Printmaking progress

The Host: The Digital Pilgrims

My video art making took a real hit last year, first with a shoulder injury and then with being without my computer for some time (There will be something soon!). But I went to places and events I’ll probably never have the chance too again.

And it was also the chance to do a lot of printmaking – another singular chance. I’ve mostly been based at Edinburgh Printmakers, but visiting other studios to see how they work and to learn more. Dundee Print Studio has been really significant for this. Printmakers are normally happy to share information, understanding that we copy things all the time, but it will never quite look the same.

Printmaking is a reinterpretation, or maybe a translation. It blends technological innovation, the mechanical and the digital. Often I use images that are ‘stills’ from my video art, and sometimes ones that are individual ‘still photographs’. As always, the moving image and the still image are not the same. It is a question of making different visual choices.

Most of my printmaking goes into my other website, tessbaxter.com, rather than on this blog. But here are some of my latest. They are made by making black prints on transparent acetate. These are exposed onto photopolymer printing plates using UV light, then washed out into water to make an etched plate. This can then be inked and printed.

I learned my craft at Iron Press in Lancaster, found the tools I needed at Dundee, and practiced the technique at Edinburgh. But currently my preferred materials and associated places to work are: Miraclon etching plates made at the print studio at Dundee Contemporary Arts. Compared to the usual standard Toyobo plates, the contrast and so inking is more controllable and it doesn’t have the unpredictable problems – even if it has now been discontinued. I print them using Cranfield etching inks on Hahnemuhle paper at Edinburgh Printmakers.

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