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Tag Archives: Gunningetchingpress


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Printing with Stef: Savouring The Seasons

Savouring The Seasons – mezzotints and wrens    – Stefanie Smith

I think that to actually catch a glimpse of a tiny wren, is magical.  One of the smallest of our UK birds, it certainly makes sure that it is one of the loudest, as its trill fills the air with an impatience to be heard.  But to see one hop merrily through the trees always feels like a real treat.

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As I wander through my favourite woodland, the chorus of bird song is almost overwhelming and as always, this time of year seems to completely overload the senses….in a good way.  I always come back to my studio filled with anticipation of where my work will go next and I cannot help but to be led by the need to savour the seasons.  And so, when I sit, with my studio door open, my sketchbook fills with sketches of wrens and before long I am working at my next mezzotint plate.

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I must admit, I’ve got used to the speed of inking up my recent solar plates and then whizzing them through the Little Thumper.  Trying to get the variety of tones and details in the feathers that I really want is testing me now, as it’s been a while since I sat and gently scraped at a copper mezzotint plate. The process was really tricky without a decent press, as I need to test the plate regularly to see if I have scraped back enough to get the tones that I need. Now, I have the utter luxury of being able to do this.  Each time I’m sure that I’ve got it though, as I run it through the press, I realise that I’m being far too gentle. This is what I love though- scraping and burnishing becomes a form of meditating.  Test prints litter every surface and although I’m not there yet, a wren is starting to appear.

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Picture of Stefanie Smith

Stefanie Smith

Stefanie Smith
Painter & Printmaker
You will find me in the woods, listening for birds and looking for the tiny details that each season has to offer, often with a sketchbook in hand.
Born in London and raised in Hertfordshire, I graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 2000 with a degree in Applied & Media Art and the following year trained to be an Art and Design teacher, specialising in printmaking.
Now settled in Surrey, my work, inspired by beautiful local surroundings, often starts in paint but finishes in various printmaking techniques – particularly mezzotint and collagraph.
I exhibit with Surrey Artists and have been included in the V&A, London ‘Inspired By’ exhibition and New Designers in Islington, London. More recently, I have exhibited with Ironbridge Fine Arts as part of their Printmakers exhibition 2023.

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Printing with Stef: My Inspiration

The woods are without doubt my favourite place to be. Each path that I walk changes constantly as the seasons turn, and on each walk, I savour the details as I mull over how I can translate these moments into a sketch and then a print.

This week the birds have been competing with each other and the air has been filled with a cacophony of song.  On the floor of the woods, ferns are beginning to unfurl; their fronds a vibrant, emerald green next to the brittle, brown leaves that beech and oak trees discarded last autumn. If I’m lucky I will see some fungi, seeking the light after the torrent of rain that has fallen from the April skies.

printing with stef my inspiration

Between blades of grass, still glistening from rain, delicate Pleated Inkcaps stand.  These tiny parasols are also known as Japanese Umbrellas.  They have a very short 24 hour life span – appearing after rain has fallen, they mature, spread their spores and then….gone.  When I visited the same spot the following day, they were just a photograph on my camera. 

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Transferring these photos (alongside memories of muddy knees and stings from nettles, to obtain an image of sun lighting their delicate gills) to solar plates seems the perfect way to preserve such fleeting beauty and just a simple inking using Ironbridge Printmakers Intaglio Ink in Green-Black, gives me the print that I’m looking for. 

As the Little Thumper press works its magic, I look round at the prints littered around my studio – a ‘troop’ of Pleated Inkcaps that will last far longer than the real deal.

Stef printing on gunning etching press blog 1

Printing with Stef: Getting to know my press.

I’m not a stranger to printmaking and presses- I specialised in the subject when training to be an art teacher in 2000. As a process it was exciting and I longed to take the whole package into my classroom and spread the printmaking magic. My first classroom even had an etching press bolted to the floor, but it stood forlornly and looked on at the hustle and bustle without ever really being involved. It had no blankets and needed some tlc that our meagre department budget could ill afford. When I did try to get it going, it was so heavy and unwilling, that my students and I decided to leave it be.

stef studio including little thumper etching press
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As time has passed, I have used spaghetti-making machines and portable presses that left my palms sore and indented with their turning wheel. With no real weight behind them, I have always been disappointed by the lack of oomph in them and the missing magic of the print reveal.

I first tried a Gunning press on a collagraph course by Jenny Gunning and my mind was blown. This is how a press should actually work. For those of us old enough, you could compare it to slipping behind the wheel of a car with power steering, after driving an older car without for many years.

I knew immediately that my life would be infinitely better with the addition of a Gunning press to my own studio and although I  couldn’t love my studio more, space is an issue. I teach regularly in there and so often have students work  amongst my own work and countless materials. I loved the larger press but it would absolutely not be feasible for me.

My  work is usually on the smaller side, copper plate mezzotints often,  A4 maximum and so when I saw the Little Thumper I knew it was the answer.

This utter beauty is already making a huge difference to my life as a printmaker. My hands have been saved from gripping the ridiculously small wheel of my previous press for a start. It has taken some getting used to though. My brain needed to make it hard at first, as that really is what I’ve known for so long. It has been tricky gliding the plate through as I wait nervously to see if that smooth, easy action really is enough to get a really good quality print. And it is. And this is just the beginning…..

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stefanie smith printing gunning etching press
Picture of Stefanie Smith

Stefanie Smith

You will find me in the woods, listening for birds and looking for the tiny details that each season has to offer, often with a sketchbook in hand.
Born in London and raised in Hertfordshire, I graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 2000 with a degree in Applied & Media Art and the following year trained to be an Art and Design teacher, specialising in printmaking.
Now settled in Surrey, my work, inspired by beautiful local surroundings, often starts in paint but finishes in various printmaking techniques – particularly mezzotint and collagraph.
I exhibit with Surrey Artists and have been included in the V&A, London ‘Inspired By’ exhibition and New Designers in Islington, London. More recently, I have exhibited with Ironbridge Fine Arts as part of their Printmakers exhibition 2023.

Moatzart Ironbridge fine arts Blog Feature

Gunning press printmaker of the week – Alexandra Motiu

This weeks Gunning press printmaker is the incredibly talented Alexandra who runs her business Moatart. Alexandra is a passionate printmaker who rekindled her love for printmaking during the pandemic and has been hooked since. Creating the most wonderful lino-cut prints that tell wonderful little stories with in them.

Tell us about yourself…Moatzart Ironbridge fine arts Blog Feature

“I’m a printmaker and illustrator living in Brighton, UK, originally from Romania! I specialise in relief printmaking and have been doing this full time for two years, and part-time for the past year! I have finished an arts degree and have been working in the arts since, and am now doing an Illustration MA at UAL!”

How did you or your organization get into printmaking?

“I was introduced to etching in my teens by a well-known Romanian painter and printmaker called Matei Serban Sandu. I did this on and off for a couple of years, but I then never had the opportunity to do this again, as I chose a very conceptual course for my art degree. I did Fine Art Critical Practice at Brighton University, so my work was very different then. During lockdown, I, as everyone, had a lot of time on my hands so I started making relief prints, and I just never stopped! It all snowballed and became a full blown business and career!”

Moatzart Ironbridge fine arts Blog Feature Moatzart Ironbridge fine arts Blog Feature

How would you describe your artwork? 

“I would say that my work always involves people. I love woefully strange characters, and overly detailed and ornate prints! And I love illustrating stories too! Definitely quite surreal and I think my aim is to keep people looking, where every time they look they discover something new!”

Moatzart Ironbridge fine arts Blog FeatureHow do you plan to take your artwork forward?

“Having started this Masters course in illustration I am hoping to be making more and more work, hopefully ultimately to be able to illustrate books! I want to get more familiar with reduction printing as I love colour, as well as experiment with etching again, which I get to do on my course and at home with my beautiful Gunning Press! I love delving into seriously complicated topics, so my Heaven and Hell series is taking front stage at the moment!”

Why did you feel a Gunning Etching press was the best fit for you and your artwork?

“I firstly really needed to print volume, and to get more consistent results than printing by hand! I also wanted to use professional printmaking paper as opposed to thinner alternatives, as I was started selling my work in art galleries! I can print up to 150 prints in one day on my beautiful press! I also wanted the variety it provides, as it can print virtually any printmaking technique! I expect to have my press for life, so I didn’t want to be limited to just relief!”Moatzart Ironbridge fine arts Blog Feature

What’s your favourite feature on the Gunning Etching press that helps your printmaking process?

“The Registration bed is such a stunningly beautiful addition to it, I love how useful and beautiful it is, and how well it protects the press too! Haha this is a small detail, but I love that I can turn the tommy bars without having to move the press away from the wall, as they also turn inwards, but I work in a small studio space and I was so happy about this!”

Most printmakers has a name for their press, does your Gunning etching press have a nickname?

“I still don’t! I know one day I had such a brilliant idea that I have forgotten, and I keep trying to remember! I think I should just think of a new one! I am so bad at naming things!”

What would you say to someone thinking about purchasing a Gunning etching press?

“It is without a doubt one of the best investments I have ever made as an early career professional printmaker!”

Moatzart Ironbridge fine arts Blog FeatureWhere can our readers find your work? 

“My website is www.moatzart.co.uk, and that’s where you can also subscribe to my monthly newsletter for news about all of this! That is also where you can find my shop!

You can also find me in IO Gallery in Brighton UK, with some of my work in the Fabrica Gallery shop in Brighton too!”

Any other comments you would like to share with our blog readers?

“I really hope original print techniques become more and more known! If you love this process, as a hobby or as a collector, share your passion far and wide!”

 

 

To see more off  Alexandra’s work you can find her at…

Website: http://www.moatzart.co.uk
Blog: http://www.moatzart.co.uk/blog 
Shop: http://www.moatzart.co.uk/shop 

Instagram: @moatzaart
Facebook: @moatzaart
Twitter: @TheMoatzart
Pinterest: @TheMoatzart
Youtube: TheMoatzartAlexandra
Tiktok: @moatzaart

Thank you for reading!

Happy Printmaking!

All the best,

Ellie & The Team!

Picture of Ellie Williams

Ellie Williams

Ellie is a part of the Ironbridge Fine Arts team and has been for over three years, serving as an administrative professional and a printmaking assistant. With a specialised background and a BA (HONS) in Textile Design specialising in screen print & surface pattern design, her expertise enhances the vibrant, creative environment of our studio. Ellie's role involves supporting our printmakers and facilitating the diverse array of printmaking ventures, all while nurturing her own passion for colour and design within the flourishing artistic community at Ironbridge.

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Printmaking at Christmas with kids

With the kids enjoying the festive season and having a break from school you might find them sat in your printing studio’s more often. We’ve come up with a few printmaking activities they can get involved with this christmas and joining in on your printmaking sessions

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  • Mono-type’s are great for kids, simply sit them down with a piece of styrene and some caligo safe wash ink (easier to get out of clothes) let them paint away. You can let them get stuck in use paint brushes, leaves and branches and anything else you are willing to use to let your child run wild and make their marks. Simply pull through your press we recommend printing onto bread and butter paper from John Purcells it’s an excellent proofing paper, super affordable perfect for letting those littles have some fun.
  • Stencils are great fun simply cut out some shapes from some thick card we find the cardboard off cereal boxes work best as you can wipe these down and reuse them. You can even used corrugated cardboard for a textured look peel off that top layer for that striped look. Simply cut your shape and apply ink to it using a roller pull through your press, again we recommend printing onto bread and butter paper.image0 JO BODDY
  • For those kids who are little bit older why not let them try there hand at lino-cut or drypoint. These are great printing processes to introduce your child to printmaking it allows them take their time and throughly enjoy the process. When they have finished their plate you get  the joy of helping them print it on your press and seeing their eyes light up seeing their final result.

To really get thing festive the processes discussed could be used to make the following things, christmas cards, wrapping paper, place settings for your christmas tables and much more. Or maybe it’s just a nice christmas gift for the grandparents to get framed.

We hope these ideas have helped keep your little ones entertained. 

Have a very Merry Christmas

Thank you for reading!

Happy Printmaking!

All the best,

Ellie & The Team!

Tag us using the Hashtags…

@Ironbridgeprintmakers @Gunningetchingpress #GunningEtchingPresses  #GunningEtchingPress #JennyGunningPrintmaker

If you have read to the bottom of this blog you are entitled to a free gift, please email Jenny@IronbridgefineArts.co.uk with your preferred printing Relief or Intaglio to claim. Postage of £6.99 will still apply.

Anthea Wood Ironbridge fine arts Blog Feature

Gunning Press Printmaker of the week- Anthea Wood

This weeks Gunning press printmaker is the wonderful Anthea Wood. Anthea is a printmaker based in Northumberland. Anthea has a love for both Collograph’s and lino-cut she often captures inspiration from her surroundings.

Anthea Wood Ironbridge fine arts Blog Feature

Tell us about yourself…

“I recently moved to Northumberland with my husband and daughter having set up my art business in lockdown 2020. I worked at a large corporation for about 10 yrs previously and left the company at the same time that I fell pregnant; it was time to pursue a different path. I wondered what I could achieve if I put my efforts into delivering my own ideas rather than spending all that energy making other people’s projects happen! I was very creative and arty as a youngster and spent a lot of my twenties drawing and painting – often commission requests for birthdays and gifts. I probably hadn’t picked up a paintbrush for 10 years before covid hit so it was a pleasant surprise to find out that I still had a creative streak. Now I can’t imagine a day when I don’t create something.”

How did you or your organization get into printmaking?

“When my daughter was three months old, I treated myself to a day’s linoprint workshop at Kate Humble’s farm. I’m not sure why I chose linoprint to be honest – maybe because I thought it would give me a process to follow as I was feeling pretty rusty when it came to painting or drawing something. It was so wonderful to have a whole day to myself and learn something new. As normal, I over-complicated my design and didn’t manage to finish my piece but I loved the process all the same. I went on another course 6 months later and cut myself with a cutting tool – another unfinished lino!! Not an auspicious start but I was hooked all the same!”

                          anthea wood 5Anthea Wood Ironbridge fine arts Blog Feature

How would you describe your artwork?

I would describe my style as illustrative but also quite adaptable; it is my challenge to see where and how I can develop that style into something a little more untamed. Northumberland is the perfect place! I tend to lean towards capturing the landscapes surrounding me.

How do you plan to take your artwork forward?

Anthea Wood Ironbridge fine arts Blog FeatureMoving to Northumberland meant I had to ‘start again’ with establishing my art but the local community are wonderfully welcoming and there have been opportunities around every corner. I really hope I can embrace this and use my art to contribute to both community initiatives and the local economy. I want to develop my Ingram series and offer up landscape workshops where people can come and create prints based on their visit to the area. I recently set up a Children’s Art club called Inky Fingers earlier this year and this has been a great stepping stone to giving me confidence to help other people get creative. It’s also been lovely to see the children’s faces as they learn to create a piece of art.

 

Why did you feel a Gunning Etching press was the best fit for you and your artwork?

If I’m really honest, I didn’t do much researchAnthea Wood Ironbridge fine arts Blog Feature as I had experienced the press first hand at a workshop with Jenny; the existing list of professional printmakers using the press is also a good testimony! Shelley Wingrove (a wonderful printmaker based in Much Wenlock) first told me about Ironbridge Printmakers and I felt privileged to (at the time) live so close to this family run business set in an incredible town steeped in industry and history. The fact that the press was designed by a local master printmaker, is manufactured and produced by a family business and has been developed over decades is enough for me. Also, Jenny is incredibly generous with her knowledge and expertise so I know that there is support there if I need it. I have had to call her several times for printing support and she has always been at the end of a phone.

What’s your favourite feature on the Gunning Etching press that helps your printmaking process?

The reg bed is up there with the best thing since sliced bread. I even commissioned a second white reg-bed runner to sit on my surfaces so that I can ink up and measure up with ease. The ship-like wheel is also fantastic; having started off with the star shaped wheel, getting the round one has been a game changer and saved my dodgy shoulder from over-reach.

What do your staff/students enjoy printing on your Gunning Etching press?

Anthea Wood Ironbridge fine arts Blog FeatureI have started studio workshops where workshop guests get to try out the press as well as hand burnishing techniques. They are really enjoying the experience of using the press and although most of my workshops are aimed at beginners, they take to the press very quickly. 

Most printmakers have a name for their press, does your Gunning etching press have a nickname?

Nope. Sorry to disappoint! But we do call the round turning handle the ‘Captain’s Wheel’ as my daughter likes to turn it for me. We pretend she is steering a ship!

What would you say to someone thinking about purchasing a Gunning etching press? anethea wood autumn chorus

Definitely see one in action first and get a workshop if possible. I found my day’s workshop with Jenny so useful. I got full use of a press whilst Jenny gave me tutiation in anything I wanted to know about printmaking. The press comes with a brilliant manual which has been so handy when setting up to print; it really does include every detail.

Where can our readers find your work? 

  • Original paintings and prints at the Ingram Café in the Breamish Valley
  • Online shop at amwoodart.co.uk
  • Part of the Northern Artists association, The Tin Shed
  • A regular member of the Etal Village Art Fairs

To see more off  Anthea’s work you can find her at…

Website: https://www.amwoodart.co.uk/

Instagram: @amwood_art

Thank you for reading!

Happy Printmaking!

All the best,

Ellie & The Team!

Lindsay Moran Ironbridge fine artsBlog Feature

Gunning Press Printmaker of the week – Lindsey Moran

This weeks Gunning press printmaker is the incredibly talented Lindsey Moran. Lindsey is a printmaker who has incredible skill for creating photogravure plates. Her prints are real showstopper’s so much so they are currently on display in our Art gallery here in Ironbridge.

Lindsay Moran Ironbridge fine artsBlog Feature

Tell us about yourself…

“I am a printmaker who is based in the Baltic Area in Liverpool where there is a great creative community of artists and creatives.  I have been printmaking for over 30 years and have my own small but perfectly formed studio space to develop my work.  I specialise in photogravure but also work with collagraph, linocut, cyanotype and laser etched woodcut.”   

How did you get into printmaking?

“I gained a BEd Hons. in Art and Education at University College Chester where I specialised in Printmaking and was presented with the Academic Award for Art.  I was invited to stay on as a Research Fellow to investigate ‘The Role of the Computer in Fine Art Printmaking’. Technology still plays an intrinsic role in my printmaking today.”

How would you describe your artwork?

Divine Tree LIndsey Moran“I have a keen interest in the relationship between printmaking and photography.   My work explores the impact of light in both architectural and organic contexts; whilst being created by a process that is itself dependent on light exposure.  I work predominantly with photopolymer etching plates which allow me to produce textures and detail with continuous tones and rich blacks.  As an educationalist I have a love of buildings of historic or educational significance.  Places that celebrate or house collections that both inform and educate.”

How do you plan to take your artwork forward?

“I want to further develop some of my hybrid printing techniques looking at fusing different processes together.  Using a bigger press is also allowing me to produce printed surfaces which I will continue to develop into sculptural forms including book art.”

Why did you feel a Gunning Etching press was the best fit for you and your artwork?

“After lots of investigations into options for purchasing a bigger press, I visited Ironbridge Printmakers where I was able to get a feel for the presses firsthand.  Also, a face to face demonstration from Dave was very much appreciated; all questions were answered clearly and patiently which helped me to see that a Gunning Press was the right press for me and my printmaking techniques.”

What’s your favourite feature on the Gunning Etching press that helps your printmaking process?

“My Gunning press is easy to use and reliable… time and time again it produces great results.  My studio space is small, but the No. 2 press allows me to move and set it up with ease due to its frame and wheels.  It has allowed me to work up to A2 size comfortably.”

Lindsay Moran Ironbridge fine artsBlog Feature

Most printmakers have a name for their press, does your Gunning etching press have a nickname?

“I wish I had some fascinating story to tell about the name of my press but ‘My Gunning Press’ is what I call it… anything else would lose its identity. ;-)”

What would you say to someone thinking about purchasing a Gunning etching press?

“Go and visit the fab folk who make and use them at Ironbridge Printmakers… Jenny, Dave and Ellie are very approachable and listen to what your requirements are…  they shape your demo around this allowing you to see which press and why it would be prefect for you.  No question is too small!”

“I am so glad I purchased my Gunning Press… it is a real investment which has allowed my to develop my printmaking to the next stage.”

Where can our readers find your work? 

“I currently have work on show

Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair – Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, 3rd-6th November

Art Open Exhibition 2022 – Ty Pawb Gallery- Wrexham 15th Oct 22 – 7th Jan 23

Royal West of England Academy Open – RWA, Bristol​ 8th Oct 22 – 8th Jan 23 

Ink – Paper – Press – Editions Gallery Liverpool October 7th Oct 22 – 4th Nov. 22

International Mini Print Cantabria – Faro Cabo Mayor Art Center, Santander, Spain

Ironbridge Fine Art Gallery, Ironbridge 1st Sept – 30th November

5 Global Print – Douro Portugal  

Tarpey Contemporary Art Gallery, Derby

Sarah Wiseman Gallery, Oxford”

To see more off  Lindsay’s work you can find her at…

Website: www.lindseymoran.co.uk

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lindseyemoran/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lindseyemoran

 

Thank you for reading!

Happy Printmaking!

All the best,

Ellie & The Team!

 

Tag us using the Hashtags…

@Ironbridgeprintmakers @Gunningetchingpress #GunningEtchingPresses  #GunningEtchingPress #JennyGunningPrintmaker

If you have read to the bottom of this blog you are entitled to a free gift, please email Jenny@IronbridgefineArts.co.uk with your preferred printing Relief or Intaglio to claim. Postage of £6.99 will still apply.

International original exhibition RE 2022 Ironbridge fine arts

Our time at the International original print exhibition 2022

This year we had the honour of being part of this years re international original print exhibition.

International original exhibition RE 2022 Ironbridge fine artsInternational original exhibition RE 2022 Ironbridge fine arts

We were lucky enough to award our prize ‘Ironbridge fine arts printmaker prize ’to’ fiona foughy’ for her wonderful monotype ‘Quiver’. Fiona won one our beautiful large spindle rollers.

Fiona Fouhy’s practice covers broad themes of place, geology and history, celebrating the resilience of nature over millennia.

Fouhy predominantly uses monotype techniques in her work using etching inks, extender, rags and large rollers to create fast, expressive images; processes, materials and chance inform and evolve her practice. She has developed a technique of layering ink, pushing the early ‘ghost’ layers into the background, creating a strong depth of field.

Using monoprinting, Fouhy explores how to work by intuition and emotional reaction to the forest environment. For her, the forest experience symbolises states of lostness, bewilderment and fragility in the face of the unknown. Simultaneously the forest is a place of healing both for the individual and for the planet; a fertile place for the imagination.

Fouhy studied at Central Saint Martins, London. She has won the RK Burt Award (2018) and the Thamesside Print Studio Prize (2017) at the International Original Print Exhibition as well as the Printmakers Council Award (2016) at the Festival of Print.

She is a keyholder and tutor at East London Printmakers studio. Her work is held in private and public collections throughout the UK, Europe and USA including the V&A Museum and the Central St Martins College Contemporary Collection. Her work is for sale through Eames Fine Art Gallery.

Quiver- fiona foughy International original exhibition RE 2022 Ironbridge fine arts

Quiver is a monotype on Arches cream etching paper (76 x 56cm). The Irongbridge Award of a large relief roller is perfectly suited to me because Quiver was made with many different size rollers, culminating in a layer of extended ink using a very large roller. The circumference of the roller needs to be at least the length of the paper, if not longer, to enable a smooth roll-out of ink, with no lines visible where the ink might ‘run out’. The extended ink layer is always the trickiest part of my printing process. It can make or break the image. As with a lot of printmaking, there have been a lot of dud prints along the way! I have had to work out the exact consistency and thickness of ink. But the result can be magical when it works! I find that it somehow ‘holds’ the other layers together. I discovered it by accident when I was making a gift for my son a few years ago. He wanted me to make him a monoprint of a white wolf, so I decided it needed to be situated in a dark forest and I loved the emotive feeling of the results. 

The piece, Quiver, is so named because of the sensation of quietness in a forest, where the only movements are small quivers of the leaves in a breeze. There is a stillness present and so the slightest shift is noticeable. The viewer, themselves, is sometimes the only thing that is moving as they walk past the standing trees.

Jenny Gunning who chose our award winner said “Fiona’s work captured the Atmosphere and movement caught in the woodlands, it’s as if you felt like you were immersed into the print. The print itself holds an exceptional tonal quality, a talented printmaker!”

As a team of printmakers ourselves the exhibition featured the work of two of our team members Jenny Gunning with the piece ‘The Aga Factory, Broken’ and Dave Mason-Gunning with the piece ‘Cliff Crevasse on the Peninsula, St Davids.’

Jenny Gunning The Aga Factory Broken

Using her drawing skills Jenny works out in the landscape to capture the detail she needs to create her plates. Jenny’s love is for the old and used, old buildings that have been taken over by the landscape and abandoned, left to decay over the years of neglect… Jenny also loves strong structures which lend themselves to printmaking techniques, strong tones and/or colour. Jenny loves aquatint etchings and she particularity enjoys making large scale work, however Jenny specialises in many other forms of printmaking including photopolymer, spit-bite, mezzotint, dry-point, lino, reduction, straight lino, straight woodblock, Japanese woodblock, reduction woodblock, collagraph and letterpress.

Cliff Crevasse on the Peninsula, St Davids. Photogravure, Solar Plate 194 x 294

Dave has always enjoyed drawing and spent many days as a boy drawing from inspirations such as magazine and books. After travelling around the world, Dave decided that it was time to create they bought their first DSLR camera to capture the world and they have been captivated by the way a camera could manipulate to create startling images from the buildings and landscapes surrounding them. After a chance encounter with Jenny Gunning, Dave’s passion for the arts was stoked even further seeing what Jenny and her family were creating. They immersed into learning printmaking. Becoming a skilled printmaker under their tuition and has developed further skills in photographic printmaking and Mokuhanga.

We were delighted to be a part of this year’s exhibition and look forward to next year’s exhibition. The RE exhibition is chance for us to spot the talent of many other printmakers as well as spotting what our gunning press customers have been up to.

Thank you for reading!

Happy Printmaking!

All the best,

Ellie & The Team!

Tag us using the Hashtags…

@Ironbridgeprintmakers @Gunningetchingpress #GunningEtchingPresses  #GunningEtchingPress #JennyGunningPrintmaker

If you have read to the bottom of this blog you are entitled to a free gift, please email Jenny@IronbridgefineArts.co.uk with your preferred printing Relief or Intaglio to claim. Postage of £6.99 will still apply.

 

 

 

 

Nathalie Pymm blog feature in Ironbridge fine arts blog

Gunning press printmakers of the week- Nathalie Pymm

This weeks Gunning press printmaker is the wonderfully talented Nathalie the owner of a Gunning press Number 2 Direct drive. Nathalie is a printmaker who certainly doesn’t shy away from colour, a lover of lino reductions Nathalie captures her daily inspirations from her love of elephants to capturing quirky little building’s.Nathalie Pymm blog feature in Ironbridge fine arts blog

Tell us about yourself:

“I am a mixed media artist and printmaker specialising in lino printing. I have always loved creating art and attended adult education classes for painting when my children were little. Now I am the proud owner of a beautiful Garden Studio where I can be found most days either carving out or printing one of my lino cuts or teaching small workshops for adults.”


How did you get into printmaking?

“It started when I visited a printmaker during Open studios. I fell in love with the effect of lino printing and couldn’t wait to learn and get started – ten years later and I am still in love with the whole process from start to finish!”

How would you describe your artwork?

“I am inspired by many things – my pets, still life around the home, places visited and architecture. I love creating whimsical prints too – you will see my cats are in many lino prints as are my love of frogs, elephants, owls… I am always on the lookout for beautiful handmade papers too to use in my lino prints.”

Nathalie Pymm blog feature in Ironbridge fine arts blog 'Tea with a friend' Nathalie Pymm blog feature in Ironbridge fine arts blog


How do you plan to take your artwork forward?

'Allium' Nathalie Pymm blog feature in Ironbridge fine arts blog“I am currently working on a series of flower heads which is completely different for me! So far I’ve made a lino reduction print of a beautiful allium head and I am now working on a sunflower. I’m hoping to get quite a few more done before my next Open Studios next June.”


Why did you feel a Gunning Etching press was the best fit for you and
your artwork?

“I was on the look out for my own etching press for a while; I really liked the look of the Gunning Etching press, the choice of sizes and of course the price. Jenny Gunning invited me to bring some lino cuts to print out to try on their presses at their Ironbridge Gallery. I had a wonderful few hours talking to Jenny who is a fantastic printmaker and had great fun using their presses. The Gunning Etching press is very easy to use and produces fabulous quality prints every time. Soon after, I ordered a No. 2 Gunning Etching press which has pride of place in my studio. Jenny delivered this with a stand on wheels and set it up for me in my studio in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.
For me, the Gunning Etching press is perfect for printing out lino prints. It also gives me the flexibility if I want to do collagraph, etching or mono printing in the future.”

What’s your favourite feature on the Gunning Etching press that helps your printmaking process?Stairway at the Tate

“Where do I start?

So many lovely features on my press!
The first would be the beautiful solid steel roller which is a good size and is very sturdy. I also love the turning wheel ( I have the star wheel, not a round wheel) which is always a pleasure to use when printing out my lino prints. I love how you can tighten/release the pressure with ease too.
The bed feels lovely and sturdy and easy to clean and which I attach my registration pins on to so that I can create lino reduction prints easily.
I bought the stand for my press with wheels and brakes so that I have the flexibility of moving my press out of the way when visitors come to see my work during Open Studios. It’s so good to have a shelf underneath too for my extra printing places, paper, etc.”

What do your students enjoy printing on your Gunning Etching
press?

“I run small adult workshops in my studio where the students create their own lino prints using my Gunning Etching press. They all love using it and are very happy with the results of their prints. I teach them how to print lino cut with colour, chine collee, rainbow rolls and also creating lino reduction prints.”

Nathalie Pymm blog feature in Ironbridge fine arts blog Nathalie Pymm blog feature in Ironbridge fine arts blog

Most printmakers has a name for their press, does your Gunning etching press have a nickname?

Nathalie Pymm blog feature in Ironbridge fine arts blog“Of course! My Gunning Etching press is called Grace! She is very elegant, works so smoothly, quietly and easily and looks great too!”

What would you say to someone thinking about purchasing a Gunning etching press?


“Definitely! Visitors are always admiring my Gunning Etching press when they come to see me and my work during Open Studios and I always recommend they make an appointment with Jenny to go and try out the presses for their own printmaking. They have a good range of sizes to suit all printmakers – huge ones to small A4 size to suit everyone depending on space in their studio or home. The support is amazing too after you’ve bought one of their presses and the prices are very reasonable. I love the fact you are buying from a small family business too who care about their customers.”

Where can our readers find your workNathalie Pymm blog feature in Ironbridge fine arts blog

“I exhibit locally in Buckinghamshire and also have work available at a lovely little gallery called ‘Secrets’ in Port Isaac. I belong to Buckinghamshire Art Society and we have two exhibitions a year; I also take part in Bucks Art Weeks every June where I open my studio to visitors so that they meet me and see where I work. I am currently preparing to take part in the Amersham Art Unlocked Autumn Fair on Saturday November 5th.

All of my lino prints are available to buy from my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/nathaliepymmart”

Comments you would like to share with our blog readers?

“I can’t recommend Ironbridge, their Gunning Etching presses and their staff enough.
A wonderful family run business; they are all so helpful and friendly. I was lucky enough to have a solo exhibition in January 2022. Sarah and her team hung my work beautifully on their walls; the lighting and venue are perfect for exhibiting. The gallery is a printmakers dream shop; they do framing, sell their own rollers, choice of inks, papers, lino, plates, tools, everything you need to get started or top up your own supplies!”

To see more off Nathalie’s work you can find her at…

My website is https://www.nathaliepymm.com
Facebook: Nathalie Pymm Art

Instagram: nathaliepymm

LinkedIn: Nathalie Pymm

Thank you for reading!

Happy Printmaking!

All the best,

Ellie & The Team!

Tag us using the Hashtags…

@Ironbridgeprintmakers @Gunningetchingpress #GunningEtchingPresses  #GunningEtchingPress #JennyGunningPrintmaker

If you have read to the bottom of this blog you are entitled to a free gift, please email Jenny@IronbridgefineArts.co.uk with your preferred printing Relief or Intaglio to claim. Postage of £6.99 will still apply.

Inked up Ironbridge Lino plate ready to print.

How to print single colour lino’s on your Gunning Etching press

Hello its Jenny from Ironbridge Printmakers.

In this blog we discuss how to print your lino plates on a Gunning etching press. Above is a technical HOW TO MOVIE showing you how to set up to print Lino on a Gunning Etching Press. Or choose to follow along and read with me below…

We will be setting the pressure on the Gunning Etching Press using Runners and packing paper to enable us to kiss the paper to the plate. All our presses come with a set of 4mm runner’s which are brilliant to get you going we also offer other thicknesses should you need them.

Lino-Hessian-backed-3.2mm-thick-Ironbridge-255x300We are going to print a hessian backed 3.2mm thick lino which has not been – what we call registered’ which means stuck down to a piece of board using double sided tape – this is done when the plate has to be printed many times or if its a very large plate, then this prevents movement. Plates created from soft cut lino or Japanese vinyl are softer materials and have a tendency to squash in any press we would recommend choosing to use a hessian backed lino.

Registration Bed and Printing RunnersFirst thing to do is to Put your 4mm plastic runners into your press. Slide them through under your top roller so the lie flat along the edges of the bed and secure your runners down with the safety stops that came with your press. They make sure your runners do not move around the bed when you are printing. Your safety stops should go on the top side of the bed and on the top of the runners. The bolts are put through the holes and the wing nuts secured so that everything is tight and secure. (note – you have two different types of safety stops for your press – one set of two is these that we have just used and the other set are smaller because they sit on the underside of your press bed when printing intaglio – never use them together.

We use packing paper to make up the difference – no blankets just packing paper – we use bread and butter 270gsm from John purple papers in London.

Lino 3 1Drop the top roller down onto the runners – they should feel even both sides -go down until the tommy bars feel heavy and even, and then come back on yourself about half a turn and then test the feel of your pressure. It should be moderately easy to pull through – you want your rollers to run along the runners which are acting like rails.
When you pull your rollers over the sand-which you have created you will know if you have put to much packing paper on because it will feel to heavy and you feel if its to light and you have not got enough packing paper on.

If it IS to heavy to pull through once you go over the sandwich where the plate is on your bed, you will know that you have too much packing paper on (this will squash your plate to much) and if you hardly feel anything, then you have not got enough packing paper and your print will not be strong enough.
What you will want to feel is an increase of pressure when you go over the plate – sometimes you might have to have a big increase in pressure to get a perfect print – especially the first 4 ish prints – the plate needs running in to get it to print perfectly.

Relief runner
A note here about the runners – we have these cut from a plastic company and sometimes the thickness of one runner to the other one can be slightly different – it could be a fraction of a mm and you will feel it in the Tommy bars when setting the pressure – if this is the case then just set each tommy bar so they feel the same – this is called the talk – so the talk you can feel through your hands when turning the tommy bars.

To give you an idea for hessian backed lino with the 4mm runners you will need 3 or 4 sheets of packing paper.

If you are getting movement in the plate – and you might do if the plate is large or if its soft cut or if its Japanese ply – then you can do 2 things – you can double side your plate down to a board to stabilise it and you can use thicker runners which means more packing paper – this will stop the movement.

Lino 1 1A note for those who use hessian backed lino, If you have been cleaning your plates with any type of oil then you have probably ruined your plates as the hessian backed lino is actually made from linseed oil so when you clean your plate with oil it sucks the ink into the plate making it extremely easy to slip when printing. We recommend cleaning using the Zest it Printmakers cleaner. Simply put it in a spray bottle and wipe your plate clean with a rag. 

Three things can happen when you go over the sandwich on your press bed
1. you get a perfect print because you are using the correct height runners and the right amount of packing paper. number 2 your ink on your print looks squashed because you have added to much packing paper even though you are using the correct height of runners – this means you need less packing paper and 3 your print is to light which means you have not added enough packing paper. As long as your ink is the right consistency you will be able to get perfect prints by using the correct amount of packing paper.

We can’t wait to see your wonderful prints! If you have any questions please feel free to drop me an email, Jenny@Ironbridgefinearts.co.uk

 

Thank you for reading!

Happy Printmaking!

All the best,

Jenny & The Team!

Tag us using the Hashtags…

@Ironbridgeprintmakers @Gunningetchingpress #GunningEtchingPresses  #GunningEtchingPress #JennyGunningPrintmaker

If you have read to the bottom of this blog you are entitled to a free gift, please email Jenny@IronbridgefineArts.co.uk with your preferred printing Relief or Intaglio to claim. Postage of £6.99 will still apply.