The gallery recently opened some additional nice bright spaces upstairs - and gallery manager Lynne Atkinson and I decided that it would be a good opportunity to show some of the actual process and methods of making original prints, as well as finished work.
Despite having my well-equipped studio at home at Craigshaw Barns, I also have a bit of a current interest in showing what can be done with small scale ‘table-top printmaking’. So, as well as the XCut Xpress (with its longer bed), I took along the simple screen printing set up - as mentioned in an earlier post. I also took previous lino blocks, preparatory drawings etc. as well as all the tools and materials I would need to progress my next planned print.
I began with setting up the screen printing unit to print some background tints for the little greetings cards of the hare and squirrel. At least twenty people over the five days – young and old – had their first go at screenprinting. Many more were interested to have the process explained.
An advantage of having several base boards for the XCut (as well as its all-important pressure adjustment dial) is that one can have several prints on the go at once. So, as well as one set up for the cards, I also brought along the key block and all the pre screenprinted sheets of the ‘Bullfinches’ print. (see images below).
I had also saved a proof of every stage of making this little print, so I was able to not only explain and demonstrate actual carving and printing of a linocut on the XCut, but also show how screenprinted colour can be registered with the lino in what is a common method for me: utilising the speed, control and convenience of screen printing, in combination with the graphic and print qualities of linocut.
So over the five days, I finished editioning the Bullfinches and was also able to let many folk ink up, register and print their own cards. Folded, put with an envelope in a nice little cello bag, they made a nice thing to take away (for a charity donation!)
All in all, a very enjoyable few days; perhaps a day too long and I never expected to make a lot of print sales. (Although, must say, I can’t complain!) Really I just like ‘spreading the word’ and one meets some really interesting and interested people. Well worthwhile! And thank you to Lynne and The Whitehouse for the opportunity.