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Printmaking Sampler – A Little of This, A Little of That

Ever wonder what the difference is between printmaking techniques?

Try your hand at a range of techniques in this sampler class! Experiment with waterless and polyester plate lithography, white line etching, relief techniques, and chine colle (a collage method). You’ll also have a chance to play around with various printmaking papers.

Thursdays, March 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30

Ages: 16+
$180 members/$200 non-members
Materials Fee: $25 paid to instructor


Learn about the techniques:

Waterless Lithography
A variety of offset lithography (a printing process in which the image area and the non-image area co-exist on the same plane, rather than from raised or etched type) that eliminates the need for a dampening system by utilizing water-repellent silicone rubber plates.

Polyester Plate Lithography
Polyester Plate Printing started as a low cost yet professional form of commercial offset lithography. CMYK plates are made straight from the desktop and often thousands of copies are printed from these as business cards, pamphlets, posters, and the like. The medium, also known as Pronto Plate Lithography, is capable of reproducing the full spectrum of lithographic marks such as: hand drawn brush strokes, ink wash, texture, crayon and pencil marks, and is equally well suited for digital imaging. Plates can be also imaged directly with a laser printer or a photocopier. In both cases, plates should be heated to produce a stable lithographic printing surface. Although still relatively unknown the medium is set to become one of the most popular forms of printing.

White Line Etching
This technique carves the image in mostly thin lines. The block is printed in the normal way, so that most of the print is black with the image created by white lines. Essentially, this is a dark-to-light technique whereby the white areas are cut away.

Relief Techniques
Relief printing is a process where protruding surface faces of the printing plate or block are inked; recessed areas are ink free. Printing the image is therefore a relatively simple matter of inking the face of the matrix and bringing it in firm contact with the paper. A printing-press may not be needed as the back of the paper can be rubbed or pressed by hand with a simple tool such as a brayer or roller.

The matrix in relief printing is classically created by starting with a flat original surface, and then removing (e.g., by carving) away areas intended to print white. The remaining areas of the original surface receive the ink.

Chine collé
Chine-collé is a special technique in printmaking, in which the image is transferred to a surface that is bonded to a heavier support in the printing process. One purpose is to allow the printmaker to print on a much more delicate surface, such as Japanese paper or linen, which pulls finer details off the plate. Another purpose is to provide a background colour behind the image that is different from the surrounding backing sheet.

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Learn about the instructor: Susan Soper

I have been a printmaker for 20 years after printmaking “found” me in the middle of Wyoming. I really enjoy sharing printmaking techniques. Its always such an adventure teaching, whether for youth or adults.

I am offering this series of Sampler classes to showcase the diversity of printmaking techniques available to artists.  My personal favorite techniques for my own work are Waterless Lithography and Stone Lithography.  I also enjoy experimenting with linoleum cuts and learning new processes to incorporate into classes.

A great teaching moment is when the student pulls her first print and I get to see the surprise and smiles. Also I love when I see the “lightbulb” light up a student’s face and they say ” Now I get how this works!”

About Mary Kay Kennedy

Development & Communications Manager

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