Tag Archives: PRINTING

A WORKSHOP NEARLY MISSED (The Image That Almost Got Away)

IMG_20140131_152918 copy

With Futures week on 27/01/2014 – 31/01/2014, the Avenue Campus was absolutely buzzing with a complete spectrum of artists, lecturers and activity workshops all of which would help with ideas or thoughts for a promising future of when students become post graduates. It was by chance that I paid attention to the colour posters on the wall in the rear entrance to the Maidwell building, which read ‘Graphics & Illustration, Stephen Fowler, Printmaking Workshop’. I decided to be brave and attend the workshop without listing my name and without being on the graphics and illustration course, as the magic word to me was ‘printmaking’. That Friday on 31 January at 10am, for myself as a non graphic student in today’s terms I gate crashed the printmaking workshop given by Stephan Fowler, and lucky for me because there were some non attendees my name was added to the list among the names of the students that were in attendance.

The scene was set, Stephen Fowler appeared as a gentle professor in charge of a nostalgic looking record player and a range of vinyl records in their original sleeves displaying all manner of graphic artwork, together with his well stocked toolkit of other versatile implements such as erasers, pipe lagging, and potatoes – the list was endless, this also included much of his own work in the form of small printed books and fold out sheets. Finally the vinyl records were unleashed on the record player for approximately a minute to the students who had to envisage in their minds thoughts/feelings that the music inspired them to produce a record sleeve to compliment the music.

The first album that was played I found was more inspirational to me, and so armed with the water based inks supplied by Stephen Fowler, I maintained my pathway of the fine art route and continued to use the traditional style of working onto a metal plate to print the image by use of the printing press, whilst other students used non printing press methods. As a result of taking a chance by going along to the workshop, not only did I have a fun day with other enthusiastic fellow printmakers but I created for me an image totally outside the box to my style of printing, which was an opportunity nearly missed.

Ps I went away with the potatoes for tea.



For those of you who were unable to attend the printing workshop hosted by Anastasia Mina and Ben Zawalich both students from the Royal College on Thursday 6th February 2014.  There was an introduction to a newish kid on the block which has been in existence since the 1990’s, the name is Polyester Plate Lithograph and it was developed by George F Roberts during his professorship of printmaking at Boise State University, Idaho.   It appears that the kid is not widely known to many, why? could it be because enthusiastic printmakers are not aware of the material or its capabilities or could it be that production is limited?, but the good news is muscles are not needed to use this material and although the longevity of the material itself is limited, it is non toxic, and with the instructions in situ it can be a quick, easy and rewarding process to use as was encountered in the workshop demo of lithographic printing.

The traditional lithographic process was first introduced by Alois Senefelder in 1798, born in Prague, 6 Nov 1771, died in Munich 26 February 1834, was a German inventor and printer.   He was an actor and writer who wanted to publish the plays he wrote.  He experimented with intaglio and relief processes using limestone as a surface to print the pages. It involved the use of not only heavy lithograph stones but lithographic solvent-based Tusche which contained tar and Naptha toxins.   The results worked on the basis that oil and water will not mix; greasy printing ink was applied to the stone.

Approximately 200 years on this material is a very good equivalent to the traditional lithograph stone by eliminating the use of toxic chemicals which is not only good for print makers but a bonus for the environment.