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  • Merrythought Village, Ironbridge, TF8 7NJ
  • 01952 434033
  • Fine Art Printmaking Gallery Since 1980

Author Archives: jenny


ironbridge framing

Blog Questions about Platemaking, Inking & Printing Presses.

Have YOU got any Printing, inking or etching press question you would like answering?

Send them to me at jenny@ironbridgefinearts.co.uk

Here is one.

Question –  

I’ve had a lot of use with the press and very much enjoy it. I hope u don’t mind me asking a quick question? Whenever I use any other colour other than black to print my Lino I get a strange texture on certain areas. I’ve tried different papers and Lino’s. It’s baffling me. Pic below. The ink is the calico safe wash. Sorry to bother you but any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

 

Etching press blog

Answer – 

Are you using the soft cut lino? It looks as though the plate is moving when you are printing it. Softcut lino squashes and becomes a different shape when you put pressure onto it. With less dense colours you will see the shift.If I am right and you want to stop this from happening, then you just cover the entire back of the plate with superglue and stick it down to wood or plastic, this will ensure it will not change shape when printing it.

(The customer answered and said yes he washing soft cut and he took my suggestions and he got the results he wanted)

Etching printing press

Frequently asked Questions when buying an Etching Press.

Frequently asked Questions and answers when buying an Etching Press.

Printmaker with Etching press

We thought that it would be useful to list many questions that we are asked from new customers looking to purchase a printing press. This way you can have a good read and if you still have questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. On the right is a picture with Printmaker Lesley Treloar with her No 2 Etching Press.

Question – Your etching press comes with one blanket, and at uni I have been using only one blanket quite well, however we tend to only use the etching press for etchings and we use another etching press for relief printing.  Is it possible to use this etching press for relief printing?  And if so how is this possible?  I do have a book press I have been using for relief printing at home and had good results but it is very hard work!

Answer – Our presses are multi-printing presses which mean they print everything you can get between the rollers. Our presses include the PVC printing matt and the runners so that you can change from printing intaglio to relief, it is quick and easy to change the press and reset the pressure to accommodate the different plates. The printing instruction manual that comes with the press explains exactly what to use with what plate from 2mm float glass to very thick woodblocks. Our presses are easy and our moto is – least amount of pressure for the best print as you will want to preserve your plate and get as many prints from them as you can. Too much pressure can ruin your plate! 

Question – What is the benefit of having three blankets?  I have used multiple blankets before in an etching press but it was a long time ago and I cannot remember why we used three.

Answer – It is reported that Piccasso used his direct drive press with many blankets when he was printing his abstract collagraphs. You can use as many or as little as you like but here is a link to our guide which tells you what to use for what plate, and explains what each blanket is used for and the meaning of swanskin blankets.

Question – What is the dimensions of the top roller?

Answer – Our top stainless steel roller is 4 inches diameter which is a lovely size. 

Question – Will your presses print as good as the heavy immovable cast etching presses?

Answer – Our presses are portable and built using stainless and mild fabricated steel, unlike the immovable cast presses which were built to print using weight, our presses are built to put pressure on a plate using engineering instead of weight. Our presses not only print as well as the heavy machines but they also are portable and multi printers, printing everything you can put between the rollers which includes Dry-points, etchings, solar plates, collagraphs, monoprints, monotypes any thickness of woodblocks, linos, reductions, Japanese ply, carborundum, photopolymer, mezzotint, letterpress and anything in between.

Question – If I want to emboss objects such as natural materials does this ruin the etching press?  I am working with feathers and leaves?

Answer – The top roller is stainless steel so the only way you will ruin the roller is by forcing another piece of metal through the roller to try and dent it. Stainless steel is one of the strongest metals in the world so no you will not ruin the press by printing any material that is softer than steel.

Your bed is made of lacquered mild steel and again will not mark or dent easily, you would have to intentionally put another metal object into the press and forcefully put it through the rollers in order to ruin the press.

Question – Is it possible to collect an etching press and materials from your store?  My husband had a landrover, but how heavy is the etching press and is it likely we would be able to carry etching the press 40m to our home from the road? 

Answer – Yes you can collect from us, we will take your press apart, wrap it and pack it into your car for you This way when you get back to your own studio you will be able to put it back together again quickly and easily. The press can be taken apart very quickly and easily and each part can be moved quickly and easily. The weight of the total press is on the bottom of each press page but you tell us which press you are interested in we can send you the weights of each individual piece.

Question – How easy is it to put the etching press together?  

Answer – Our Gunning etching press comes in parts so it is quick and easy to take it apart and put it back together again. The printing bed, the stand, the star or round wheel, the blanket and the runners. Most customers purchase a registration bed with the press as well as this makes your life as a printmaker much easier as it helps you register paper and plates.

Question – Before “ virus times” I had planned to visit you in Ironbridge to look at a No 1 Etching Press can I visit you now?

Answer – Following government guidelines we can open mid June as long as we are abiding by the law of social distancing and keeping you our customers and our staff safe, so yes we will be doing demos again, making sure the social distancing is kept at al times. Our studio and gallery is a large beautiful space so this will not be a problem.

Question – I have some questions ref this to help me take it forward . I would be grateful for your help and advice, can I call you?

Answer – Yes please call when ever you like the number is 01952 434033 and the etching presses and workshops are option 2 You will come through to either Dave Mason-Gunning, Jenny Mason-Gunning or Nathan Griffith. Dave and Jenny are specialist printmakers and Nathan is a printmaking assistant. If we do not answer please leave a message and we will call you back as soon as we are free. If you would like to arrange a WhatsApp, FaceTime or Zoom meeting or demo this will need to be organised and put into the diary.

Question – Do you have a No 1 Etching Press available or what would be your lead time?

Answer – Our lead time varies depending on how many presses we have to make at the time – usually we have between 3 and 6 presses a week to make, and we normally have a 6 week waiting list. If you have a specific deadline that you need to meet please get in touch with us as quick as you can and we will do our best to work with your deadline.

Question – What are the current delivery options, and costs

Answer – Here is a link to our page on our website that explains the delivery options for you and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Question – Is a set up demo still available (socially distant?)

Answer – Yes we are still doing the delivery and set ups with a demo but we have to abide by the social distancing rules.

Question – How much does the star wheel protrude (measurements)

Answer – The star Wheel is 48 inches in total but we can make you a star wheel to fit in your room or to any size you like larger or smaller.

Question – Relative merits of star wheel versus large or small round wheel please?

Answer – They are both great to use however you have to reach for every spoke on the star wheel, which is fine but the round wheel just slides through your hands. Plus there are no spokes to bump into on the round wheel and it looks brilliant and feels lovely to use.

Question – Dimensions of the stand on the etching press, I would be looking for shelf and locking wheel option please?

Answer – All of our standard size presses and our bespoke presses have their own stands and we can make them for you with locking wheels so you can move the press around easily or you can have a static stand. We can make you a stand to any size as we cut and weld the stands. The size of each model is with the press information.

Question – Merits of extra blankets ( would be looking for extra 2)

Answer – Here is our Etching press blankets and runners guide — it explains the answer in full here

Question – Is the roller able to adjust for wood engraving block …. most of my work is of varying thicknesses, from 2mm through to 50mm

Answer – Yes your press will print any plate that you can get through the rollers up to around 50mm

Do you have any questions that you want answering? Please email or ring us.

 

park

Printmaking by Gunning Etching Press Owners – Featuring Eric Gaskell

Eric purchased a No 2 press from us a few years ago, Eric is a very meticulous printmaker and his technical and artistic ability is just excellent!

His website link is here.

Eric writes… I have been making and exhibiting since 1980 and believe good draftsmanship to be a prerequisite of good art. I always have a drawing book in use, drawing from life and experience, the “life” helps to realise form and structure, while the “experience” lets me move ideas forward.

Although my work is relatively figurative it is about the making process. I am interested in how a picture develops so I let shape and colour, texture and mark suggest the next, letting the image dictate and change the form. I like swapping ideas between works, from drawing to paint to print. If a mark or a colour works on one, I use it on others. When I paint (which is rare these days) I use acrylics to form the base, then oil to develop textures, pattern and line. These paintings tend to either influence or have been influenced by printmaking and it is linocut that has become an important part of my life. The graphic, immediate mark-making coupled with the slow development of the print process so far suits the way I think.

 

 

print

Printmaking by Gunning Etching Press Owners – Featuring Emma Louise Pinnock

Emma Louise Pinnock Printmaking

Emma is an artist printmaker, and art teacher born and bred in Gateshead but currently working in Manchester. Emma purchased a Little Thumper Etching press from us around 5 years ago and we think her lamp shades as well as her lino work is really brilliant. If you want to see more of Emmas work go to her website or Facebook.

“After teaching for a number of years I decided that I wanted to move away from the classroom and develop my own art work.

The major part of my work is lino cut, printing on paper.  This technique is all about the process of cutting away the layers to reveal the image.  You can never be sure how the design will work until the board is actually printed and I enjoy being surprised by the results.  Alongside my prints I am starting to develop and sell my drawing work, moving away from architecture and looking more at seascapes and landscapes.

I also want to expand my printing to include textiles and see how my work can translate to 3D.”

Emma’s work has been shown in Edinburgh at the West End Art Fair and The Assembly Rooms as well as local art and craft shows.  She regularly accepts private commissions for wedding and birth announcements as well as one-off print designs.  If you are looking for a unique bespoke gift then please contact Emma for quotes and to discuss details.  You can also follow her on Instagram and Facebook-on Facebook there are a couple of videos showing Emma working on Lino cuts.

 

Lino Print coming off a ironbridge etching press

Local B&B purchases loads of etchings to fill her walls.

Local B &B owner purchased many etchings from us for her walls of her beautiful B&B in Ironbridge.

We bespoke framed for her and then went and hung them her as well

Customer Jules Anne Darby wrote the following ”Really happy when the Guests was admiring Jenny Gunning and Dave Gunning pictures!! They went down a bloody treat! What a fantastic idea ! ???

lino regitration

Registration

Registration is a very important part of printing and some printmakers can make a great big deal about how they register their plates, making their lives complicated and costly! Over the years we have seen some corkers! Here at Ironbridge Fine Arts we have some fantastic ways of registering that are not costly and are easy, once you know how!

If you want to know how then get in touch!

Our registration systems include registering all intaglio and relief plates both reductions and multi-plates.

etching press  Jenny Gunning Etching  Jenny Gunning Printmaking

Print from an etching plate

How to make an Intaglio Etching plate by Jenny Gunning

Here is a great How to from Jenny Gunning. Step by step how to make an Intaglio plate…

 

Helen Arthur Printmaker

Printmaking by Gunning Etching Press Owners

  Not long ago I became the very happy of owner of an A1 Gunning press – installed by the crack team Jenny and Nathan. There’s me, photographed in my studio with my press whom I call Dolly. She’s the good looking one.

The Gunning team offered invaluable support and set me up on the day – a service I heartily recommend. They continued to offer superb aftersales advice. I also go to Jenny and the excellent shop for lino supplies.

I’ve only recently established Skirrid Print Studio as a public space. I was inspired to create a working studio when I moved to our new home in Longtown, Herefordshire, as our stone-built farmhouse had an annexe crying out for renovation. I opened the doors to the public on June 14th 2019.

I’m not sure if it’s the novelty factor but I’ve already taught 8 linocut craft courses with more bookings in the diary. (Offering mainly family printmaking workshops as well and some 2:1 and 1:1 sessions.) I decided that I would aim to focus on the family and kids market, so that I wasn’t pilfering custom from other wonderful printmaking teachers in the area. And I can’t offer teaching to large groups as my space is a bit on the cosy side.

You can see from this lovely photo of Tilly, aged 5, that it’s already been a huge success. The recently realised that my new job is all about making people happy. What a blessing.

I do sell some prints from my studio, but also to 2 retailers and online at Etsy – mshop is still very much a work in progress with lots of republishing to do, which will always be the way if you want to keep it fresh.

I’ve had such a steep learning curve (apart from being a self taught artist!) – how to :

* give my prints a professional appearance for sale

* how to market craft courses as well as sell work

* how to teach (!)
* how to optimise social media and searchability (endless hours of screenwork I’m afraid)

Finally I’m participating in H-Art (my first county-wide open studio) with The Print Shed in Madley. You’re warmly invited to the launch party on 4 September from 6.30pm – if you happen to be in the area. 🙂

Kind wishes and thanks to Jenny and the team for all their brilliant work. They’re inspirational.

Happy printing to you all.

Helen Arthur

bar

Places to Stay and Eat when you visit us

Here is a great list for you of places to stay and eat in Ironbridge. If you need any other help just give us an email or call.

We have so many people travel from all over the World to come and see us and we think its very important where you stay and eat so here are our suggestions.

The Foundry Masters House B & B (Parking, excellent rooms and brilliant breakfasts)

The Library House, Ironbridge. B & B (Lovely Rooms and setting) There is no parking but your very welcome to park in our parking space outside the Gallery (gates are closed at 10pm and open at 7am in the morning, no access in between times) No charge but park at own risk.
The White Heart Ironbridge. Hotel and Bar (great food, staff and atmosphere, great rooms) There is no parking but your very welcome to park in our parking space outside the Gallery (gates are closed at 10pm and open at 7am in the morning, no access in between times) No charge but park at own risk.
The Malt House Ironbridge – A great pub and excellent food and they have rooms as well if you wish to stay there with Parking.

And here are some suggestions as to where to eat when you are here.The White Heart Ironbridge.– this is really really good food and service.

The Swan Ironbridge – Great Smoke house if you like a lot of meat.

Restaurant Severn – Fine Dining – but you have to pre-book weeks in advance

The Malt House Ironbridge – Parking and great pub and excellent food and they have rooms as well if you wish to stay there.

Spindle Rollers

Competition Time to win a spindle roller

We’re launching a competition to win one of our finest Soft Blue Nutrile Rubber, 25 Shore Spindles rollers worth £180! ?

You can ink up all relief plates with this beautiful roller, #lino #woodblocks #letterpress #etchingsinrelief #viscocityprinting #linoreduction #woodblockreduction #photetching #collagraphplates
 
To enter, simply post the best 3 prints that you have pulled, using your Gunning Etching printing press from 2019 tagging us on Instagram @Ironbridgeprintmakers and include #gunningetchingpress
 
Or if you would prefer to post on Facebook then post your short movie or photo @IronbridgeFineArts https://www.facebook.com/IronbridgeFineArts/
 
We are looking forward to seeing all your prints!
Competition closes at 12pm on Monday 24th February when a winner will be drawn. Good luck!
https://www.ironbridgeframing.co.uk/gunningarts-printing-presses/
 
#etchingprint #printmakers #printmaking #etchingart #etchingpress #linoprint #etchingprint #aquatint #collographprint #UK #reliefpresses #etchingprintingpresses #gunningetchingpresses