Digital Printmaking Workshop

Last Saturday (17th November) I went along to a Digital Prinmaking Workshop at the University of Central Lancashire and learnt some of the processes and techniques which Katsutoshi Yuasa uses for his stunning woodcuts – His work  is currently on display at The Harris Museum & Art Gallery as part of the Digital Aesthetic 3 exhibition.

The workshop was run by the three curators of the Digital Aesthetic 3 printmaking show - Tracy Hill, Magda Stawarska-Beavan and David Henckel

In the morning we were given a brief overview of the Digital Aesthetic3  exhibition and a deeper understanding of Katsutoshi Yuasa and Christine Baugmartners work. Both use digital images to create their handmade woodcut prints. I was particularly interested in Christines work as she takes photographs of video footage on the TV screen – introducing another level of mediation as well as an interesting interplay between the lines on the screen and the handcut lines on the wood.

Its worth watching this video where she explains the subject matter and process.

All the partcipants of the workshop brought a digital image to work with and we used a halftoning process in photoshop to turn this image into stark black and white lines. This was then printed onto tracing paper and the image exposed onto a silkscreen.

After a welcome coffee break Magda, Tracy and David showed us how to print the image onto a piece of lino and we all got have a go at Screenprinting.

The afternoon was spent carefully carving the image out of the vinyl – quite painstaking but also meditative. Their was a wide range of imagery brought to the workshop, my favourite has to be Michael Gove and it was hilarious watching his face being gouged out of the vinyl.

The afternoon was interspersed with coffee/chatter and concentration which provided an excellent opprotunity for artists from different backgrounds to get to know each other.

Once we’d carved out our image we learnt how to ink up the vinyl, soak and blot our paper

and how to use the press to transfer the image.

It was a thoruoghly enjoyable and informative day which gave everyone a taste of three different processes (digital manipulation, screenprinting and linocut) – made even more interesting by its connection to a current exhibition. More of that please!!

If you are interested in print then have a look at Artlab Contemporary Print  and the Talking Prints series of lectures which Magda and Tracy run out of the Universities excellent printmaking workshops.