I was introduced to printmaking when I was an art student at Leicester Polytechnic 1979–82. During my student year I was mainly an etcher but since 2008 I have worked in lino/vinyl and silkscreen.
What is a lino/vinyl cut?
Lino/vinyl cut is a printmaking technique; a sheet of linoleum or vinyl is used for the relief surface. A design is cut into the surface with a V-shaped chisel or gouge, with the raised (uncarved) areas representing a reversal (mirror image) of the parts to show printed. The block is inked with a roller and then impressed onto paper. The actual printing process can be done by hand or with a press, I use a Rochate Albion Press.
What is a silkscreen printing?
Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh of very fine holes. I then use a paper cut stencil to block areas of the mesh - the open areas of the stencil allow ink to be pushed through the mesh on to the paper using s squeegee. A different stencil is required for each colour and each stencil is cut from paper using a sharp knife. This mean the hand cut mark if the stencil and the hand cut blocks work well together when one is printed over the other.
Rochate Albion Press
The most dominate piece of equipment in my studio is a Victorian style Rochate Albion Press- though it looks like an antique it is a modern replica and prints beautifully. This press is still made today in Barnett near London by Harry F Rochat Ltd.