especially reversable letters like b and d, it is quite common. Historically left-handed children were punished and called ‘imbeciles’ and forced to use their right hand yet mirror writing in printmaking such as telegraphy, etching and lithography is needed and praised as an acquired skill. Maybe we need to rethink how we treat difference.

A lot of adults and children give up with writing as it is not ‘correct’ and that lack of confidence can filter into other aspects of life that prevent them from knowing their worth. Dyslexia was once referred to as ‘word blindness’ and was characterised as ‘low.’ Yet it is proven that those who have dyslexia have superior abilities in other cognitive domains. It is not a weakness. Take a look at the famous Leonardo Di Vinci. Leonardo’s writings were in a mirror image and his spelling was deemed erratic and odd. He started more projects than he could finish- which has led researchers to believe he also had ADHD (attention deficit disorder) as well as dyslexia. Leonardo Di Vinci was a genius! Your faults, and things that are not ‘correct’ are a cause for discovery.

Not everything is what it seems. Things that are viewed as ‘incorrect’ are celebrated in art. Art disagrees with correct and celebrates difference, no matter what age or ability, there is a place and comfort for everyone to feel valued, especially in printmaking. You have made your mark, like our prehistoric ancestors in caves. It matters and means something; your mark is special and is a mark of your history here. There is more to being than being correct.
An artist who elevates and celebrates the idea of mirror writing is BPW member Karen Daye Hutchinson. Small pieces of art can be romantic and intimate, writing can have the same impact. Karen’s use of mirror writing carries mystical and mysterious associations, personal notes, and secrets. It makes you pause, consider and question. Work does not have to be big, bold and expressive to grab your attention and Karen’s process (see video) is a testament to that. It is not what it seems.

  • print techniques
  • print techniques
  • print techniques

Techniques & Process

PRINTMAKING PROCESSES

INTAGLIO is an Italian word that means engrave. For INTAGLIO printing — including etching and engraving — marks are cut into a metal aluminium/steel or copper plate by engraving with a tool or using acid to etch the metal. Ink is rubbed onto the plate and wiped off, until it remains only in the engraved lines. Damp paper is placed on the plate, and under the pressure of a press, the ink in the line’s transfers to the paper. 

DRYPOINT prints are created by scratching a drawing into a metal plate with a needle or other sharp tool. This technique allows the greatest freedom of line, from the most delicate hairline to the heaviest gash. In drypoint the burr ( a protruding, ragged edge raised on the surface of metal during drilling, shearing, punching, or engraving) is not scraped away from the surface but stays on the surface of the plate to print a velvety cloud of ink until it is worn away by repeated printings. Drypoint plates (particularly the burr on them) wear more quickly than etched or engraved plates and therefore allow for fewer satisfactory impressions and show far greater differences from first impression to last.

ETCHING is a variation of the engraving technique. With etching, acids are used to eat into the metal plate. It generally produces a softer effect than engraving, producing more subtle gradations of tone.
It is a more refined way of engraving a plate. Instead of hand carving, the plate is ‘etched’ with chemicals and acids. First the metal plate is covered with a thin layer of wax-like material before the the design is lightly scratched out with a fine needle-like point. Once the back of the plate is protected it is immersed in acid, which only affects the scratched lines and eats away at the metal to deepen the lines. The wax-like layer protects the covered areas from the chemical so they remain intact. By immersing the plate in at different times, it gives the plate different levels of exposure. The areas that were immersed the longest will have the deepest etch, which would become the darkest part of the image once printed.

AQUATINTS are accomplished through a version of biting, Biting. The process of corroding a design on a metal plate in either intaglio (e.g. etching) where the plate (usually made of copper or zinc) is covered with tiny particles of rosin (a type of resin derived from pine) that act as stop out. After sprinkling the white powder evenly over the plate, you should inspect the surface to verify that about half of the plate is covered with the particles. Then, you place the plate on top of a hot ring until the rosin begins to melt onto the plate. Once the plate is heated, it can be placed into an acid bath; as the plate sits in the bath, the acid will eat away at the tiny areas of exposed metal between the specks of rosin. This version of biting creates large areas of incision, so when the plate is inked and printed, planes of colour emerge. ( PLEASE NOTE: Exposure to rosin can cause eye, throat and lung irritation, nose bleeds and headaches. Repeated exposure can cause respiratory and skin sensitisation, causing and aggravating asthma. Rosin is a serious occupational health hazard and it is suspected of clogging lung tissue. Please be careful and wear masks. If you would like to learn this safely and follow proper procedures, please contact Belfast Print workshop)

PLANOGRAPHIC 

MONOTYPES AND MONOPRINTS are one-of-a-kind prints. They have been known to be called the “painterly print” as well as the “printer’s painting”. Monotype brings together elements of painting, drawing and printmaking. The words monotype and monoprint are often used interchangeably; however, there is a difference. A monoprint may use some form of repeatable layer or element in the production of the image, whereas a monotype is a completely unique image that is not repeated.
Working on a plate, the artist applies a layer of ink, which is then wiped off in sections, in order to create an image in a reductive fashion. The ink can also be applied directly to the surface in an additive fashion, much like a painting or drawing. The image is put through the press and transferred from the plate onto a piece of paper. There is then the added option of drawing into the print once it has dried, or to add further physical layers, such as chine collé (a collage element, usually thin paper).

LITHOGRAPHY — from the Greek “lithos” (stone) and “graph” (drawing) — is a form of printmaking that uses a smooth stone (mainly limestone) as the matrix. The idea of the chemical reaction between oil and water is key. Limestone is greased (can use a greasy crayons, paints, inks etc and manipulate the image in innumerable ways.) Lithography affords the artist a wide range of graphic and painterly freedom. The image is printed by chemically treating the stone to ensure that the drawn areas attract ink while the unmarked areas repel it. Ink is then rolled over the stone, printmaking paper set in place, and a scraperbar pulled across the paper to transfer the ink to the paper. Only one colour ink can be applied at a time, which makes the process time-consuming. Tricky eh? It is done differently depending on the artist. If you have any more questions please ask us at BPW.

SILKSCREEN is familiar as a method of printing designs on T-shirts. It’s also used to make fine art prints called serigraphs (literally, “drawn through silk”.) A tightly stretched piece of fabric is the matrix. A design is superimposed on the fabric, making a kind of stencil, then ink is pushed across it with a squeegee leaving an image on the printing surface below. A technique using stencils made of silk or a synthetic fabric, which has been stretched over a frame. Areas of the screen that are not part of the printing image can be blocked out using a many methods. In one method, the screen is first evenly coated with a water-soluble, light-sensitive liquid. A transparency bearing a printed image prevents projected UV light from hardening parts of the screen. Unhardened areas are then washed out with water before a squeegee is used to press ink evenly through the screen, directly onto paper or fabric.

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RELIEF PROCESS

WOOD CUT - This iconic wave has swept the world. ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’ by Katsushika Hokusai,1830 -1833 is in fact a Woodblock print! Notice the beautiful dark blue pigment used by Hokusai, this is called Prussian Blue, which was a new material at this time, imported from England through China. The wave is ready to strike the boats like an enormous monster, which can symbolise the powerful force of nature and the fragility of human beings. This 39cm x 26cm small woodblock print portrays two contrasting aspects of life. The wave in the foreground and Mount Fuji in the background are symbols chosen not only to show a perspective, but also to represent the unpredictability of life. Mount Fuji, signifies tranquillity and eternity; it is the symbol of Japan and, as a sacred object of worship, holds a momentous place in Japanese beliefs. The Great Wave became a source of inspiration for a variety of artists, including Vincent van Gogh.

What is a WOODBLOCK print?
Woodcuts are a subset of relief printmaking—where you carve out negative space from a surface, leaving only the lines and shapes that you want to appear in the print. For example, an artist making a woodcut will carve into the surface of a piece of wood, then coat the remaining surface with ink. Next, they’ll typically place the inked surface on a piece of paper, and finally, they will create their print by placing pressure on the back of their block––with a roller, printing press, or other tool––to transfer the ink onto the page. Many artists use special knives and other tools, such as gauges, to carve in the direction of the wood’s grain. One feature that sets woodcuts apart from other printmaking techniques is the residual wood grain texture the block leaves behind.

Wood Engraving:
A relief technique requiring a hard plank of wood, which
is incised with fine lines using sharp tools. Unlike the woodcut, a wood engraving
requires a harder plank whose face is cut perpendicular to the grain. Ink is
transferred from the surface of the block by the application of pressure.
*fact – Reduction printing is a technique used to carve away new areas of the block in different areas as you go along. This can be done many times, one after another with different colours on the same block. However once a layer is done and carved it cannot be undone so plan ahead!

LINOCUT is a printmaking technique similar to that of the woodcut, the difference being that the image is engraved on linoleum instead of wood. Since linoleum offers an easier surface for working, linocuts offer more precision and a greater variety of effects than woodcuts. Long disparaged by serious artists as not challenging enough, the linocut came into its own after artists like Picasso and Matisse began to work in that technique.

COLLAGRAPHS are another kind of relief print that can be completed without a printing press. Rather than cutting away from a surface, however, this technique involves adding to the surface of a printing plate. To achieve this, you start by collaging items––such as fabrics, plants, or plastic––onto the plate. These create the elevated surface needed for a relief print. Be careful! The items will not exceed a quarter of an inch in height; otherwise, you risk tearing the paper you are using. When the collage is finished, the whole plate is coated with a substance known as a medium. You can also use polish or gloss (clear nail polish can be used also) this is to seal your collage. Then, after it dries, you can roll ink onto the plate and press it onto paper by hand with the help of a tool, or press. When the paper is peeled back, an impression will appear with variating textures made by the collaged items. In comparison to WOODCUTS and LINOCUTS, which have bold lines and shapes, collagraphs offer freedom for intricate marks and interesting textures. See video

  • Lucy Moyes
  • Lucy Moyes

WHY PRINTMAKING WILL CONTINUE AS A FORM OF ART

The Collective Effort
Printmaking has survived through history because of its collaborative nature. It has survived many cultural and technological changes over many years. And still it has not only survived but has evolved with time. The collaborative nature is one of the bonuses in this art form. It is the whole process and experience of the art of printmaking that makes it special. As a result of collaborative efforts, further techniques and methods are developed, and it for this reason printmaking has survived the test of time. People by nature, are experimental and perceptive; valuing experience and quality in any work form, and printmaking is no different. When you are printmaking, it is not only the final product but whole process and the experience that matters. It engages an artist’s determination and perseverance, which certainly makes print making a beautiful experience. A lot of new and talented artists have found their niche in printmaking; take for example some of the wonderful graffiti and street art that are forms of printmaking using stencils. It makes a huge statement for the rebellious artist who wants to express themselves in an alternative way. Printmaking is not only an art form, but a way we live and think today. It is through printmaking that we have most of our earlier art forms reproduced and preserved for today’s generation. Printmaking is the means through which humans have developed art and literature.

What makes printmaking different from other art forms? As stated at the beginning of this week’s posts, for me, one of the most notable and special things about printmaking is that it has universal appeal. The printmaking process is special. I will pose this question again: Are you a messy person? If so, the process and attentiveness needed in printmaking requires you to be calm, and organised, to then be messy again! It can help regulate the mess and distraction that you feel at times. If you are obsessed about cleanliness and order even better. How appealing is this? The brilliance of artists such as Leonardo Di Vinci, believed to have had dyslexia and ADHD (attention deficit disorder), considered negative traits, is testament to the fact that every individual has a hidden talent and indeed genius, that if nurtured, can shine through.
 

PRINTMAKING IS THE MEDIUM WHICH CAN DO THIS!!!
This week has provided the opportunity for me to express my passion for printmaking and share some information that I hope will assist and encourage readers to begin or continue with this wonderful artform.
I would like to thank all those who have contributed to and supported the Belfast Print Workshop in showcasing the talents of the many artists who make up the membership. The numerous positive comments and shares have been overwhelming. Please continue to follow the Belfast Print Workshop posts.

Many Thanks

Lucy Moyes