printmaking research

I have been making styrofoam relief prints for the past four years. Primarily self-taught, my goal for 2011 is to soak up as much of the literature of printmaking as I can, both techniques and history. Since the beginning of the year, already the combination of spending time with other printmakers and the readings that I have done have resulted in my now using Akua intaglio inks and rice paper, both steps up in quality.

I thought others might appreciate knowing a bit about the books that I have discovered at the McGill University Humanities and Education Libraries in Montreal, the Feinberg Library at SUNY Plattsburgh and the North Country Community College Library in Saranac Lake.

Color Prints International Hans Platte, 1969.

“The painter Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, who made some two thousand hand prints in the course of his life, speaks of new forces awakened in the artist by the technical manipulations, and notes that much which remains unrepeatable and haphazard in drawing is given definitive form in printing… The technical limitations become aids, not impediments.” p. 64

“the ‘unintentional’ or ‘fortuitous’ plays a special role and acts as a stimulant to artistic expression.” p. 72

The Tamarind Book of Lithography Garo Antreasian and Clinton Adams, 1971

“the inking starts with one pass of the roller on the right side, two passes on the left, and returns with a single path on the right … first pass deposits the greatest amount of ink from the freshly charged roller. The two passes on the left slightly more than balance this. … only a little is deposited during the final pass on the right side.” p. 71

E.J. Labarre’s Dictionary of Paper and Papermaking 1947

“machine-made grain direction can be determined by moistening one side of the finished paper or by floating it in water. The paper will curl to the dry side, and the axis of the curl will always be parellel to the direction of the grain. .. each piece must be torn from the larger sheet in the same way for consistent grain.” p. 324

The Intaglio Print Ross/Romano,  1972

“etching ink with heavy viscoisity will remain in the recessions. … letterpress inks – medium viscoisity… prevents it from pulling up the intaglio inks. … sometimes rollers … remove colors from certain areas in a plates so that a color applied to the clean area can sign out clearly and brilliantly.” p. 62

“all of our rollers are numbered for easy keying because rollers of different softness and hardness are needed for various surfaces. We key areas of the print to the rollers used, write out color mixing receipes, type and order of placement and paper used.” p.64

Contemporary Japanese Prints Lawrence Smith, 1985

“more native tradition of an appreciation of surface, texture and material.” p. 19

“old Japanese tradition of using subtle surfaces and colors … long existed in textiles, ceramics, paper, wood and even metal work … not until 1945 in prints.” p. 27

“His (Funasake Yoshisuke) prints usually have the same title with a serial number, and in this way, he dissuades his viewers from looking for explicit meaning. Instead they can concentrate on his world of pure form, an austere even restricted world of similar shapes which reveals great subtleties.” p. 28

Japanese Printmaking Today Margaret K. Johnson, Dale K. Hilton, 1980

“Trial proofs – after a plate or block is completed, and before the edition is began, the artist likely experiment with color combinations and different inking tactics, sometimes many. … T.P. … are unique prints.” p. IV

“Western woodblock artists … prefer Japanese papers … attractive textures and suitability in accepting ink.” p. 18

“an intaglio artist may preprint his paper with color areas by means of woodblock .. p. 31

I’ve continued to add writings from books I am reading. They can be found under printmaking techniques.