In the Experimentation Zone

So, I’m telling you from the off that this post won’t be for everyone. It is really for my benefit to record the things I am learning as I work through my ‘Dora Maurer’ phase. I am not alone, but on Friday mornings spend happy hours peering at my plates and prints for particularly pleasing imprints, or happy accidents that I may wish to learn from and so need to remember. So thanks to my fellow explorers and printmakers Mary and Michele for their collaboration.

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The picture on the left shows my original tetrapak plate. I have used wire which I fixed into circles in an attempt to replicate Maurer’s image. Having really enjoyed using tape in previous prints because of the added interest they can give an image, I chose to stick them down with, variously, parcel tape, Scotch tape and masking tape. The initial image was not that interesting, but my interest was piqued when, as I released the wire I found myself with bits of tape with the wire imprinted on it, and areas of the plate untouched by the inking process.

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Sticking the affected tape back down and taking a ghost print yielded really interesting results (print on left, modified plate on right), from both the tape in its new position, and where it was lifted after the original print. I can’t remember how the wire created such a black imprint on this second image (which is why I need to record as I go along)…

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Following on from the first plate, I worked on replicating the effects by creating a simple image (plate one), printing it and then lifting the tape and wire to place in new positions. I didn’t bother to tape the wire down the second time, which made me realise this isn’t necessary (see below).

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Print from the first plate. There’s lots I love about this print. The tetrapak creases. Always. The tape on the right and the ink below the wire. There’s something pleasing about the wire too, but I can’t put my finger on why. Not convinced by the tape holding it in place.

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Pushing these new found techniques further – just to see what happens. Plate to the left and ghost print to the right (having over inked the first impression to allow a second print with moved elements.  Again, I like the lifted tape and the previously imprinted tape. New here is the wire (at the top) removed to create a gorgeous white whirl with a black  fuzzy edge. I like the embossed whirl (same wire moved to new position). The advantage of the paper being quite wet. Other new elements are the new ink whirl – which is quite punchy against the lighter grey, and the edge markings created with the edge of a spatula.

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Taken the process too far in this direction, but very happy with the ‘splashy’ ink effect.

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Ok so WordPress has defeated me on this blog. Note to self – follow the tutorial! So I’ll take the last five images together. Removing the tape is better I think. The image is less busy and allows the glorious texture of the Tetrapak to shine through. Which is the whole point really. With quite damp paper the embossed wire is a wonderful effect. By inking up the plate once the wire has gone through the press once (or multiple times) the remaining imprints can be inked up using the intaglio method which is really striking. Loving this journey!

3 thoughts on “In the Experimentation Zone

  1. Great to see this work recorded and reflected on. Love the last one, with the three strips, and the very first one funnily enough. Thanks for the shout out too! A real pleasure to be a passenger on this journey 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

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