Fine Art Printmaking Year 1

Fine art printmaking present an exhibition as part of our editioned print project. Our work spans a variety of print techniques and mediums, stemming from the traditions of screen print, relief, lithography and etching as well as the photographic and digital. 

Escarpment by Jill Flower

The print above caught my eye in particular from this exhibition held by first year fine art printmaking. During my latest group critique for the project “art of the accident”, Andy Vella suggested that for the cover of my book for my final outcome I could print onto metallic paper, therefore this print onto metallic gold paper relates to this idea. The print itself is also similar to some of the work I had produced for the project, gestural and focused on mark making, conveying a sense of texture.

It does not say how this print has been created, however from the design I assume it to be a relief print, possibly a linocut or an etching. I have previously explored etchings within my work and I would enjoy returning to the process to create the cover of my book, however for my final outcome I wanted to increase the scale of my book to a3 and an a3 etching plate would be quite expensive. An A3 piece of lino on the other hand would be much cheaper to use, although the quality of the line would not be the same it would create its own aesthetic.

Art of the Accident: Material Exploration

For my final outcome I have decided to produce a book juxtaposing the bright and vibrant photography of erosion and weathering at Brighton Beach with the industrial erosion found at Portslade. Within this book I want to include sections of acetate with imagery printed onto the sheets, this was inspired by the book o.T. designed by Unica T and featured in Experimental Formats.

“The ‘o.T.’ book was created by silkscreening abstract collages onto large sheets of rigid perspex, which were then cut down to the final page size. The resulting book forms a series of fragmented images that when bound together build up into a deep and complex whole, broken only by three divider or chapter pages printed in solid yellow.” 

The idea of building up layers of imagery suits my concept well as when objects erode and weather rust can build up layers on top, but also paint and materials can chip away revealing layers beneath, therefore the build up of imagery through a transparent material seems fitting.

Above I have begun to experiment with printing onto acetate. As acetate can only be printed on one side if I printed both pages of the spread normally the image on the right page of spread would be the wrong way round when the acetate was folded, therefore I discovered that before printing I had to horizontally flip the image on the right side of each spread. I also found that the acetate I was using was not transparent when folded and was instead foggy and misty, therefore higher quality acetate would need to be purchased for my final book.

As well as experimenting with printing onto acetate I also experimented with how acetate could be integrated into a book. The easiest way would be to bind single sheets together which could be done Japanese stab sewing, however in my book I want to include paper sheets with double page spreads containing full bleed images, therefore a perfect bound book would be more appropriate. A problem with this however is working out how to include both acetate and paper sheets in my book and how to order my content. As I also want to include full bleed images across spreads some of the pages within the book have to paper, therefore working out how to include both paper and acetate in a bound book was a difficult task.

After creating many mock ups I decided upon the structure above for my book. The plan above represents one section within my perfect bound book which consists of 2 sheets of paper with 2 sheets of acetate on top which is then folded in half, this equals 16 pages. The pale yellow in the plan represents pages made of paper and the pale blue represents pages made of acetate. The dark grey represents the back of the acetate which can’t be printed on due to the material being transparent. The bright yellow represents a page of paper that can’t have any imagery on, this is because that piece of paper would be visible through the acetate and would therefore interfere with the imagery printed onto the acetate. As I begin to organise my book content I can simply duplicate this plan to create more sections, therefore allowing more content to easily be added to my book.

Art of the Accident: Zine Workshop

Due to a change of plans at university the graphic design students were invited to join in with the zine workshop for the illustration students. We were given a handout with various book structures on for us to experiment with for our zines. Having previously made poster books in my book arts induction and for explain the unexplained project earlier this semester, I decided to create a zine that used french binding, a bookbinding technique I have had no previous experience with.

As graphic design students were not initially meant to take part in this workshop we arrived unprepared with no imagery or work to put into our zine. What I did however was take my monoprints which I had just created for my art of the experiment project, these prints I deemed unsuccessful as they lost most of the detail from the original photographs I was basing them on and therefore did not link clearly to my concept of weathering and erosion, however I still liked the marks made within the prints. For the zine I took the prints with the most interesting marks and cut the A4 prints down to a5 sheets of paper, cropping into the most visually intriguing sections of each print with help of my cropping tools.

For the prints to be french bound the a5 sheets then had to be folded in half, the A6 pages would then be bound on the long

 

edge opposite to the fold. What I discovered unintentionally about french binding is that it is a good binding technique for monoprints. When producing my monoprints I rolled out water based ink onto perspex, then I place paper on top of the ink and worked onto the back of the paper with pencil and charcoal to pick up the ink on the opposite side. By french binding my prints you can view the marks made on the back of the paper by gently prying open one of the folded pages to view what it inside. These concealed marks are visually interesting, show process and add another way in which the audience can interact with the book.

The style of binding I used to hold the pages together was Japanese stab sewing. I first used a boning tool to create folds in each of the pages, so that when the pages were bound the book could lie flat. I then drilled holes into the folded pages along the long edge opposite the fold. Finally I used stringle to sew through the holes and bind the book.

I found this workshop to be very helpful as it allowed me to take work that I felt was previously unsuccessful and turn it into a successful book. I did not initially think of moving these prints forward by using process however by creating a zine I’ve allowed the imagery to not go to waste.

Art of the Accident: Duotones and Tritones

Original photograph

Blue and black duotone

Blue, black and red tritone

Red and black tritone

Red, black and blue tritone

As suggested in my tutorial I began to experiment with colour. Using colours from the colour schemes I have previously created I experimented with creating duotones and tritones in Adobe Photoshop, which is a process I had never tried before. I liked the outcomes however I felt that the duotones and tritones took away from the initial imagery as the original photographs had a larger range of vibrant colours. Therefore from this I concluded that I did not want to edit the photographs from Brighton Beach in order to preserve their initial colour palettes.

Brown and black duotone

Brown and black duotone

Brown and black duotone

Instead of making duotone images from the Brighton Beach photography I made duotone images from my Portslade photography. I choose to edit these pictures as the original photographs were bright and vibrant with a yellow and blue colour scheme, this did not reflect industrial erosion which is orange and brown, these colours also clashed with the less saturated colours from my Brighton Beach photography. I find these edits to be far more successful as they remove the bright colours and make the images feel more industrial, as well as helping them to integrate well with the other imagery.

Cass Pad Competition

Brief: We’re giving one lucky winner the opportunity to be featured on the front cover of one of our award-winning pad ranges. An exclusive print run of your custom design will be available to buy online and in-store at Cass Art. Shortlisted works will be selected by CEO & Founder of Cass Art, Mark Cass, Head of Design at Cass Art Naj Ellwood and award-winning designer Angus Hyland, Creative Director at Cass Art and Partner at design consultancy, Pentagram.

The competition requirements were very open as the design did not need to have a concept and could be created using any medium, the only requirements were that the image was 203 x 206mm. As I am currently working on the materials, processes and art of the accident project I decided to utilise one of my experiments with print for my competition submission. Many of the current CASS Pad designs are abstract prints, therefore I thought the medium would fit well into their range, however I did want to make my work stand out and therefore contain a slightly figurative aspect.

I choose to use my favourite etching taken from my etching workshop, this can be seen below. I believe that the overlapping of imagery and linear qualities are figurative but also maintain an abstract quality when zoomed into and cropped.

Soft and Hard Ground Etching Inspired by Rust

Below are some thumbnails I produced where I played with different crops into the image. For my final design I selected the last crop.

After some editing using levels and colour balance in Photoshop I finally produced my CASS Pad design. I really enjoyed creating this competition entry, the openness of the brief allowed me to choose whatever imagery I saw fit and therefore utilise my etching prints which I really enjoyed producing for my current project. This also meant I had the opportunity to enter the competition and possibility gain publicity through it, without having to sacrifice spending time on my university work to produce an entirely new outcome for the competition brief.

Art of the Accident: Tutorial

During a tutorial today with the tutors we discussed through the work I had made so far in the project, specifically my photography of rust and erosion taken at Brighton beach, and spoke about where I could take the project next.

OIL & WATER DO NOT MIX by Anthony Burrill

Screenprinting was highlighted as a possible process for exploration. From the photographs you can clearly tell that the images are taken from brighton due to its prominent bright and varied colour scheme, therefore layering multiple prints of my photos with colours picked out from my photographs could be visually interesting. It was also suggested that I could take inspiration from Anthony Burrill, who used crude oil from an oil spill to make a screenprint on environmental issues, and screen print using a solution made of rust. After doing research however I found that the process for making a rust solution would take weeks to get the amount I needed therefore this idea was quickly abandoned.

“The choice of font was very simple; I needed a heavy typeface to use the oil and sand mixture as much as possible. The corrosive effects of the oil and sand gradually destroyed the screen that they were using to print which resulted in the distressed, rough feel that communicated exactly what we wanted to say. It’s intentionally blank in its meaning, the point of the poster is how it was physically made.” – Anthony Burrill

Continuing with the idea of using screen printing it may be worth experimenting with contrasting the natural textural qualities of the rust with the shapes of the industrial structures it formed on. Portslade is a part of Brighton where there is a large industrial yard, therefore in the upcoming days I intend to visit the area and gather some photographs of the industrial rust and machinery present, this I can then contrast with the more natural and colourful forms of weathering found at Brighton beach.

Art of the Accident: Experimental Formats

Brief: To experiment, amplify, broaden and consolidate your knowledge of processes and materials. Further develop your sense of ‘visual play’ through experimental and creative idea generation. Recognition of the role of imagination/interpretive skills within word and image generation. Incorporate and investigate as many diverse processes in your exploration/exploration and work as you deem practical. 

With this brief in mind I selected the theme of ‘elemental forces/energy – conveying a sense of transformation and dynamism’ from the list of themes provided. This theme at the end of the project needs to be applied to one of the outcome format choices provided. In my creative process I do not want to restrict myself by selecting a format this early on in a project, I feel like the work should dictate the outcome format, I am eager to produce a book for my final outcome however the type of book and its content and construction is something I will explore through my creative process.

As this project is all about exploring materials and processes I read the book Experimental Formats by Roger Fawcett-Tang. It is a book that compiles a range of innovative book, brochure and catalogue designs. Below are a few scans from the book that I found particularly interesting. All of these I saw as being easily applied to the theme of elemental forces, either through their build up of imagery through layers or through their interactivity and destructive design.

Potential to use a scratch off panel, such as the one on the cover, to reveal text or imagery

Encasing a book in packaging that needs to be destroyed to access the book

Build up of texture and imagery through the use of transparent pages

Build up of texture and imagery through the use of a thin paper stock

Encasing a book in packaging that needs to be destroyed to access the book