Commission for Lora Innes

I taped the plexi glass on top of the drawing and onto the table, to prevent everything for moving around as I am engraving the plexiglass plate.  The tool is a heavy metal pencil looking tool with a very sharp point to it. 

On the first image, eventhough you can’t really see it, it’s already engraved.  The second and third image I slide a coloured paper beneath to check that I have engraved enough, and correctly. That I’ve hit the mark. There were a few areas that were missing some lines and I had to go back and do them. 

After that I got my paper that I had already cut up to size. For drypoint printmaking, the paper needs to be damp, so I spray it with water on both side and put them inside a plastic sheet for them to get enough moisture. Some will submerge them in a bath of water, but I didn’t have a big enough basin for it. 

And this works perfectly. It has to be like this for an hour or so though at the very least. Which gave me plenty of time to prepare everything else, as well as grabbing a quick cup of coffee. 

Next image you can see the glass plate where the mono printed ink will be mixed. Next is another plexiglass plate taped down with the photo of the house below. This is so I can figure out where to place the coloured ink will go. 
Next is where I have lined up where the engraved plate will go when I run it through the press. 

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Once everything is ready, it’s time to smear the plate with the black ink. This is oilbased and is intended for drypoint and intaglio printmaking. This is a really messy and quite labour intensieve part. 

The ink is very tacky, and I first have to cover the entire plate. I then go over it with a scrunchy kind of cloth and work the ink into the groves. Then I slowly try to remove the ink from the surface with sheets of baking paper and clean cotton cloths.  Until it starts looking like the image below.  This process takes a few minutes, and my hands gets quite inky, even if I wear gloves. 

I did a little test print on some low grade handmade paper I got from a book long, long time ago, that is somehow excellent for drypoint printmaking. I think it’ll look pretty cool if I make a print of this without the colours as well! 

After I ink the plate and put it on the printing press I place the coloured ink on the other plexi glass plate. The ghostly effect if you will. I’ll put ink on, remove some, put more on, remove a lot more so that the colours wont be too dense and over powering, but more a hint of it in the background. 

I’ll then go off and wash my hands properly before handling the paper. Taking it out of the plastic sheet, and getting rid of some of the excess water. I put it ontop of the coloured inks and press down with my hands. 

This is done quite quickly, because I need the paper to be damp when I run it through the press to lift up the ink from the engraved plate. Making sure that the paper gets aligned on the press properly, and then I will run it through the press once. Cross my fingers and hope I didn’t mess up the engraved ink, the coloured ink or the placement of the paper. 

Videosof the print going through the press, and being revealed. 

They will all be slightly different due to the first mono print. The colouring will be different shapes and places and intensity. Same with the inked plate, the intensity of the lines will differ as it’s not easy to tell when you’ve worked the plate enough, too much or too little. But that is part of what makes them all unique and different. 

Here they are lying in the rack to dry, which will take a couple of days.