Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cyclamen Relief Print

Cyclamen Relief Print 15 x 17 cm

I'm going to stop being a snob about art materials. I recently bought some Japanese Relief Printing Vinyl from Intaglio Printmaker in London but was really expecting it not to be as good as traditional lino. I thought it would probably look like a rubber stamp. Guess what? It cut like butter. I was able to make much finer and sharper marks than I can in lino. My tools kept their edge. It took the oil-based etching ink like a dream. Finally, I was able to run it through the etching press without using tracks. It prints the ink as smooth as velvet. I guess you can tell I'm sold. Now I need a purist to tell me if I can still call this a lino print.

Japanese relief printing vinyl - double sided.

The vinyl block has a black core which makes it very easy to see the progress of the cutting.

Printed on Magnani paper

Print with model

We've had three pots of cyclamen miraculously blooming on our kitchen windowsill right through winter. The windowsill never gets any sun. Nothing else wants to live there. As Spring arrived so did a pigeon that proceeded to decapitate every single bloom on the red cyclamen. We removed it. The pigeon started on the pink flowers. He/she seemed just to be dropping the blooms on the ground two storeys below. Then I started finding them under the building opposite where the pigeons roost in the roof. I still don't know if the flowers were being used in a courting ritual, for nest decoration, food or whether it is a wilful act of vandalism. Does anyone know?

We gave in finally and moved the surviving plants to the garden terrace where I sketched them for the relief print.


Jennifer Rose said...

odd about the the pigeon and the flowers. would be interested on finding out more.

well its the same technique so don't see why you couldn't call it a lino print? really neat that the core is black, would make some things so much easier.

i really like the texture you have going on in the white parts of the leaves.

Jeanette said...

The results are often not in the tools but in the hands of the maker. If you could make prints with pigeons, (which you may try soon) I'm sure they'd come out well.

I love cyclamens but never have luck growing them. They drop like flies without the help of birds. Your print works beautifully and has a lovely, delicate feel to it. I especially love the leaf patterning.

Robyn said...

Jennifer - Thank you. I have hopes that a pigeon fancier will turn up and enlighten us.

Jeanette - LOL, I didn't make the fish printing connection. Yes, I think if he attacks the alternative pots I've just put on the sill, I'll definitely be trying pigeon printing. And thank you for your generous comment.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is the stuff I mentioned. AT first, I hated it, but that's probably because it doesn't need the pressure that lino cutting does. If you don't cut too deeply you can use the reverse side. I think(though have not tried!)if you planned the print you could cut on one side and then cut-for-embossing on the reverse. But only when sober!

I've seen pigeons in London pick up objects like toffee wrappers as courting offerings so you may be right.

vivien said...

pigeon printing sounds a good idea!

I can't grow cyclamen :>(

These are really lovely and yes, it's just an update on lino and perfectly valid. I haven't seen the stuff with a black core but it sounds perfect - would you send me a link Robyn?

I've used the vinyl (no black core though) and like you I thought it was wonderful and SO much easier on the hands and blades and it took the ink beautifully.

Robyn said...

Dinah - I still don't understand what you mean by 'cut for embossing on the reverse side'. It does embossing very well on the right side in the etching press.

Vivien - Many thanks. The link to the vinyl is now in the post. I'll email it as well.

Joan said...

Robyn - I love the details you were able to cut in this one!!! This one is amazing!!!

janie said...

beautifully fluid and delicate.Your cassanova pigeon must be disgusted his supply of love tokens has been removed:)

Lindsay said...

Hey, I know that back yard! Lovely new prints Robyn.

herhimnbryn said...

Here via Art Propelled...
Lino print definately! Very beautiful and such fine detail.
Reading of your pigeons reminds me of the parrots here, nipping off the eucalypt blossom. My garden has been carpeted with flowers recently.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Robyn...brain malfunctioning.
I mean that, because both sides are usable, an image could be printed, then complimentary cuts made on the reverse side and run through the press to emboss the (now dried,of course!) print.Another level of fiddling, I suppose, but I don't see why it would not work.

Anonymous said...

A lovely cyclamen Robyn! You've become quite "The printer" (I think I'm repeating myself; have aid this before?
I think your pigeaon is asking for attention...you're obviosuly devoting much more time to the cyclamen than to him?

Sharon said...

So dramatic and graphic. Really beautiful Robyn.

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Don't kow why so many of you say you have trouble growing cyclamens. I find they do best on the kitchen windowsill above the taps - so I think the steam from the hot tap must have an effect, for I have had the same pots of cyclamen growing year after year.
Wonderful print Robyn - glorious design and, as you say, such sharp shapes. Are they going to be coloured, like your wonderful duck and torquoise chair I fell in love with in an earlier post. ?

Quase Blog da Li said...

em português:
Lindos Ciclames, leves e delicados.
Acredito que os pombos também querem ser os próximos modelos.
desculpe minha horrível tradução.

Beautiful cyclamen, light and delicate.
I believe that pigeons also want to be the next models.
Excuse my horrible translation :(

Amie Roman said...

What a spectacular print!! I love it. And I've never seen that kind of vinyl in real life, but have seen other printmakers online who use it. What a neat thing that it has a black core!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great product to me. I must see if any of the art shops have it here. Doubt it. I've never seen it. I love this print - it's just fabulous.

Robyn said...

Wendy - Many thanks :) I was pleased with this one. Now I'm trying to come up with something to partner it with.

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