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Tag Archives: printmaker


Gunning press printmakers of the week- Jane Spink

This weeks Gunning press printmaker is the wonderfully talented Jane who run’s Inky dog studio’s, the owner of a Gunning press Number 1 Direct drive. We sat down with Jane to understand why she loves printmaking on her Gunning press.

Tell us about yourself…

“My name is Jane Spink. I am an artist who likes to work with printmaking techniques.
I’ve loved nature from early childhood and this is the main inspiration for my art. I
work from my 2nd floor home studio in Essex. It’s a fairly small space, but I have a
wonderful view of a windmill! I walk daily in a National Trust owned area close to my
home, where I gather ideas and images to use in my work.”


How did you or your organization get into printmaking?

“I originally trained as a Textile Designer at Art School and focused heavily on surface
decoration, shapes and colour. Many years later, whilst working as an Art Teacher, I
decided to use simple printmaking techniques with my pupils. I loved the process and
the strong, graphic results and decided to use the techniques in my own work. The
rest is history!”

How would you describe your artwork? 

“I like to work with different techniques, including collage, linocut and cyanotype either separately or together as mixedmedia. I also experiment with monotype and
collagraph, but still have much to learn about these techniques! My favourite printmaking technique is linocut as it is a relatively straight foward process and also quite versatile to use. I like to work in smallmedium scale and most of my work
depicts birds, insects, mammals and botanical subjects in varying combinations. I enjoy the challenge of fine detail and this often comes across in the pieces I make.”


How do you plan to take your artwork forward?


“I am constantly learning and developing as an artist, refining my skills and
experimenting with new ones. I also enjoy taking photographs and I frequently use
the images I capture as source and inspiration for my prints. I am working to develop
my photography skills which will naturally feed the development of my printmaking.
I have started working more with monotype and collagraph and definitely aim to
develop my use of these processes in my artwork. I am currently writing a book on
linocut printing, which I am very excited about! I am really enjoying the challenge of
creating inspiring linocut projects for my readers to learn from and develop their own
skills. The book is due to be published at the start of 2024.”


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


“I initially handburnished all of my linocut prints before I decided to invest in a
printing press. Prior to purchasing my Gunning Etching press, I used a little wooden
book press, and more recently a larger wooden with which I could achieve greater
pressure and make bigger work. However, I have always loved the idea of having a
traditional etching press and because I wanted to work with intaglio processes as well
as lino, this was the perfect reason to take the plunge! After doing some research and
asking other printmakers, I settled on my Gunning press. The No. 1 Etching press (A3
size) is perfect for me with my limited space by far my best purchase in recent years!”


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


“This has got to be the lovely turning wheel! It’s so easy to operate smoothly and looks
absolutely wonderful in my studio. I have the press standing in the window and often
catch passersby staring up at it! I also love the registration bed so useful and I’m
really glad I asked for this option to be included!”


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


“I would recommend without hesitation. The presses are wonderful to look at and to
use and the customer service is second to none! Jenny drove my press all the way
from Shropshire down to Essex and then set it up for me and a few months later
when I was having a little trouble (due to my own inexperience!), Dave drove down to
Rayleigh and resolved my issues I really couldn’t ask for more!”


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

“These are excellent presses and can deal wonderfully with just about any printmaking
processes you wish to throw at them! If, like me, you are new to using an etching
press, please allow some time for the inevitable learning curve. The process of using
an etching press is very different to other presses but patience will pay off and you
will soon be making amazing quality prints!”

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

Website: www.inkydogstudio.com
Instagram: @inkydogstudio

TikTok: @inkydog_studio

 

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.

What are runner’s, do I need them?

Our Gunning etching presses have the incredible ability to print both relief and intaglio prints. We Print relief plates through the runner system we have developed to suit our presses.

Our printing runners come in many different thicknesses, they are hard wearing acrylic so they will last you thousands of prints. They are used to line your press bed, if you have one of our presses they come with a system that secures them to your press, and your top roller is dropped down onto your runners so you can just kiss your plate with your top roller.

 

When using runners, you should have a sandwich (packing paper, plate, print paper) at the same height or slightly higher than the runners so that when you pull your print through you are kissing the paper to the plate to create a perfect print. You can have your plate at the top of the sandwich and the paper you are printing on right next to the roller but if you find you get what looks like slipping you will want to put your plate at the bottom of the sandwich next to the bed. The thicker the runners and the more packing the likelihood of slipping reduces massively.

For example with the 4mm thick runners you will be able to print any thickness of plate up to around 4mm thick. For example, Hessian backed Lino is 3.2mm thick, easy cut Lino is 3mm thick. To print these thicknesses of plates with your 4mm thick runners you will just add the missing milli-meters by adding what we call packing paper on top or underneath your plate.

Printing Runners

Are you wanting to print thick plates on your etching press? Our presses can fit up to 50mm through our rollers.

The runners we have developed provide a quick and easy switch from printing relief to intaglio. This method took years of printing to find out what does and doesn’t work, but we are so happy to have our simple method in place.

To purchase our runners you can find them here.

 

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.

Cleaning up at the end of a printmaking session…

Here at Ironbridge fine art’s we chose to stock our exceptional range of Cleaning products. The aim is to make clean up nice and easy.

With so many printmaking cleaner’s being available you might be asking yourself which ink is best for me and my printing methods? In this blog we will explain all you need to know about the types of cleaner’s we offer giving you the knowledge to know which roller will suit you and your printmaking processes.

Printmakers Soap

Our printmakers soap is gorgeous, we had been looking for years to find someone to make this for me and finally found this lovely lady in Ireland who came up with this vegan recipe. It’s a beautiful soap that gets rid of all oil based inks from your hands but leaves them soft and looked after. ⁠
 
We have two types an exfoliating version to get rid of those tough stains and a smooth version for gentle hands. 
 

A soap bar is made with a vegan friendly soap base. Bentonite clay and scented with Geranium & ylang-ylang essential oil. This soap is PEG free and paraben free. Hand crafted in the heart of Kildare and made in small batches exclusively for Ironbridge fine art’s & Framing.

 

 

Zest it Printmakers cleaner

Printmakers Cleaner is an easy to use fluid for cleaning plates and surfaces where oil based inks are used, it’s effective and efficient, so a little goes a long way.

Printmakers Cleaner will also remove ‘stopping-out varnish’ and most traditional grounds. Apply to surface, wait a few moments and wipe with kitchen towel, cloth or a rag.

Being non-toxic it is far healthier to use in the Printmakers studio than the traditionally used ‘turps’ and white spirit, both of which are flammable, whereas the Printmakers Cleaner is non-flammable.

The great thing is it can also be used to clean rollers and other equipment making clean up much faster.

Zest it printmakers Wash down

Printmakers Washdown is an easy to use fluid, for cleaning printing plates and removing dried Acrylic based inks.


Printmakers Washdown can also be used for removing acrylic based stop-outs and grounds that are sometimes difficult to remove.


Washes away with water so the plate can be given a washdown! Environmentally friendly and can be diluted if necessary..

Often used in screen printing for removing that stubborn parcel tape!


Apply to surface, wait a few moments and wipe with kitchen towel or a cloth.

 

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.

Gunning press printmakers of the week- Jenny McCabe

This weeks Gunning press printmaker is the fantastic Jenny McCabe who is the winner of our print fest award. Jenny, the owner of a Gunning press Number 2, Based in Lancaster in the Northwest of England she works from her own studio and she also teaches regularly in print rooms around the country.  We sat down with Jenny to understand why she loves printmaking on her Gunning press.

Why did you choose to purchase a Gunning Etching press?

“I have been looking for a press for years that would fit into a domestic space – ie not to heavy. I visited Ironbridge on the off chance whilst visiting my mother who lives in the nearing town of Bridgnorth. I came across Jenny at Ironbridge fine arts and the most gorgeous Gunning Etching press, it was a perfect solution to my needs – a strong large press that can be taken apart easily and is not to heavy.”

What’s your favourite feature on the Gunning Etching press?

“One thing that drew me to the press straight away and will always be my favourite feature on my press is the massive large round wheel it’s so stylish and practical I love it. I would definitely recommend it as an upgrade option”

How did you get into printmaking?

“I studied Printmaking at university in the late 90s and have been printmaking in some way or other since then, I think it’s fair to say I fell in love with printmaking. As an artist and printmaker with over 20 years experience of making and exhibiting work. I am based in Lancaster in the Northwest of England working from my own studio and also teaching regularly in print rooms around the country.”

How would you describe your work?

“I would describe my work as messy, scratchy lines and lively compositions of birds jumping out of the plates, aiming to capture the frantic movement and energy. Mainly with intaglio printmaking methods preferring Collagraph and metal plate etchings. My work always starts with drawing and the technical challenge of turning a simple piece of metal or card into a piece of art. “

Does your Gunning etching press have a nickname?

“She is called Gillian – after Gillian Anderson”

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

“The press is a great work horse and perfect for relief of intaglio prints – all the sizes and extras mean you can build a perfect solution for your individual studio – ie with a stand and lockable  wheels or without – affordable prices too compared to other makes.”

“I love my press and it has given me the total freedom to work in my own studio, I only wish I had a larger space and then I could get a Number 4 XL.”

 

We recently awards Jenny McCabe our Ironbridge award at this years print fest.

Jenny McCabe award

“Jenny’s work is original and so striking, her technical ability as a printmaker and her imagery is excellent. She is also prolific in her making and each piece is beautiful in its own right. A brilliant printmaker!” ⁠Said Jenny Gunning

Jenny is fabulous printmake we can’t wait to see more of her work and watch her continue to grow as a printmaker. she is lucky enough to have won £150.00 worth of printmaking materials from ourselves.

 

 

 

To see more off Jenny’s work you can find her on instagram as @jenny.mccabe or browse her website https://www.jennymccabe.co.uk/

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.

Can I print onto fabric?

The answer is yes you can print onto fabric!! We are throughly enjoying printing onto fabric at the moment. It’s so joyful what we can produce turning our prints in items such as cushions and lampshades. Read on to find out how you can print on fabric too ….

Which Inks should I use?cranfield seleant gun

Cranfield’s caligo safe wash inks are brilliant for printing onto fabric as they already have some driers added. If you need to speed up drying times don’t be afraid to add in a drop of cobalt drier or magnesium powder into the ink.

Can I wash the fabric and is it permanent?

Caligo safe wash inks are designed so that while wet they will wash out with soap and water and without the need for use of toxic solvents. Once dry the inks hold a good level of resistance to handling and washing. We can’t guarantee that all fabric prints will be fully water resistant and 100% fast on all textiles and situations, however we have seen some lovely print and wash results.

How should I prepare my fabric?

 Most printmakers will wash their fabrics before printing this will eliminate and shrinkage and wash away any unwanted chemicals from the manufacturing process. The higher the weave and texture in the fabric the more pressure you will need to reach that solid ink coverage.

Drying and washing

 Drying your fabric can take several days, we recommend drying your fabric in a warm dry space with moving air. One you believe to be dry we recommend doing a rub test to see if any of the ink is removed when rubbed. If no ink is removed your ink is dry and therefore ready to set.

To set your ink we recommend placing a sheet of baking paper over your print and then using a hot iron with no steam to seal with heat. However, do not glide the iron like you usually would hold the iron in areas of the prints for five second intervals this will allow the heat to fix the ink to the fabric.

 To wash your print, we recommend washing on a two hour was at 40 degrees or alternatively washing by hand. However please do bear in mind every fabric is different and wash times and temperatures may vary. We always recommend doing a patch test where possible.

We cant wait to see what you all produce! 🙂

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.