ever increasing circles

Tuesday 9 March 2010

Some recent printmaking experiments – intaglio prints made from some worn and discarded sandpaper discs that I have been collecting for a while.

printmaking intaglio prints - studio wall
[prints, proofs and other experiments on the wall]

Rather than retaining their perfectly circular shapes, I have instead been tearing and distressing the paper edges, as I print and reprint the proofs.

intaglio collagraph plate
[eroded sandpaper used as a printing plate]

I also wanted to pursue the idea of the imperfect or broken circle, or with parts missing or two halves that don’t quite match – cracks , fissures, fused joints.

intaglio prints embossed textures
[detail of embossed surface textures]

Most of these first experiments are printed on white drawing paper, some are on Hahnemuhle, some on Khadi. I also tried some viscosity printing – a process that enables you to print two, three or even four colours in one go. it requires more prep work but the results are immensely textured and tactile – and even the crumpled paper discards have some visual appeal. Most of these initial experiments will be heading for the collage drawer…but I have some heavyweight paper set aside for the next stage of printing…

crumpled inked paper - detail surface textures
[crumpled inked paper]

Thinking back to the earlier intaglio collagraphs on paper (on canvas), yet again I didn’t want to end up with a flat print, so I erased the evidence of the plate mark or edge by trimming some of the proofs, giving the print some potential as a sculptural form rather than a material mark on paper.

intaglio prints texture on paper
[more embossing textures]

During this time, I have been pondering on (or should that be inspired by?) the earth’s shifting tectonic plates and the so-called ‘ring of fire’ (according to scientists, Concepcion city has moved ten feet to the west since Chile’s earthquake), to the micro-ecologies of lichens, my collections of striated beach pebbles and hag stones, the geometric pattern on a dinner plate, even an abandoned bird’s nest that fits in the palm of my hand, and the strange fruit encountered in the hedgerow…

lichens found on churchyard gravestones in suffolk
[lichens, found on churchyard gravestones in Suffolk]

striated beach pebbles
[collection of striated beach pebbles]

pebbles with holes - hag stones
[pebbles with holes; hag stones]

Barbara Brown - retro geometric pattern dinner plate
[Barbara Brown dinner plate]

a tiny birds nest
[a tiny bird’s nest]


[strange fruit in hedgerow]

While printing some of these collagraphs (if printing from sandpaper comes under that category) I heard on Poetry Please (on Radio 4) the poem, Try to praise the mutilated world by Adam Zagajewski … (but I am sure some of its depth is lost in translation)…

Lastly, I have been accepted as a new member of Artworks. Established in 2000, Artworks is a dynamic group of thirty contemporary East Anglian professional artists working in a range of styles and media, some with national and international reputations. So, I am looking forward to the new connections and opportunities that being a member of Artworks will bring into my creative life.