18th - 19th March: Greenwich Visit & Relief Printing

Having been asked to take a trip to somewhere unknown over the weekend, I took a trip to Greenwich with some classmates. We attended the Dark Universe show at the Greenwich Observatory. It was a really interesting show as the projection was to the rounded ceiling providing us with the feeling as if we were actually going through space. After the show we walked around Greenwich and I took some photos which would be used for my relief print. I found the exhibition of extraterrestrial  photography to be very interesting and wanted to base my relief print off of that. 

It was my first time trying out relief print and I have found that I like it a lot. I wish that we would have had more time and opportunities to try it again. The difference with relief print and lino print is that relief print can create all sorts of textures which I wanted to take full advantage of. Having already stuck the mount boards together yesterday night, I got into the drawing and cutting of the relief prints much faster. The best tip that Umberto gave me was to cut at a 45 degree angle. This way it would be much more stable for the pieces that were left behind and also easier to remove the pieces. 

The rest of the day was spent cutting out our designs. I wanted to do something simple that relied more on the textures rather than the actual content of what was cut out so I decided to create a piece inspired by photography I saw outside of the Dark Universe showing. For the light and galaxies in the sky, I only cut half as deep and ripped the top few layers off and gradually less and less so that it would fade to black. I am really happy with my stencil and I cannot wait to print it. 

The next day we printed out the relief prints that we cut out yesterday. It was a very fun process and we had a lot of teamwork on our part to get the job done faster. The press which was used is one which I have never used before as I expected a roller. I was very happy with my relief print as it came out but since the ink was oil based it would take a lot longer for it to dry completely. However, I viewed this relief print as just experimentation with materials and it doesn’t seem to connect to my overall project a lot. It was a great experience though and hopefully in the future I will be able to try woodcut which is similar to relief printing. 

Some things that I learnt through relief printing were to be careful with the cuts that you make as the mount board is made of layers of paper which can detach from each other when rolling ink on and get caught in the roller. This didn’t happen to me but it happened to some of my classmates and they managed to lose bits of their mount board because it wasn’t attached well enough. Also, relief prints can only be used a limited amount of times as the mount board itself will start to depress through the press. These are tips that I can remember for the future. 

I also worked on another lino cut, this time of a girl covered in dream catchers as they are a form of protection against spirits. I asked friends about what types of superstitions or talismans that they keep or kept as a child and many of them answered with dream catchers. Using the same methods as before, I heated up the lino up to make sure that it was easier to cut. I wanted to try printing on different materials so I sourced several different types of paper and hand outs which I have collected. I found that the lino cut printed perfectly onto a sheet of paper designed to look like wood, which was fitting as knocking on wood is a sign of protection just like the dream catchers which the girl is adorned with. 

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