Yesterday my lovely daughter and I – along with Fliss a great sculptor/printmaker – spend a most enjoyable day with Ian Hill and his wife Jackie – Ian is a bookbinder/printmaker who lives in the West Lakes, near Cockermouth.
We first met Ian at Music on the Marr where we were both exhibiting and he had some beautifully delicate prints to sell along with handmade notebooks and other interesting pieces. I’d never seen this type of printing before where the ink has a painterly quality with soft lines rather than the solid, harder effect of lino or screen printing. I managed to persuade Ian (by way of promises of home-made bread) to let us come down and try out the method in his little studio. We would like to thank him for his patience, hospitality and time in helping us to achieve a great standard of work (we thought) – and Jackie for the amazing food and the gorgeous Rose Scented Geranium which now sits in my bathroom.
The method is as follow:-
First the drawing is etched onto a metal plate – aluminium, zinc or copper with a scribe – before a layer of printing ink is applied all over the surface to be rubbed back until the design shows through. Very little ink is left on the plate and it’s at this point that you can begin to give some movement to the piece by leaving the edges thicker say or practically taking all the ink off leaving highlights. The more adventurous – like my daughter – were able to incorporate two colours on the plate.
Through the little press and then hung up to dry and there they are……….
Definitely going to try this at home using my mangle ………………….