After the last post, I went along to the Print Room at the University of Lincoln to try them out on press.

Unfortunately, this didn’t go well. For all the coats of varnish and a week of drying, the surface of the plate below completely disintegrated, with much of the crackle paste sticking to the print. After several deep intakes of breath, I realised that perhaps I could do something to save what looked like a decent print. So, I see it down on the press bed, armed myself with a stiff brush and started to remove the material. The process felt like revealing an artefact from an archaeological dig, as, ver the course of about an hour, the image was slowly revealed.

Landfall plate crushed
Before: near disaster – crackle paste stuck to the paper surface

Landfall print cleaned up
After: the cleaned up print

Landfall print cleaned up: on press
Luckily then, this was time well spent. The destruction of the plate after one impression meant that it was a truly unique print. It looks so good that I entered it into the Kunsthuis Gallery Summer Exhibition, which takes place in June. The print, along with one other, has been accepted!

With the plate surface destroyed, I had to remake the surface detail. Rather than trying to replicate the same surface detail, I took a different approach to the mark making. Inking the plate in blues and greens produced the print below. The whole series of plates had to be smoothed with glasspaper and re-coated with varnishes before they would be ready for printing. To help protect them through the press, one blanket was removed to decrease the pressure without altering the press settings. They are also tougher now and won’t crack, so I’ll be able to get on with printing the whole series quite soon.

Landfall plate print (blue/green)


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