Imprints
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Imprints

Imprints

My favoured print technique is stone lithography. I like the physicality of the process. Leicester Print Workshop, the print studio that I use, is one of the few places nationally that still has stones, most workshops having moved over to the more-manageable zinc plates. The magic of this method is that you can draw, paint or crayon straight onto the stone as if it was a piece of paper. The process of stone lithography involves grinding a stone to a smooth, oil-free surface. After making your drawing, the image on the stone is finely etched with a mixture of Nitric Acid and Gum Arabic. For printing, the stone is dampened with water and rolled with oil-based ink. The ink sticks to where you have made the drawing and is repelled from the rest of the stone by the water film. You then dry the stone, place the paper on the stone and put it though a Direct Transfer Press. Each print requires repeating the whole process, from dampening the stone, inking up, drying, paper placing and putting under the pressure of the press.

It is the most gestural of all printing methods, and offers a very direct translation of drawn line. However all techniques are only a means to an end, so I use different print techniques depending on the idea. Leicester Print Workshops has fantastic facilities and its staff and members make it a delight to work there.