Following the drypoint course at Northern Print, my head was buzzing with ideas, and having obtained sheets of card plate and a basic etching needle, I was ready to start work and prepare several plates for a whole day in the studio on 2nd September. I was looking forward to getting quite a lot of printing done.
I had prepared 5 card drypoint plates at home before going to the Northern Print studio to print them. The card has a shiny plasticised surface on one side, and one scratches through or can tear it off. It can be a bit unpredictable in how it tears. Sometimes the texture of the card seems to send a line a little askew. It can be easy to make holes in the card.
I used images from an old Maling ware catalogue as the source material for the jug and bowl prints. The Maling company first opened in Sunderland in 1762 and moved to Ouseburn in Newcastle in 1817, closing finally in 1963. As I’ve mentioned before, I became involved more closely with the Ouseburn area a couple of years ago and hope eventually to have a studio in the area. I am interested in the historic and historical remains in the valley, especially the glass works and potteries.
I first tried these images when participating in the Ouseburn Community project, and wanted to try them again with a different printing method. On the first ones I printed out, the paper was sticking to the plate too firmly, tearing when removed even as carefully as possible (example bottom right above). Whilst the torn prints have an interesting texture that suggests worn, abraded surfaces that implies a heritage with vanishing material remains (an aspect of Ouseburn that interests me), I did want some non-torn prints. I sought advice from Helen, the Studio Printmaker, and she suggested trying a different paper. I found that the different paper and keeping it a bit damper resulted in prints that didn’t stick too much.
The prints had a more embossed effect than I was expecting from card plates, due to the very sticky ink lifting the surface of the paper even when it did not stick firmly enough to tear it.
I had tried the yellow ink first because I knew I wanted my carousel prints in yellow. I had time to try just one print off the first carousel plate (somewhat nervously after all the time I’d put into making it) on 2nd September, and thought it looked promising.
I decided to make another small carousel plate to print in yellow as well for my next session in the studio on 6th September, and was glad I did.
Having printed a few of the carousels, I decided to change to Prussian blue and print the two plates I had not had time to print during my first day in the studio that week.