Archive for category Subject: Printmaking

Printmaking Off The Beaten Track || Richard Noyce

The blurb for this tells me that it’s the author’s third visit “beyond the familiar centres of art production”. You might think that the trope could be getting stretched a bit thin, but the evidence within the pages clearly indicates a rich vein. Grouped loosely by themes: Journeys & Destinations, Conflict & Resolution and Diaspora & Exile, the book is mainly arranged by region and country. This could have the effect of seeming to make connections where they do not exist, but it does generally work and there do seem to be similarities even where there is no immediate collaboration.

The styles and working methods are as varied as you might expect and pretty well every type of printmaking is represented. Subjects are often disturbing, can frequently be political and are always presented in the light of the context Noyce has given us. If you want to view the illustrations as works of art in their own right, you have to take a step backwards, but that’s perhaps also an inevitable part of any compilation and editorial overview.

This is though a beautiful and intriguing, if sometimes disturbing, book. I’m going to have to research the author’s previous two volumes now.

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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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Post-Digital Printmaking || Paul Catanese and Angela Geary

This is a complex technical manual that describes the use of equipment that’s probably going to be beyond the scope of the solo worker or small studio. However, if you can get access, then this is a useful book that mainly concentrates on the creative, rather than the technical processes. Although there is a technical introduction, I think it’s fair to say that a newcomer would want a considerable degree of help in getting started and that this would be available from the equipment’s owners and from other practitioners.

As is usual with Black’s manuals, the main meat of the book is an in-depth study of the work of artists in the field covered. This, again, puts the book firmly in the creative camp and the extensive and high-quality illustrations make the possibilities of the medium clear.

The book is authoritative, while at the same time concise and is an excellent introduction to a technique that requires the use of complex equipment.

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Practical Mixed-Media Printmaking Techniques || Sarah Riley

Black’s have always had a strong line in books on printmaking and this welcome addition looks at ways of working with a variety of low-cost materials.

Printmaking is a very technical medium, and I’m not really qualified to comment on the quality of the advice offered here, but I can say that the book is nicely produced and copiously illustrated and that there is a nice progress from relatively simple instruction to consideration of the work of a variety of practitioners in the field.

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Non-Toxic Printmaking || Mark Graver

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.

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Hybrid Prints || Megan Fishpool

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.

http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=artbookreview-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&m=amazon&f=ifr&md=0M5A6TN3AXP2JHJBWT02&asins=0713686502

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Print Workshops Directory || Sean Rorke

I’m not sure that you can really review a directory, but it’s at least worth noting that such a thing exists.

If you’re a student of printmaking without access to your own equipment, this will give you a list of establishments across the country where you can access both equipment and the skills and advice of experienced printmakers.

http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=artbookreview-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&m=amazon&f=ifr&md=0M5A6TN3AXP2JHJBWT02&asins=0713675187

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