Posts Tagged ‘printing’

Inspired by Travel – Collagraph Fun

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

While many a Perthian complained by the excessive rain that fell across the city on Sunday (it was some serious rain… None of that Manchester drizzle rubbish), my Dad and I had clearly known that the weather was going to turn and had booked a collagraph printing course. Held at the beautiful studio of Beau Est Mien in Northbridge, we joined our class at 10.30am for five hours of printing fun.

Beau Est Mien is the wonderful studio of artist Magali Dincher. I proudly own a print created by Magali  that has travelled with me from Paris to Manchester and that is waiting to be hung on my next wall. She is a creative inspiration for me and I would love the opportunity to watch her work.

The course was run by one of her studio staff, Carly, a Curtin Fine Arts graduate. Twelve eager students sat around the trestle tables waiting to learn.

Collagraph printing is remarkably simple – it involves the applying a bondcrete varnish to a piece of matt board and then you etch an image into the varnish layer. You then apply etching ink and put your board through a printing press with a wet piece of paper. And then discover the results.

My masterpiece

My masterpiece

The theme for the class was ‘Travel’ and we had all brought photographs of places we had been or wanted to visit. Not knowing the process, I was instantly disappointed with my choices in photographs and I would have made very different selections if I could have started again. However, for a first attempt at collagraph it wasn’t bad and I learnt enough about the process to be able to do it again on my own at home. This technique allows for a lot more detail than lino printing however has its own limitations with the thickness and style of lines you can draw.

We experimented with water colour at the end of the class

We experimented with water colour at the end of the class

I highly recommend doing a printing course at Beau Est Mien – it is a fantastic way to spend a soggy Sunday.

Loving Lithography

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Yesterday afternoon I ventured beyond the southern peripherique in sloppy, snowy weather to attend a lithography workshop organised by the Harvard Club. Yes, I was mixing with the finest and brightest once again, only this time I actually felt like one of the most qualified attendees. My non-law/business background and lack of doctorate, made me one of the more ‘artistic’ people in the group – or at least I told myself that.

What's behind mystery door number one?

What’s behind mystery door number one?

Thanks to my friends Jen and Greg, I was able to attend the workshop run by an American artist, Jonathan Shimony, who has lived in Paris for many years. He originally moved here for one year and then never left and now has an amazing studio with lithography, etching and other styles of printing presses. I walked in, inhaled the fumes of paints, solvents and other delicious chemicals and felt as if I had just walked into heaven. I was brought back to earth by the sudden need for me to shake hands and pretend to be interested in networking with Harvard Alumni (don’t get me wrong – they were all very nice people, I just find the whole thing disgustingly fake.)

Jonathan began by discussing the history of printing and lithography and I became instantly aware of how little I know about art history. Here I am attempting to get into these fields and I feel like I am a bit of a fraud. Obviously these things take time and research and you need to learn them from somewhere – I just haven’t.

We were then given crayon-like drawing implements and spaces on large blocks of limestone and told to draw. A few scratched heads and embarrassed faces later, everyone had added their piece of ‘art’ to the printing blocks and Jonathan then demonstrated the printing techniques on his amazing press.

It was wonderful to watch and participate in the whole printing process although I have so many questions and want to go back and experiment further. Jonathan mentioned the lack of continued interest in the lithography methods and so when I waved my arms around with excitement and declared that I will continue the traditions for years to come, he said I was welcome to come and be his studio assistant whenever I wanted, just as long as I was willing to get my hands dirty. OH YES PLEASE! If only this had happened two years ago and I wasn’t about the leave the country… Even so, I hope to be able to go in and spend a few days with Jonathan and watch the process much closer and ask the millions of questions floating around in my head.

Sometimes my talent amazes me.

Sometimes my talent amazes me.