Saturday, 3 November 2012

studio thoughts

2 plate etching
succulent blossom in sepia
etching press
APW studio
my work area - blood bath!
studio buddy's work area
drying rack
I've made my first use of the Australian Print Workshop's (APW) beautiful print studio. What a fun day! For me it was mostly about process and practice, and getting a better feel for the intaglio experience. As a relief printer and screen printer, intaglio is opening up a whole new, delicious world for me in printmaking. At the moment I'm just producing drypoint etchings. I have not worked up the courage to go near the acid bath and do anything that tricky.

Working in a communal print studio like APW's is a pretty wonderful experience. There was a collective buzz about the place as people went about their printing business, but also plenty of conversation and friendly advice for me when I asked questions. Mid morning an art tour group came through and watched us work. While that was a bit nerve-wracking it was also really good to talk to people who wanted to know more about printmaking.

One woman in the tour group asked me if working in a communal print studio had any benefits to working alone. Without a doubt I said yes. For example, yesterday I worked next to a monoprinter. I haven't done mono prints since high school, so for me to work next to my studio buddy all day was a wonderful way to revisit that process. And boy could she produce fantastic Goya-esque monoprints! There were other etching artists working there too so I was able to bug them with questions throughout the day about materials and process. And I got to see their prints together with mine on the drying boards. It was a lot of fun to see what concepts people are working with and how they resolve into prints.

One special treat I had was to work with an ancient etching press [pic 3 above] all day. What a beauty that old lady is! She's hard work to pull a print through but in many ways working like that is also very satisfying.

As you can see by the prints I made above I'm still working with botanical images, specifically succulent flowers. I'm a bit obsessed with the process and evolution of life at the moment and botanicals is the way I want to communicate the ideas I have about this. So there will be more to come!