TPC Random: Prints

Falcon Wood Cut Print

Printmaking was a class I wasn't really certain of what I was getting into when I signed up.  I had a basic understanding of what it would be, and I even knew about some of the processes used in it, but what I didn't realize, was just how much I would love it.  From my first linoleum cut, I knew I loved this new way of image making and it became a new found passion that would take over a lot of my time for months to come.  While not having the chance to try my hand at every type of printmaking process, I was able to learn the basics, and I did my best to take advantage of my class time and create as much work as possible.

Cityscape Etched Plexiglass Print

For those who might be wondering what printmaking is all about, it's all about creating and replicating images, using both old and new technologies, manual and digital.  Some of the methods go back centuries, while others are relatively newer.  One of the most popular methods of printmaking is the trusty screen print, which can be used to make posters, t-shirts, or just about anything you can get your stencil to lay flat on!  I'm sure my description is woefully lacking, but that's where the beauty of wikipedia can step in!

Sea Turtles Wood Cut Print

My favorite methods so far have been relief cutting.  There is something workman and beautiful about cutting away material from the surface to build an image.  The actual printing process is extremely satisfying as well, as it's all done by hand (past the help of a press when available!).  You make the cuts, you put the ink on, you prepare the paper, you run it through the press or push the paper down by hand and then finally you get to see the fruits of your labor.  It's the work, and the results, that make this one of my favorite methods for creating images so far.

Falcon Plexiglass Etch Print

There are so many more methods I hope to try in the future, and with every new plate I create, I wish I had a printing press at home to work with.  For now though, I've put together a small set of materials that allow me to do basic print work with very basic tools.  A rolling pin, a sheet of felt, and a storage bin keep me moving with relief cuts, but things like etching are near out of the question without a true printing press, thanks to the pressure needed to get the ink to transfer.  My instructor did say he's had friends use their car as a press, laying the plates under the tire and rolling over it, but I'm not sure I'm going to worry about it that much!  I can always make my way to campus with a set of plates and pull prints all day instead! 

Angry Linoleum Cut Print

I plan to make these prints available for purchase through a web store at some point in the summer.  I have prints to pull, new plates to make, and a lot of work to do on the web side of things, but hopefully, when it's all said and done, people will like what I create enough to buy a few prints at what I plan to make very reasonable prices.  And that's the beauty of working in a medium like printmaking, you get to create something beautiful and share it with so many more people than say painting where only one person can ever own that painting that your hands indeed created. 

I want to expand my printmaking work to more complex images, and with more practice and better tools, it should be possible to create some really amazing things with really old methods.  Thanks for reading!