Our first independent task in the studio was to print on five varying substrates and then form a book out of our prints. The aim was to see how different materials react to a method of printing of our choice.
The method I chose was lino printing because it’s a printing method I want to explore more this year as it allows me to be illustrative in my practice. First things first I carved an illustration of my dog into the lino which I could then print on my various materials I had collected to print on.
Previously I had used acetate in a project and I loved the outcome; while it was designed for an inkjet printer I thought that my lino ink could also work. The thing I liked about this outcome was the photography opportunities with it, as I could take photos of it against so many different backgrounds and textures. On the other hand without using hair spray on the ink there was no way it was going to dry! Even with the hair spray it was a bit of a question mark when it came to it dying.
The watercolour paper I used produced the most solid prints due to the 300gsm stock and large teeth. I’m hoping to get into the letterpress room at some point with the watercolour and the lino to produce a crisp print, as I’m aware they were uneven where I printed them by hand. Also I was really happy with the texture that came through on the paper as I thought it wouldn’t show up as well due to the smooth paper showing off texture so well.
I then printed on a smooth patterned wrapping paper that I bought from the V&A around four years ago. Surprisingly I really liked this outcome because the colours just really popped and made me really like the wrapping paper which I always thought was a little gross! I think that the paper worked well because of the smoothness it allowed the texture of the ink to really come across; it makes it a really sensory piece.
Probably the worst quality paper I used was from a layout pad I have. If it was too inky the lino ink wouldn’t dry properly and mad the paper crinkle. Even with that I think for the purpose of printing tests it works well, however I won’t be using it for the brief due to the throw away nature of the thin sheets. Another paper I wasn’t completely excited about was the smooth pink printer substate – it was slightly thicker than the layout paper so it didn’t crinkle. However I don’t think it added anything to the lino print whether that was with texture or the colour of the paper. Maybe if I used a coloured ink I could get a different effect from the print so I think that’s something I need to test out.
I chose to use a simple bulldog clip to bind together my sheets of paper. The reasoning was because I wanted this book to be something I could add to throughout the year when I find new materials I want to test prints on. The clip allows the lose sheets of paper to be moved around. However when writing this blog post I also realised it’s a bulldog clip… and my subject in the lino was my bulldog Buster… I’m going to pretend that’s intentional and I’m actually a comedy genius!