05 January 2017

Whanganui River Print Exhibition

New Zealand printmaker Graham Hall has coordinated a 20-metre woodcut print 
which depicts the entire length of the Whanganui River, 290km from the mountain to the sea.
You can view the finished print at Edith Gallery in Whanganui,
opening on 9 January at 5:30pm


The project documents the path of the river on 42 panels, which join together.
Each panel was carved by a different artist with their own interpretation of the surrounds,
based on personal research on the area corresponding with section of river they have chosen.

The layout of the blocks with the river pattern engraved
before being sent to each artist for their input

This inclusive project brings together a cross section of people, 
including young students and established print makers and artists.


To see each of the 42 artists' panels, 
see the project's website, www.whanganuiriverprint.com

20 June 2016

Sam Farquhar, 24June-25July, Auckland

Sam Farquhar is of Scottish, English and Ngati Rahiri descent. 
An exhibition of her work opens 5.30pm Thursday 24 June 
at Kura Gallery in Auckland, through to 25 July.
The show is a mix of framed and unframed prints, past and present.

Sam Farquhar, Te Whetu Tuatahi
limited edition print, 51x37cm

Sam currently resides on family land in rural Helensville, north of Auckland.
Sam graduated with a Diploma in Textile & Design at Wellington Polytechnic in the 90s, 
followed by completing post-graduate studies in Nelson.
She embarked on producing woodblock prints and small canvas blocks (depicting native themes) 
to supply a selection of galleries in Aotearoa. 
Sam also worked in the film industry in the art and costume departments.

Sam exhibits regularly with printmakers of Toi Whakataa Press – 
a printmakers collective that is made up of strong and established individual printmakers. 
Sam describes her work as very graphic. 
She uses the print technique of woodcut to express and convey movement and emotion with line. 
Sam’s images depict a mix of Maori mythology and narratives from New Zealand history, 
often placing them into her immediate environment, 
or into landscapes which she strongly identifies with.

For more information see www.kuragallery.co.nz

16 June 2016

Lithography Course, 19-21 Aug, Whangarei

Te Kowhai Print Trust is hosting Experimental Drawing Through Lithography 
being tutored by the very talented artist and printmaker Alexis Neal.

Friday 19 to Sunday 21 August, 9.30am–4pm daily
Only 8 spaces available, so get in quickly if you're interested.


The main focus will be experimental drawing combining relief techniques. 
Working in pairs, you'll achieve a small lithographic print edition.

Day One: Making sure our stones are level with technical discussions and demonstrations. 
Experimenting with drawing, using a variety of lithography pencils, tusche washes 
combined with relief techniques. First etch will go onto stones.

Day Two: Opening the stones up and replacing our drawing material with roll up ink 
and putting a second etching on. 

Day Three: Continue printing small editions in pairs and working on stones.

Cost: $225, including all materials except paper, 
Either bring your own favourite print paper, 
or arrange in advance to purchase through TKPT.



Pin & Tab Registration

Many printmaking processes require 'registration' of multiple layers.
The better your ability to line up the layers, the more accurate your output.
A while ago I was at a demonstration with a guest artist from overseas,
and in their bag of tools they had some registration pins, which I loved!

Ternes-Burton Register Pins are a stainless steel base 0.33mm thick (.013")
with a precision machined stainless steel button, with multiple welds for strength.
Both the tops of the buttons and the bottoms of the bases are hand-polished to prevent scratches.
The hole in the base provides additional taping area,
which helps prevent movement and makes the pins easier to handle.
The pins are used with thick mylar tabs with holes.
These are attached to your paper for perfect alignment.


The button height depends upon the number of layers, 
as well as the thickness of layers being attached to the pin. 
The most common register pin they sell is the 1/4" x .085". 
This means that the button is 6.35mm (1/4") in diameter, and 2.16mm (.085") high.
However, they come in a variety of heights, round and elongated buttons.

Ternes-Burton Pins (L-R): 3.05mm (.120"), 2.16mm (.085"), 1.78mm (.070"), 1.40mm (.055")

Ternes-Burton Pins [side angle]
(L-R): 3.05mm (.120"), 2.16mm (.085"), 1.78mm (.070"), 1.40mm (.055")

Ideally you want to pick a button height lower than your plate,
as you don't want the button to leave an indent in your paper as you take an impression.

2.16mm (.085") next to a 3mm laser-cut woodblock plate
  

The most simple way to use them is simply using a hole punch directly into the paper.
The downside of this method is that paper holes stretch quicker than the mylar,
and you need to trim a strip of paper to remove the holes from the finished print.


To aid with alignment, you can purchase a bag of stripping tabs (made of heavy mylar).
With a set of two (or more) stainless steel pins, and enough reusable plastic tabs to tape to each sheet,
the system gives perfect registration system, and is ideal for woodblocks and lino prints.


To use the pin and tab system for an edition, first prepare all your paper as usual.
Using a marked board or cutting mat, tape down the tabs using masking tape or parcel tape.
Align paper to the grid, attach the tabs to the button, and tape tab to the back of each sheet.
Repeat for the whole edition. Even if the paper isn't perfectly square or uneven size, it works perfectly.
Once you've registered your first print, all the others will snap to the same spot exactly!

You can also buy the same buttons as individual 'assembly pins' to create you own registration board.


More info to follow...

I'd really love the help of a couple of you to help me test these out, to give a review on this product.
So if you want to to get your try some, head over to Facebook, 'like' NZ Printmakers page
and comment on the post about registration,
to go into the draw to win a pair of pins and some tabs [NZ residents only].


04 June 2016

Exhibition: Paul McLachlan, to 18 June, Christchurch

If you're in or near Christchurch, get along to see Paul McLachlan's exhibition HOLY FIRE 
on at Chambers Art Gallery until 18 June.
These works were created during Paul’s three-month art residency in Bangkok, 
which was supported by the Asia New Zealand Foundation. 

Drawn from his explorations of the city through temples, galleries, museums and the streets, 
these images focus on the permeable membrane that separates the spiritual world from the everyday;
 a focus on a spiritual climate that saturates the whole of Bangkok city life. 
This project has been informed by experiences, exchanges, conversations and relationships 
cultivated during his time at Art Hof in Phra Khanong.

Paul McLachlan, Apples of Epiphany, 2016
Lithograph, 227 x 284mm

Images are built-up using drawings, photographs, found imagery and natural scenes. 
Graphic black and white shapes have been utilised to form lyrical and poetic worlds 
that slip between light and dark and positive and negative space, 
while drawing on Thai art conventions. 
Most notably, the nang yai arts (shadow puppets), 
which use light and silhouettes to illustrate the epic Ramakien narratives,
 and the black line-work of the gold leaf and lacquer panels of the Ayutthaya period; 
decorative and allegorical depictions of paradise-like natural worlds.

Paul McLachlan, Ghost Dance, 2016
Lithograph, 227 x 284mm

The prints in this exhibition were printed upon returning to New Zealand 
using a photo-lithograph process at the University of Canterbury.

McLachlan’s residency is chronicled at www.paulmclachlan.co.nz/blog

29 May 2016

Every Printmaker Needs An Artists Biography

An artist biography is often the first piece of information available to your audience, 
either in a gallery or catalogue, or somewhere on your website. 
All artists should have one, and it should be reviewed yearly for early- or mid-career artists.

The biography frames your whole art-making practice.
It can be written by you, or get help from someone with a particular skill in writing.
You can summarize your practice, including medium(s), themes, techniques, and influences.
It is about the current direction of your work, not a history of how you got to this point.

Audience engagement researchers found that visitors lose interest in wall labels after 150 words,
so try to write a profile between 80 and 140 words, the ideal is around 120 words.
A tightly written 80-word biography is preferable to a longer bio that includes unnecessary 'fluff'. 
Leave your reader informed, but wanting to know more.... 
 A good rule of thumb is to impart one idea per sentence,
with the viewer taking away one or two key points from your biography.

A biography is different from an artist statement, which is about your artwork(s) or series.
Your artist statement is written in the 1st person, using "My work..."
whereas your biography is written in 3rd person, about you, eg "[Name]'s practice focusses on..."

The biography should open with a first line that encapsulates what is most significant 
about the artist and his or her work, rather than opening with biographical information.
Here are some questions for you to consider when writing about your artist’s practice,
pick out just the most important about you:
  • What medium does the artist work in?
  • What is his or her style?
  • What are common or characteristic subjects or themes depicted in the artist’s work?
  • What subjects drive the works or provide underlying themes?
  • What impact has this artist made, or what precedent is he or she setting? 
  • Who are the artist’s peers or teachers who have impacted on the artist’s practice?
  • In what political or technological climate is the artist working in?
  • What areas of the arts or popular culture does this artist incorporate into his or her work?
  • What other areas of the arts or popular culture does this artist engage with?
  • Can their work be summed up in an engaging quotation from the artist (1–2 sentences)? 

Six Common Mistakes in Artist Biographies:
  • The List of AccomplishmentsKeep accolades to a minimum. Readers who are interested in all the details of exhibitions and awards can refer to your artist CV. 
  • Artspeak: Viewers dislike misplaced academic jargon and pseudo-theoretical writing. Remember your audience may be completely unfamiliar with your ideas.
  • Hyperbolic Praise: Readers respond negatively to unsubstantiated claims and exaggeration. 
  • Spelling and Punctuation: Incorrect spelling and grammar mistakes undermines the credibility of your ideas. Use spell-check and get a friend or colleague to proof-read for you.
  • Repeating or omitting essential information: Understand where your bio will appear and ensure information is appropriate to it's purpose, don't repeat artist statement or.
  • Stale Information: Artists with rapidly evolving careers should check back every year, or before new exhibitions, to re-assess what the most important aspects of your practice are.
If you don't already have one, I'd highly recommend you think about tackling this soon.
If you want to share or get feedback, post a link to your artist bio in the comments below,
or email me at help@nzprintmakers.com 

This post was based on an article published recently on Artsy.net

21 May 2016

Call for Entries: Print Awards 2016, UK, by 20 June

The 2016 Print Awards are open to all international artists working with print, 
 from traditional to contemporary print processes, in its widest interpretation,
including 2D, 3D, video, installation and site-specific work.

The Print Awards are the centrepiece of the International Print Biennale
 showcases the broad spectrum of contemporary printmaking across the globe,
through an extensive programme of exhibitions, events, activities and an international symposium, 
held across the North East of England. 



At the first stage, artists are required to submit the following by 20 June:
The completed online entry form
Images of a max of 10 recent works in digital format (jpg, tiff or png - max 500kb)
An up to date supporting CV (maximum of one side of A4)
A supporting statement (max 200 words)
A non-refundable £25 application fee per artist


20 May 2016

Sister Corita’s Summer of Love, 23July-6Nov, Wellington

Sister Corita’s Summer of Love is an exhibition of the prints of Sister Corita Kent (1918 - 1986),
who was an unsung figure in pop art.
It will be exhibited at City Gallery Wellington, from 23 July to 6 November.


Sister Corita was a Roman Catholic nun who she lived, studied,
and taught at the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in Los Angeles from 1936-1968;
heading their art department from 1964-1968. 
In the 1960s, she became widely known for her distinctive screenprints, 
with their graphic treatments of words, in bold, often fluoro, colours. 
A magpie, Corita drew on the language of advertising and packaging, signs and slogans, 
poetry and lyrics, to develop her own messages of joy, faith, love, and protest.


Corita’s approach was informed by Vatican II, 
a movement to make the Catholic Church relevant to contemporary society. 
Through it, the Church advocated changes to traditional liturgy,
this adoption of common English underpinned Corita’s playful use of colloquial language.

In addition to her screenprints, the show includes documentary films
that offer a rich context for Corita’s work.


 In Wellington, Sister Corita’s Summer of Love will be supplemented with works by
McCahon, Ruscha, Michael Parekowhai, Jim Speers, Scott Redford, and Michael Stevenson,
plus a presentation of recent videos featuring kinetic-typography.
A book will be published, in association with Wellington’s Awa Press.
Thanks to Sister Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles.

Click here to see City Gallery's website for more information.
I know I'm telling you about this fairly early, but I'm super-keen to see this show,
so will be booking some flights to Wellington asap!!!

05 May 2016

Altered Impressions Portfolio, SGCI 2016, Portland, Oregon, USA

Elle Anderson recently curated a themed portfolio called Altered Impressions
which was one of only 22 submissions selected to be exhibited 
at the Southern Graphics Conference International, in Portland, Oregon, USA.
The exhibition of this themed portfolio opened on 31 March
in the Dorothy Lemelson Innovation Studio at Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Invited artists included: Kim Lowe, Prue Mac Dougall, John Pusateri, Toni Hartill, 
Esther Hansen, Deborah Crowe, Toni Mosley, Gabrielle Belz, Sheyne Tuffery, 
Nicola Ov, Michel Tuffery, Struan Hamilton, Elle Anderson, and Delwyn Holder.

The collective print created by all portfolio participants together

"As the mix of its citizens living in Aotearoa New Zealand continues to evolve, 
so to is the way they interact with each other and the wider spaces they occupy. 
This evolution influences changes in the urban environment 
and it is with this inspiration that works will be generated, 
exploring how we, in Aotearoa, engage with a state of Flux. 

Alterations to a landscape creates a state of ebb and flow, a now and then, an unrest. 
Spaces where past and present can often clash, but also need to blend or live alongside each other, 
not just peacefully but also with tolerance. 
This constant adjustment creates a rich milieu in which many artistic conversations take place, 
providing each artist interpretive space to deal with such urban instability: 
Presenting areas for explorations from a personal, local and/or global perspective. 
One print within the portfolio will embrace this state of instability through exchange and evolution. 
This collaborative work, created by all printmakers in this group, will pass from artist to artist, 
each adding their voice to the print in response to what was done before. 
This print will further aim to reflect on a state of urban instability."

Detail images from each of the 14 artists in the Altered Impressions portfolio
(L-R, from top: Kim Lowe, Prue Mac Dougall, John Pusateri, Toni Hartill, Esther Hansen
Deborah Crowe, Toni Mosley, Gabrielle Belz, Sheyne Tuffery, Nicola Ov,
Michel Tuffery, Struan Hamilton, Elle Anderson, and Delwyn Holder.

More information about the Southern Graphics conference here: www.sgciportland.com

04 May 2016

Emma McLellan, 6 May-5 June, Kerikeri

Emma McLellan's current exhibition, Artificially Translated,
opens on 6 May at Art at Wharepuke gallery in Kerikeri, through to 5 June.

Emma McLellan, The Devil is in the Detail, 2016
Screenprint and paint on panel

"My work explores genetic engineering through a blending of science fiction and reality; 
combining and juxtaposing literary fantasies with scientific possibilities.

Searching the internet, images of cloned animals and human medical stem cell research 
sit alongside photo shopped imaginings of hybridised dysfunctional animals. 
This melting pot of truth and lies reminds me of medieval printed bestiaries 
of imagined and real animals presented for examination and fascination.

This body of work explores an imagined representation 
of human organ cultivation and stem cell experiments."

Emma McLellan, Plans and Spares, 2016
Screenprint and paint on panel

Emma lectures at the Faculty of Creative Arts, Manukau Institute of Technology.

03 May 2016

Green Door Print Exchange 2016, by 31 August

Green Door Printmaking Studio in UK invite national and international printmakers 
to participate in our 8th annual exchange (IPE 2016)!
The International Print Exchange is an unjuried print exchange with no assigned theme,
open to all, that celebrates fine art printmaking.


Paper Size: 14cm x 14cm
Maximum Print Size: 10cm x 10cm
Edition Size: Ten (10)
Submission Deadline: Wednesday 31 August 2016, 12 Noon (GMT)
Administration Cost: £15 GBP
 Click here to go to Green Door's website for more information 

02 May 2016

Red Press for Sale, Wellington

Also, Fiona is selling her red Manuka etching press, currently located in Wellington.
The press bed will print A2, and comes with 2 felt blankets the same size size as the bed.
The stand is on castors so easily moved around, and locks secure in place when in use.



It is listed with a price of $4500
If you are interested in buying it, click here for the listing on TradeMe
Auction ends Thursday 5 May.

Red Press For Sale, Dunedin

Kathryn from Dunedin asked me to tell you about her press for sale:
It is a Manuka Etching Press, approximately 7 years old 




The press bed is 750x1220mm, and comes with 2 felt blankets the same size
It is on castors so easily moved around and then locks in place.

It is listed with a price of $6500
If you are interested in buying it, click here for the listing on TradeMe
Auction ends Thursday 12 May.

Intro To Screenprint Workshop, 14 May, Auckland

Do you want to learn the basics of screenprinting in one day?
I'm offering an Introduction To Screenprinting course that gives you all the basics;
 the essential pieces of equipment, the processes and techniques, 
as well as plenty of hands-on printing time to play with the technique.

Whether you're an absolute beginners, or to refresh your memory. 
With only 3-4 students per class, information can be tailored to your own project ideas.

An example of a screen made using light-sensitive coating 

With the guidance of a very experienced tutor, 
you will learn a variety of skills, including hand-cut stencils, masking, hand-drawn images, 
as well as the basics of photo emulsion for more detailed designs.
Techniques and inks for printing on both paper and fabric will be taught.

$135 per person includes inks, paper, screens and equipment used during workshop.
Located near Eden Park in Auckland. Please email to confirm availability.

29 April 2016

Five Artists on Stewart Island, 4May-4June, Wellington

Solander Gallery invites you to join the artists for the opening of
  47°South Rakiura: Five Artists on Stewart Island
from 5:30-7pm on Wednesday 4 May, through to 4 June.

The exhibition is a collection of artworks inspired by an artist residency project on Stewart Island, 
with limited edition and unique works from the project artists: 
John Pusateri, Jacqueline Aust, Jenna Packer, Inge Doesburg, and Jacqui Colley. 
Each artist brings a fascinating perspective to this shared experience of Stewart Island.


In November 2015, Solander Gallery invited a group of five contemporary artists 
to undertake a week-long residency at the southernmost tip of New Zealand. 
The objective of the 47° South project was to encourage the artists 
to respond creatively to their encounter with the unique Stewart Island/Rakiura.

“I’m impressed by these artists’ willingness to experiment with printmaking 
to try and capture the complexity of those things within and beneath. 
The energy, spirit and stories of Rakiura are held in the play of textures and line. 
These print ‘postcards’ speak strongly for the enduring vitality of printmaking.” 
Mark Amery, from the catalogue essay, April 2016.

Jacqueline Aust, Above and Below, 2016
Photoploymer etching, 50x35cm, edition of 15

Inge Doesburg, Soliloquium, 2016
Etching, 50x35cm, edition of 15

The residency offers artists a chance to explore the historical, commercial and natural locations
that are so emblematic of the island’s isolation and rugged natural beauty.
They were also able to experience its complex and dynamic environment,
with excursions hosted by local guides, whose knowledge of the area
plays such a large role in supporting the island’s exceptional culture.

26 April 2016

Call for Entries: Umbrella International Print Exhibition & Exchange, by 9 May

Umbrella Studio invites artists working in traditional and digital print media
to participate in our biennial international print exhibition and exchange; Compact Prints 2016.

Compact Prints 2016 is a celebration of contemporary print practices,
embracing traditional, non-toxic and technological methods.
Works are to measure 12x12cm, printed on quality acid free paper.


Participants are asked to submit three prints from the same edition
and a brief artist statement (approx. 50 words).
One print will be exchanged with a participating artist,
 and a second will be displayed in a CD jewel case as a part of the exhibition.
The third print will be auctioned at a Fundraiser to assist with event costs.
Other than size, 12x12cm, there is no set theme or other restrictions.
The aim of the project is to provide artists with a forum to exchange work and ideas,
as well as provide the opportunity to exhibit in a contemporary art space.

An entry fee of AU$20 is required for all Australian and International participants.
The fee is payable to secure your participation, and is non-refundable.

The Exhibition will take place on 19 August – 25 September 2016, however,
you need to notify Umbrella Studio of your participation in the exchange and exhibition
by 5pm Monday 9 May 2016.

Click here for Umbrella Studio's website for more details.

05 April 2016

Press For Sale, 70cm Wide, Wellington

This Oliviero Bendini bench-top press is for sale (made in Bologna, Italy)
The bed is 700x900mm.
 The press is currently located in Wellington.  
Owner happy to help dismantle and reassemble. 
Asking $6,000




If you would like further information, or to enquire about purchasing,
 please email Anna (annanelson@clear.net.nz) who is acting on behalf of the owner.

01 April 2016

Printmaking Baren Alternative Ideas

English printmaker Debbie Kendall has been investigating some ideas 
for an effective, affordable printmaking baren for hand burnishing prints.
I thought it was a really useful article, especially to show alternatives to having a press at home.

"Although I do have an etching press, I have had trouble in the past 
keeping the image correctly registered when using this for a multiple colour relief print, 
as the roller can push the paper along (even a 0.5mm discrepancy between layers can be a problem).

Hand burnishing each colour was the only real option for me.
For those who may be reading this who are new to printmaking, 
the traditional way to hand burnish a print is using a baren
This is a lightweight, hand-held disk which is used to rub the back of the printing paper 
after it is placed on the inked block, to transfer the ink into the printing paper. 
I have a cheap Speedball baren but in all honesty, it doesn’t really cut the mustard, as they say!

I was embarking on a somewhat ambitious print – 
a hand burnished, 11-colour reduction lino print of around A3 size – 
I started to investigate the best tools to transfer the ink to the paper. 
For all 11 colours and an ideal edition of 50 prints 
this meant that I was going to be hand rubbing the back of the paper at least 550 times, 
so I wanted the best tool for the job.

Thinking about the physics and qualities of a baren that will make light(er) work of hand burnishing, I felt that there were 2 main requirements:
A lack of friction between the baren and the paper.
Barens with a single large flat area in contact with the paper can be quite abrasive,
which is not ideal when the paper must be burnished many times.
The ability to transfer pressure through a single (or many) point(s) 
to successfully transfer the ink to the paper. 

Types of printmaking baren:
Speedball baren, large serving spoon and porcelain door knob!

One effective tool I have used is the smooth back of a large spoon,
rubbed in circular motions on the back of the paper (over the inked plate).
 Another tool I have used most successfully in the past is a porcelain door knob,
which is nice and smooth, and easy to grip. 
These work well as the pressure is driven through the small surface area in contact with the paper, 
but that is also the drawback as it means a lot of rubbing over an A3-size print!
After burnishing the first few prints that I was heading for a repetitive strain injury, not good.

I started to investigate different kinds of barens and alternatives to a baren 
and spent a while looking online at what other print-makers were using. 
A couple of interesting options caught my eye:

Japanese ball bearing baren

The first was a Japanese ball bearing baren which is made from a plastic disc 
through which up to 612 stainless steel ball bearings are suspended. 
The balls rotate freely when in use, which delivers multiple pressure points evenly across the disc.
 Bound in black leather with a strong leather handle, this looks like it would have promising,
lots of small areas of pressure combined into one larger area...
except the price – around £200 – rather a lot to invest in something I haven’t actually tried.

Drawing Pin Baren

Some people online have tried making a version of this 
using drawing pins (metal thumb tacks) pressed into a base.
though these would be fixed and not rotate freely as the ball bearings do.
This looks like it might work, but not something I was motivated to try.


Another novel kind of baren I came across was made from glass.
It looked easy to grip and I like the idea of using a low friction material like glass. 
My concern though, with this design, was that the bottom of the baren looks to be completely flat 
and I wondered about getting enough pressure on thicker papers for efficient transfer of ink.

I was chatting to my teenage son about this dilemma with and the Japanese ball bearing baren, 
when he rushed to his room and bought out a string of magnetised ball bearings 
that had been a Christmas stocking present in his youth…

Magnetised ball bearings

This got us both very excited and somehow we had the idea 
of arranging them in a spiral (like the Japanese ball bearing baren) 
on some kind of circular holder (which turned out to be a can of tuna –
 pretty much the right size, made of metal (to attract the magnetised ball bearings) 
and with a lip around the edge of the can to hold the ball bearing spiral in place!). 
This is our creation – the "Tuna Baren"!

Debbie's invention, the "Tuna Baren"

I was very excited to try this new idea. It was low friction with many small pressure points 
and it moved across the paper nice and smoothly, BUT…

TunaBaren print shows  

After the TunaBaren has been used for a short time, 
you can see where the TunaBaren has been moved around on the lino and on the paper, 
there are a mass of swirly lines where ink has been transferred 
from the many points of contact of the ball bearings. 
If you repeatedly move the TunaBaren around in lots of small rotating motions 
these do eventually disappear as every part of the paper is burnished, 
however there was quite a lot of wear and tear on the back of the paper itself too, 
and this worried me as I have 11 colours to lay down, 
which means 11 separate burnishings with the TunaBaren! 
I was concerned that the paper wouldn’t stand up to it.

So back to the drawing board...
Inspired by the glass baren, I decided to try to create a baren using glass cabochons,
(these are flattish, glass discs with one flat side and one gently rounded (convex) side. 
After hours of investigating possible ideas some deliberation, 
I glued an arrangement of cabochons onto a wooden half sphere, as this should be easy to grip.
I bought three sizes of cabochons – 14mm, 16mm and 25mm – and two sizes of wooden half dome – about 80mm and 100mm and experimented with the best layout of cabochons.
And thus… the "Cabochon Baren".



The wooden half spheres were lovely to hold and I preferred the larger 100mm size. 
The jury is still out on whether fewer larger cabochons perform better that more smaller cabochons, 
though if pushed I would say the latter… 
I managed to fit 26 x 16mm cabochons and 4 x 14mm cabochons onto a 100mm wooden half sphere.

THE VERDICT:
The winner was... the Cabochon Baren!
The ink transfer was decent and the effort required was markedly less. 
Using mainly the glass cabochon barens, with the porcelain door knob when needed in specific areas, I reduced the time taken from 3 to 2 days to print colours subsequent colours."


I think these are great ideas, and I'm keen to give this a try myself!
If you have any other feedback or suggestions about barens
or printing without a press, we'd love to hear about them.

19 March 2016

DIY Screenprint Trolley

Good equipment can make your life so much easier!

So here is an example of a print trolley I created a few years ago
from upcycling a baby change table, adding a table top for screen printing on paper.
The table is 60x80cm, so can easily accommodate a standard 50x60cm screen,
and the finished height is just above 90cm, which is standard work/kitchen bench height.


The table was bought second-hand from TradeMe for approximately $10.
It already has two shelves built in, which are very handy for storing inks and tools,
(though you may need to add a brace to reinforce it if loading it up with heavy ink containers like I do!)
and the tray on top has become my 'secret' hiding place for paper storage -
very handy when editioning, to ensure nothing spills on it.

The board on top for printing is just 16mm MDF, 
coated with a hard polyurathane floor varnish.
 (My handy tip is to use a foam roller, as it gives a much smoother finish 
and you can just throw it out when you're done)


Registration can be made much easier with the help
by the addition of some heavy-duty screen clamps from CCG.
If I want to print fabric samples, I can simply flip the board over,
and I have a padded calico to print on.


Instead of attaching the top permanently,
I created a notch on the underside of the board so it slots onto the corner posts
so it won't slide while printing (it's useful to own a few woodcut tools).
This allows easy access to the paper storage underneath,
and it also can me move to another table in seconds if needed.



On the edge of the shelf I have used two hand-grips as a 'squeegee holder' ($2 each at Mitre10),
so when the blade is covered in ink you don't have to put it down on the printing area,
and therefore reducing likelihood of dirtying where your paper will be placed.

Now I hope you can see how easy this is to create yourself,
with no wood-working skills or fancy equipment.
It also saves a lot of space in my workshop, makes inks more accessible,
and as it is on castors I can move anywhere in the studio easily.

If you've got a piece of equipment that makes printing easier,
and you'd like to share about it with other NZ Printmakers,
then take a few photos and send me an email - 
I love to hear from you!!!