Archive for category Series: Printmaking Handbook
Say what? Seriously, any experienced printmaker will know that the craft can involve some serious hazards from the chemicals and acids that are used and that even casual working needs serious planning and the establishment of some kind of studio area where these things can be handled, contained and disposed of.
For those without access to that kind of facility, perhaps working casually at home, or with health issues that add to the danger, Mark Graver looks at things like acrylic resists, grounds and aquatints as well as non-acidic etching techniques and the use of water-based inks.
As you’d expect from this authoritative series, this is a perfectly serious look at safer techniques and is fully illustrated with the work of contemporary printmakers who demonstrate that there’s no need to compromise on artistic quality just because you choose not to poison yourself and the environment.
Black’s excellent and developing series of Printmaking Handbooks is producing some little gems.
Although it can only be an introduction, Megan Fishpool goes a long way towards explaining the processes and practicalities of the complex hybrid print process and manages to cover most forms from stereoscopic and lenticular to intaglio and colagraph. Clearly written, and well researched and illustrated, this is an invaluable guide to a difficult subject.
Black’s Printmaking Handbook series has already established itself as adventurous and unafraid to take on the big subject and here it does that quite literally: some of these projects occupy a whole room! Certainly, this is a long way from just engraved plates and a single sheet of paper.
As ever, a great deal is crammed into a short length, but there’s no sense of overcrowding and the book only ever attempts to be a general survey. However, as well as some basic technical chapters, there is also a look at a good number of pieces by contemporary workers in the field and the quality of the illustrations is exemplary.
Up to now, Black’s Printmaking Handbook series has concentrated more at the professional end of the market, where cost is not necessarily a consideration. While this latest volume does not compromise on artistic quality or offer cheap and cheerful solutions, it does nevertheless offer possibilities for the amateur, or less committed, worker who does not want to incur a large equipment outlay or to handle materials which can be hazardous.
For all that, the authors manage to deal with the more traditional, shall we say, techniques such as etching, lithography and silkscreen as well as simpler ones, such as paper constructions, and the use of found materials. Although this may look as though they are simply extending the brief to cover techniques which are really beyond the scope of the book, the authors manage to show how results can be achieved without major expense.
The quality of both the writing and illustration of this series has been exemplary and this addition to it in no way compromises that. The authors both have extensive teaching experience and hold senior posts and have addressed the direction of the book with all seriousness, showing that it is possible to produce artworks in print while working on a restricted budget. This is not a populist weekend project book, but a serious look at another side of printmaking from a professional point of view.
A&C Black 2008
Printmaking is not an area which anyone could accuse of being over-published, but Black’s are more than making up for this with this series of handbooks that offer both a way in for the novice as well as a more serious approach that will satisfy the demands of the more experienced practitioner.
In this volume, Mychael Barratt looks at both the practice of making prints from an incised or engraved plate and at the work of a number of contemporary printmakers who are preserving the tradition as well as extending the boundaries of the craft. These include Norman Ackroyd, Anita Klein and Paul Rego.
As ever, this is not a particularly cheap book (for the size, at any rate), but the quality of production and the number of colour illustrations more than justify the price.
A&C Black 2008
Author Mychael Barratt
Publisher A&C Black
Series Printmaking Handbook
This small paperback condenses a vast amount of information and experience into its 128 pages.
Nigel Oxley founded the Kelpra studio, which produced editions for artists such as Elisabeth Frink, John Piper and Patrick Heron and the book is illustrated with their works, including stage proofs and inking notes.
Behind this is a well-structured manual on how to make colour prints, going through all the stages of the process from preparation of the plate to the pulls for each colour and the precautions, both artistic and safety related, that are necessary.
The way Nigel tells it, colour etching sounds almost like a simple process and he is excellent at navigating the many complexities and pointing out ways around the possible pitfalls. Work of this quality is, of course, beyond the novice, but the way Nigel tells it, there’s hope for even the most inexperienced printmaker. Anyone who is more than a little proficient and is aware of the mountain they have to climb, as well as those who are familiar with Nigel’s work and simply want to hear it from the master’s lips, will want this book.
This quietly authoritative series from A&C Black continues to impress.
A&C Black 2007
The Printmaking Handbook series from A&C Black laudably brings up to date information on a subject which is only periodically visited in book form. For general observations on the series as a whole, please click on the series link below to see other titles.
The use of hand-made paper is one of the chief ways a printmaker can express individuality. As well as being the support for the image, it becomes part of the whole artwork and integral to the completed piece.
Developments in papermaking are not as much affected by advances in technology as other areas of printmaking and, indeed, anyone approaching the subject is perhaps more likely to be interested in traditional methods. Elspeth Lamb is a professional printmaker and also formerly visiting lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art and Duncan of Jordanstone College as well as Lecturer in Printmaking at Edinburgh College of Art. She has the track record, in other words. In this book, Elspeth draws together much of the available information on papermaking, particularly focusing on Japanese methods, a delicate and highly-prized skill that attracts a great deal of interest.
This is by no means the only book to have been written about papermaking, but it is one of only a few that are aimed at the professional and at the printmaker. It is generously illustrated with the work of many international artists, reproduced entirely in colour.
Year published: 2006
List price: £14.99
For more information about A&C Black’s excellent Printmaking Handbook series, please click on the series link below.
The monoprinting technique is well-established and is not one that is greatly affected by modern developments other than the incorporation of different materials as they appear. This book is, therefore, not so much of a bringing up to date of information as other titles in the series, but it does present a very useful overview of what can be achieved by the process.
Using copious illustrations from international artists, the authors demonstrate what is possible and suggest ways of pushing the boundaries as well as how to apply a variety of techniques.
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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