Home > Arts > Episode 14: Intensive Workshop with Matthew

Photo of a man bent over a workdesk drawing on paper, with printing materials around him.

Episode 14: Intensive Workshop with Matthew

A great and very productive day, despite a few irritating technical problems!

This was the first time Printmaking for Matthew, so I really wanted the session to go well, but if there is one thing, I know … It doesn’t matter how well prepared you are, something always goes wrong.

Series of three photos of a man in three stages of printmaking - drawing on paper, pulling on gloves and using a printing press.

Putting the drawing on to the prepared zinc plate:

Firstly, the tracing did not transfer easily onto the prepared plate with BIG ground – in the last session I had the technique of putting the tracing on top of BIG Ground and then pulling it through the press – there was no problem – it transferred well. This time NOTHING!

Matthew ended up having to put charcoal on the back of his tracing paper then draw through this onto his prepared BIG Ground plate – luckily this worked. I was super stressed but very pleased I had another method of transferring a drawing to a prepared plate.

Printing the plate:

When it came to printing his image, the acetate was upside down on the press which meant all the layout permanent marker marks printed onto his paper! I am sure this has happened to almost everyone who has used acetate to line up their paper – it is sooo very annoying!! 

Photo of a man in the Print Workshop, pulling on large gloves, and a woman sitting on a stool, surrounded by art materials.
Photo of a man operating a printing press in the print workshop, with a woman standing watching.

Matthew’s print was very strong, he was also very patient, which is the best way to be for printmaking. He did not have any problems experimenting with the Saline Sulphate solution – creating a variety of different marks using biting (this stage can make a lot of people cautious). 

I really hope all these minor mechanical issues did not put him off Printmaking!

Image credit: Nicola Neate