Following my previous post on this study subject (Flexures: three dimensions from two), I have produced some pieces to test the feasibility of this idea, to see if it could become a reality and provide a new direction into three dimensions for my printmaking practice.

Essentially, I want to explore how I might make sculptures from my printmaking. I want to find ways of ‘escaping the frame’ – finding alternatives to the production of flat prints ultimately displayed behind glass. Of course, the use of glass has been used for logical, practical reasons, as it is effective in protecting the print from damage. However, as my collagraph prints are textural in nature, it has for a long while seemed counter-intuitive to put them in a traditional frame. Additionally, a sculpture can of course be walked around and I can print on both sides of the paper.

Above: pre-creased monoprints, ready to be folded

I started by randomly creasing some thick Fabriano paper. These creases place stresses on the paper, allowing it to be teased into folding in a certain direction. I placed around 20 creases on this sheet, many of them in opposing directions across the sheet. These tensions would create opportunities for the sheet to be folded in interesting ways or to allow a folded structure to become free-standing, without the need for clips or tape to hold it in place.

Next, I used brayers (hand rollers) to create inkings for monoprints on a perspex sheet. These abstract patterns were then printed on the pre-creased sheets and allowed to dry.

After a few days, I began folding the printed sheets. As a result of the pre-creasing, I was able to create a number of different sculptures from one a single sheet, including standing and lying forms. All of the forms held their shapes without the need for cuts or added means of closure of any kind.

These ‘Flexures’ have a lot of potential to change the nature of my printmaking practice. Since this post, I have created two production pieces that have been entered into art competitions.


Find all my posts about my print stories on Twitter at: #artprintstories