Monday 2 October 2017

Bounce! workshop: Monotype Printing with Alice Burns

I love the Bounce! arts festival, look forward to it every year and go to as many events as is possible. Plus, I really enjoy the free workshops. 

When printmaker Alice Burns was giving a workshop on Monotype Printing I got excited. At art college I did a week in printmaking learning to etch a plate and make a print I, unlike my sister who loved to etch, got so exasperated with the intricate process. I irritated the hell out of my tutor after putting the plate into the resin box and then turning the handle (other way round prevents the plate getting stuck in the bottom of the powdered resin) twice. 

For me the almost painterly process of monoprinting is faster and freer. 

We used water based printing ink, sheets of thick acetate as ink boards, hand rollers and because of the heat in the room Alice added a medium to keep the ink from drying too quickly. Smaller sheets of acetate became our plates upon which we placed a sheet of paper and traced/drew onto with a pencil. I found the eraser at the end was useful to create softer lines.

There was some guesswork as I frequently forgot, when tracing over a drawing, to remember which lines I'd traced. Some prints ended up missing an eye or a leg!

After the initial print a ghost print could be made, a 'negative' by placing a second sheet of paper over the plate and using a clean roller with a lot of pressure. Results are apparently better using a press. 

The lurcher image I chose was one Alice had drawn, among a selection provided for us to use. It was a friend's birthday today and she has a whippet called Breeze. I used this image to trace and added various marks as shadow and background. 

I'll be buying some inks, some acetate and digging out the lino-printing rollers I've held onto over the years. Knew they'd come in handy.

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