Archive for category Author: Colin Gale

The Printmakers’ Bible || Colin Gale & Megan Fishpool

This is a deceptive book. Flip through the pages and it appears to be a simple, if comprehensive, guide mainly intended for the beginner or maybe the intermediate student. This is because the authors and editors have learnt from the many instructional guides around that cover a variety of media and have simply adopted and adapted them here. The result is something that’s admirably clear while at the same time catering to the serious professional.

As with pretty well all of Black’s art and craft books, this is beautifully and generously illustrated and almost every element of the text has a corresponding picture. This, rather ironically, only adds to the initial impression of a simpler approach. The fact, however, is that nothing is there without a reason, whether it’s to illustrate an item or a technique or to show the work of one of the many contemporary printmakers referenced.

The authors’ coverage is comprehensive, ranging from lithography and etching to digital and CAD/CAM work and the use of photoaluminium plates. Their bona fides both as members of the Artichoke Print Workshop and as previously-published writers, are also impeccable.

The word “bible” gets bandied about a lot in many fields and is normally used for a book that has a lot of different stuff in it and for which the publishers couldn’t think of another title. Here, however, it’s more than justified.

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Practical Printmaking || Colin Gale

Printmaking is a huge subject and, inevitably, a general introduction such as this can only really scratch the surface. However, Colin Gale does a good job of looking at the bulk of the most used techniques: collograph, silkscreen, lithography, woodblock and monoprinting as well as the use of digital images. In doing so, he provides a useful overview that summarises the basic approaches and techniques of each specialism and writes with authority about current trends, looking at the work of many contemporary printmakers as he goes along.

According to the blurb, the book will “help the reader master new skills as well as sharpen existing ones”. Not being a printmaker myself, it’s hard to comment on this statement, but I would have thought that the scope of the book is sufficiently wide that only the tyro would find much of that. It seems to me that it works much better as an introduction, either for someone who’s thinking of taking the plunge or maybe for a collector who’s keen to know more about the techniques behind the artwork.

The book is well and copiously illustrated, so it’s hard to see how it could disappoint even the most experienced printmaker, however.

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Etching & Photopolymer Intaglio Techniques || Colin Gale

Printmaking is, generally speaking, an art followed more by the professional than the amateur. A quite heavy investment in equipment is required and there are some quite serious health and safety issues to be considered as well.

Nevertheless, everyone has to start somewhere, or just needs a basic handbook and this series is aimed squarely at those specific requirements. Anyone finding this review helpful will find it an advantage to follow the series link below and read about other titles from A&C Black on printmaking. The publisher has laudably not attempted to produce a one-for-all compendium but rather to concentrate on very specific areas and to do them justice individually.

This volume is aimed at artists interested in photopolymer technology, the use of light-sensitive materials which can be applied to a variety of backing supports such as metal, plastic or board. Colin Gale, founder of Artichoke Print workshop, also covers acids, aquatint, papers, presses and inks.

This is an authoritative look at a very specialised subject and one which is only likely to be visited in book form occasionally. The whole series brings the available information very much up to date and deals with the safe practice that has become a much greater concern and also the Health and Safety legislation that goes along with that. The book is well-illustrated with the work of a number of contemporary printmakers and contains, for the price, a very reasonable amount of colour.

Year published 2006
List price: £14.99

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