High Peeks is an original intaglio, relief, silk screen print, and drawing on mulberry paper on panel in five to six colors.
To print an intaglio plate, we use softened paper (paper soaked in water and blotted) and a series of wool blankets to push the paper into the crevices of the plate as it goes through the press.
The result is a physically textured print that is a mirror image of the plate.
For High Peeks, I made two kinds of intaglio plates:
ImagOn is a photosensitive film.
I adhered the film to four Plexiglas plates, one for each of the colors I wanted to print: peach/yellow, green, blue, and black.
I placed a different transparency (an opaque image on a transparent background, like the one to the left) on each plate, and exposed them to light.
Light hardens ImagOn. Since the transparency image blocked light from reaching the ImagOn, those areas washed away when I developed the plates, leaving shallow recesses in the shape of the image that I could ink.
To create an intaglio Solarplate:
1. I placed a stochastic screen (random dot pattern on a transparent background) on the plate and exposed the two to light.
2. Next, I exposed the key block transparency I made for the ImagOn plates on the plate.
3. Then, I developed the plate. Like ImagOn, light hardens Solarplate. Anything hidden under the transparency image, however, remains soluble and washes away in the developer. The result is a smooth coppery plate with the transparency image bitten into it.
More information on intaglio printing
For High Peeks, I made two relief plates whose pieces fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.
- After tracing the print on two 1/2″ thick pine plywood boards, I used a jigsaw to cut out each of the colored parts on the print.
- I then adhered the green shapes to one piece of tempered masonite and the pink and yellow shapes to another piece, keeping the parts I didn’t use on the side.
- To ink the plates, I rolled ink over each plate, and then replaced the extra parts. Without the extra bits, the paper stretched too much in the press.
- To print the plates, I aligned my printing paper to the green block first, put backing paper on top, and then another sheet of masonite, and cranked the pile through the press. I then printed the pink/yellow block in the same manner.
The pressure of the press transferred the ink to the paper, making a mirror image of the plate.
More information on relief printing
Images are made by blocking out parts of the mesh. We call this a stencil. There are all sorts of ways to make stencils. For High Peeks, I painted directly on the screen with a paint called screen filler.
To ink and print the silk screen, I placed my screen in a set of hinges on a table and set up a method for aligning my panels under the screen. Then, I placed a print under the screen, lifted the screen a buit, coated it with ink (called flooding the screen), lowered it to touch the print, & then squeegeed the ink through the screen, lifted it and flooded it again before removing the print.
More information on silk screen printing
Information on multi-color printmaking
High Peeks is a split edition, meaning there are two separate editions using the same plates.
I made one edition for a print portfolio, which is a collection of prints following a theme. Numbering 1/25-25/25, this edition was printed on mulberry paper using the Solarplate and relief blocks mentioned above.
The other edition, numbering I/XXVI-XXVI/XXVI e.v. is printed on mulberry paper adhered to panel and uses both versions of intaglio plates mentioned above, the relief plates, the silk screen, painting and drawing.
- E.V. is an abbreviation for édition variée (varied edition), which means that there are variances in the prints. In this edition, the number of layers varies, as does the intensity and hue of the ink. Some prints even have layers printed upside down.
More information on editions