This project was made up of a series of workshops over the weeks. Most of the workshops were print based but we also had some photography based workshops. I’ve never been a huge fan of printing. It’s not something I excel at and that’s never bothered me. However for this project it was exciting to experiment with all of these methods, some of which I’d had experience in before and other which I’d never tried.
This was the first type of printing we did for this project. I’ve never even heard of cyanotype before, so this was a completely new process to me. This method involved painting a light sensitive solution onto paper and letting it dry. I sketched a design inspired by the trees that run along the edge of the river and had it printed onto acetate, with a normal version and a negative version. I then took the paper that had been painted earlier and placed the acetate on top, then put the two in a light box face down, and left it for a few minutes to expose.
The first one, where its a blue outline, was from the negative acetate. The light sensitive solution that isn’t exposed to light washes off with water, leaving the exposed shape behind. I didn’t use this process after the workshop, but it was quite a satisfying process to use, although it could be quite unpredictable. The finished quality of each images that I did at least tended to vary a bit, but I don’t understand the process enough to be able to fix whatever the problems were.
Mono print is something I’ve had experience of doing before, but I’ve never really been that excited about it. I did a few experiments during the workshop but wasn’t blown away by the outcome. I was more interested in the colour of the ink and the gradient then anything else.
I’d never done letter press before this project, but I was really excited about the opportunity. I love the pristine appearance of the text embossed into the page. I only ever did a few versions with ink because I love how it looks without it so much. Its a very time consuming process to find all the letters and get the spacing right, but once I had it was incredibly satisfying to see it done.
I had a few excess experiments which I used when I was doing the mono printing to do some further experimenting with. Neither of them really worked like I wanted though, so I didn’t go any further with that.
I’ve only ever done lino cut printing once before and its something I found extremely difficult. I’m not good at being very neat and precise when I’m working, which is really what’s required with this kind of process. My focus at this point in the project was on the river, and the relationship it has with the trees along its banks, so I made two lino cuts, one of tree roots and the other of what would be ripples along the surface of the water.
I was really keen on the idea of embossing, as its something I’ve always wanted to do and this seemed like a really good opportunity to experiment with that. After embossing with letterpress I was keen to try it with my lino cuts as well.
I was really pleased with the outcome, although I don’t know if its clear what its supposed to be to others. I never ended up putting any ink directly onto the lino, instead inking up my other stencil and layering the two together.
The detail of the embossed lino are harder to see like this, its more something that you can pick up and touch to get the full experience of it. I also did a few prints of just the water lino cut, which I used a really deep turquoise for and I love the combination of the rich colour, as well as the subtle texture you get if you were to touch it.