The long and the short of it: viscosity printing

I had been looking forward to doing the viscosity printing half-day course at Northern Print, but was a bit apprehensive because I was unsure whether my plates would be suitable for the method. Helen Donley was our teacher. I was slightly disappointed that she lacked reason to give us one of her wonderful health and safety talks (go on a course taught by Helen, preferably one that involves sharp tools and/or potentially noxious substances) but that was my only (and totally spurious) disappointment.

Helen explained and demonstrated first. There’s the reductive way and the additive way. There’s long ink and there’s short ink, and one can make long ink short and short ink long. It also involves a hard roller and a soft roller. And frequent use of vegetable oil.

I tried it with 3 different drypoint plates. On each of them, I inked up with a dark blue first, wiping it off the upper surfaces of each print. Then I added a bright yellow, and finally a bright red. After I printed one, I printed a second “ghost print” from the same plate. I can’t remember which of the snaps are of the plates and which of the prints. (Will take some better pictures when I bring the prints home early next week).

Now my head is full of viscous possibilities. I’ll be booking a day in the studio very soon.


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