Pamela Copeland - Painter of Pastels in Southern Alberta
Gallery 4... Original prints
The world of printmaking is a vast and varied one, and I have only scratched the surface (no pun intended!) of the different methods of producing exquisite prints. These are original works of art, and NOT exact copies produced by popular modern methods. Some of the following works were produced in Edmonton, AB at the former "Print Farm" at the Univeristy of Alberta, on large. very expensive roller presses. Others were produced at my home with the aid of my own smaller, home-made press. Since moving to southern Alberta, I have not done a lot of printmaking. That is something I hope to rectify over the coming months.
Relief Prints - Reduction Method
Fine etched prints cannot be done on the little press that I use at my home, as the high constant pressure destroys the ink-catching burrs of the printing plate. This type of press (photo below) works well for collographic prints or relief prints, so that is what I mainly do. I have not given up on trying to find a reasonable roller press so if anyone knows of one, please let me know!
Relief prints begin with a blank printing plate that the design of the print is lightly sketched on. I then determine if any areas of the print are to remain white. If there are some, I cut out the "white" areas of the design and then use a brayer to roll the lightest color of ink I will be using onto the plate. Then, the plate is placed face down onto damp paper and placed in between the acrylic sandwich that is placed between the print beds. Using the hydraulics of the press, I clamp the plate down onto the plate to transfer the ink. The pressure is then removed, the acrylic sandwich opened up and the plate is lifted off the the paper to reveal the ink. Wherever I have cut pieces of the plate out, the white of the paper remains, surrounded by the color I had inked on (usually a very light shade to begin with). The plate is then washed off and examined to determine if there are areas of the design that need to be the color that I just printed onto the paper. When I decided what is to remain that color, I again use the cutting tools to remove those areas of the plate, prior to rolling on the next color of ink and printing the paper again. This process continues until I have achieved the desired end result.
My press - thanks for Princess Auto and a very handy husband! The design for this press actually came from my mentor, Ron Wigglesworth.