Wednesday, 22 May 2013

20:20 entry Hot bed Press Print exchange

The challenge was to produce an edition of 25 prints for a print exchange organised by HBP. As a textile printer the idea of an edition is not generally part of my practice, but I was intrigued by the principal & it was interesting to explore this aspect of paper printing tradition through my own process of moving between drawing & paper based experiments translated into fabric pieces. I am interested in series and groups of work and to try and produce 25 identical images was a new experience for me.

I wanted to start with some fresh imagery, I had been captivated by a particular view I had come across recently mountain biking in the Peak district, a valley opening out from behind a corner, where you could see the cultivated lower slopes give way to the tousled moorland. I went back to this hillside one evening, did some drawing & took some photos & back in my studio did some drawing on collaged paper surfaces, attempting to create some interesting marks to print.

I was keen to do a two or three colour separation so I built up several layers to the image to try out.

The way I decided to approach the paper fabric transition was to screen print disperse dyes onto paper and heat press this onto fabric. My work generally involves layers and translucent fabrics.

I tried using a vinyl cutter to scratch one layer – a scrawly gestural scribbled detail, but this couldn't be resolved in the time I had, for the number of images I had to produce, so this layer was also screen printed. This time onto paper to act as a backing for the flimsy layer of fabric and main image… ( for another print it may be interesting to flip these around so the detail is where you would expect it – on top!)

There was several rounds of colour testing as disperse dyes appear darker & duller on paper, & more vibrant when you print them in the heat transfer press.

The rest was just the mechanics of screen printing the two layers on paper, & the third layer on a backing sheet. It was time consuming to prepare the paper & fabric to size; I left the fabric edges raw for lightness & handle, which meant trying to fray them all the same & evenly.

Once heat transfer printed onto fabric each piece was ironed on to the backing layer of paper with a strip of bonderweb, signed, numbered & sent off to Hot Bed for the swap & touring exhibition. 

Above are colour variations in the Artist Proofs, the more orange print on the left was heat pressed for longer than the other two, and there was some variation across the prints caused by uneven pressure in the press, all parts of fine tuning the image.

A scan of the final print and the rest of the 20:20 colection from 2012 can be seen by folllowing the link below

Watch this space for this year's contribution.