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Ironbridge scaled e1698141008581

Our feature in Pressing Matters

We are extremely overjoyed to announce our resident and specialist printmaker Jenny Gunning has been featured in the latest issue of pressing matters. Jenny has a three page spread amongst other Gunning press owners in the magazine.

We have a good stock of the latest issue amongst older issues available to purchase in our shop or online.

Take a read as Jenny discusses her journey and passion for printmaking, family life and the challenge of running your own business.

Jenny Gunning feature in Pressing Matters

Jenny Gunning feature in Pressing Matters

Jenny Gunning feature in Pressing Matters

Thank you for reading!

Happy Printmaking!

All the best,

Ellie & The Team!

Tag us using the Hashtags…

@Ironbridgeprintmakers @Gunningetchingpress #GunningEtchingPresses  #GunningEtchingPress #JennyGunningPrintmaker

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.

Runner Selection

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.Runners Set up 1

Runner ThicknessOur 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.

 

Lino 3 1

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.

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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.

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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

IMG 6905Our 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

IMG 9838

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

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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.

Sophie Twining 2

Gunning press printmakers of the week- Sophie Twining

Sophie Twining 1

This weeks Gunning press printmaker is the wonderfully talented Sophie Twining, the owner of a Gunning press Number 2 Geared. We sat down with Sophie to understand why she loves printmaking on her Gunning press.

 

Tell us about yourself…

“I am a printmaker and photographer living and working in Cornwall. Since graduating from Marine and Natural History Photography at Falmouth University in 2020 I have continued with my printmaking practice from my studio in Falmouth.”

 

Quiet Company 1 Sophie TwiningHow did you or your organization get into printmaking?

“I have been taking photographs since I was ten years old, however it was at university
that I discovered a love of printmaking. I attended a range of printmaking workshops in
my first term and really enjoyed the tactility of the process and how it allowed me to
combine my background in photography with my love of craft. I became particularly
interested in photo etching which I continue to specialise in today.”

 


How would you describe your artwork?Quiet Company 2 Sophie Twining

“An innate love for the natural world has always been at the forefront of my inspiration.
This is extended through to my practise where I aim to encapsulate the solace that
nature can bring us by documenting its different shapes, textures and forms. I
predominantly use the printmaking technique, photo etching. A continuance of my
meticulous observational and photographic process, each etching is carefully printed by
hand using my Gunning Etching press, making every outcome unique.”


Quiet Company 3 Sophie TwiningHow do you plan to take your artwork forward?

“In my studio I have an ideas board and notebooks filled to the brim with ideas for future work! I would love to explore the capabilities of my press further by incorporating different printmaking techniques into my artwork as well as producing work of a larger scale. I think my art will always focus on the natural world and our human connection to it as it’s a topic I am so deeply engaged with. There is a neverending abundance of inspiration that can be found outside, so I don’t think I will ever be out of new ideas! I am looking forward to developing these further to create and share meaningful and relatable works.”


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

“I received rave recommendations from friends who also have a Gunning Etching press
and most of the printmakers I follow and admire online also seem to have this press too. After speaking to Jenny and Ellie it seemed like the perfect choice for me! It has the power of the old traditional presses I was used to working with at university, but without the high expense and bulkiness! It fits perfectly in my little home studio and it has really helped me to continue with my practise post uni.”

Quiet Company Sequence Sophie Twining
What’s your favourite feature on the Gunning Etching press that helps your printmaking process?

“I really love the gears on my press, which was an addition recommended to me by Jenny. It allows me to roll my plates through the press really smoothly and with little exertion, helping me create super clean prints!”

Quiet Company 4 Sophie Twining
Most printmakers has a name for their press, does your Gunning etching
press have a nickname?

“It doesn’t, yet. I will get on that right away!”


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

“I would say to definitely get in touch with Jenny, Ellie and the team at Ironbridge. They
were so useful in answering all of my questions and helping me find the right fit for my
printmaking needs. Chatting to them helped me understand some of the requirements I
didn’t even realise I had. The level of customer service is second to none, and even after
purchasing my press they have been more than happy to answer my additional queries
about printmaking materials etc!”

 

To see more off Sophie’s work you can find her on emails at hello@sophietwining.com,  instagram at @sophietwining or browse her website.

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.

martin truefittbaker2

Gunning press printmakers of the week- Martin Truefitt-baker

This weeks Gunning press printmaker is the wonderfully talented Martin Truefitt-Baker, the owner of a Gunning press Number 3 has been printmaking 30+ years. We sat down with Martin to understand why he loves printmaking on his Gunning press.

martin truefittbaker 3

Tell us about yourself…

“I’m a fine art printmaker and painter living in the Brecon Beacons national park, South Wales, UK.  I grew up in Dagenham (N.East London) but I have lived in Wales for over 40 years.

I taught in a secondary comprehensive school near to Merthyr Tydfil for 30+ years until about 7 years ago. I started seriously painting and printing for myself again around 5 years ago and things have taken off from there. Now I call myself a ‘full-time’ artist.”

How did you or your organization get into printmaking?

“I did a strange university degree at Aberystwyth. Visual Art. I ended up specializing in graphics and book illustration. I was making some fairly simple prints at the time.

I did my final dissertation on Edward Bawden and actually went to visit him at his home and studio. I even had the cheek to send him one of my prints and I have a lovely letter critiquing the work. That Bawden, Ravillious, Nash, group of artists from the 30, 40, 50s have been a longtime influence. It’s great to see them having a lot more attention now: very much deserved.”

How would you describe your artwork?

MTB“My linocuts use a reduction method, using a single piece of lino. This is progressively cut away and overprinted onto paper several times, in a succession of tones, to build up the final image. There are usually around 5 layers of cutting and printing, after that I feel a print loses a bit of the graphic quality that is a part of the attraction of lino.

The prints are mostly of the animals I have seen on walks through the local landscape, within a couple of miles of home. I’m lucky to live in the beautiful Usk valley, within the Brecon Beacons National Park.

I try to catch some of the magic in the way the animals move and live within their environment, trying to imagine what it’s like to be them, their size, in that place.

I paint and draw a lot as well as make prints. I find that my printing influences my painting and vice versa. I’ve developed a design technique for my prints that involves making an acrylic painting first. This helps to organise the range of tones that will later be turned into layers of cutting and printing in the final reduction linocut. You can read more about this technique and others in my blog on my website.”

How do you plan to take your artwork forward?martin truefittbaker2

“Several of my designs have now been published as greetings cards by Art Angels and another (the Frosty Hare) is due to be ready for Christmas. I was lucky (and a bit cheeky) they were the first company I approached about using my work simply because they printed Angie Lewin’s and Edward Bawden’s work. Fate!

I’ve a calendar being published by Flametree for 2023 and another being put together for 2024. Cards (and I hope calendars) are great little adverts for your work. You get two audiences, the person buying and the person receiving. I get many inquiries for prints from this.

I’ve recently been experimenting with some different printing techniques. I’ve always enjoyed making (and teaching) collagraphs but I’ve also started using carborundum in PVA on Perspex to get a softer, more painterly result. Along similar lines, I’ve also started to teach myself a bit of mezzotint but I still need a lot of practice.”

Why did you feel a Gunning Etching press was the best fit for you and your artwork?IMG 3114 001 1

“The Gunning press is simple to use and versatile. I have the number 3 with the 6 1/2 inch top roller and the large round wheel. I quickly managed to make it work for me and the way I print with only a couple of changes to my printing method.

Registration is key to successful reduction linocut printing. I use the Burnes Tientes pins or the registration pins provided by Ironbridge Fine arts and a slippy layer of Teflon baking parchment on top of the paper to help to stop it being moved by the roller during printing.”

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

“Easy height and tension adjustment. The large round wheel and the direct drive is simple and it allows you to feel exactly how the plate is going through the press.”

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

“Myfanwy!”

1 MTB 170522 Winter Hillside Badgers Master Prophoto copy 001What would you say to someone thinking about purchasing a Gunning etching press?

“Have a go first, organize a visit to Ironbridge, Jenny will talk you through every different option and work with you find the best fit for you and your plates.”

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

“Technique is secondary to what you want to say. Everyone has something that makes them an individual, express it and enjoy it. Don’t feel you have to work in a certain way because ‘that’s what artists do’.

Everyone can draw and paint! Practice can make you better and the rest is just your style, it’s what makes your work interesting.”

To see more off Martin’s work you can find him on facebook @martin.truefittbakerart , instagram at @truefittbakerart or browse his website.

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.

2"x2" Hand Printing Roller

Our printmaking roller range…

Here at Ironbridge fine art’s we chose to stock our exceptional quality rollers created by us. We have a wide range of sizes and rubbers available in both our spindle and hand rollers.

With so many rollers 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 rollers we offer giving you the knowledge to know which roller will suit you and your printmaking processes.

Hand rollersPrintmaking Rollers Set of 4 all sizes

Our hand rollers are made from nitrile rubber so they are easy to clean and the results you get are fantastic. As printmakers ourselves we love designing, developing and making the tools that that we use every day. These printmaking rollers are a must have for any professional printmaking studio or workshop.

The built in stand on our hand rollers makes inking rollers easy, simply ink up, and then rest your roller on its stand while you print. When you wish to clean your roller simply sit it on its built in stand and spray your vegetable oil or white spirit onto the roller and wipe clean with a rag. Alternatively we also use Zest it’s printmakers cleaner for a non toxic method, it makes clean up much easier. 

3All our hand rollers have a lovely chunky 6” handle, and they all have the diameter of 2” or 3″. We offer singles as well as packs. They all come in Hard (60 shore) Medium (38 shore) and Soft (25 Shore)  rubbers.

Spindle rollersSpindle Rollers Square image 250 x 250

Our Spindle rollers are made from Nitrile rubber, they are excellent quality, easy clean and they are a dream for printmakers to use. We make our soft, medium and hard Spindle rollers in 3 different sizes.

You can also purchase a Roller Holder for each spindle roller that can sit on the work surface, or be put on the wall these are fantastic and allow for somewhere to rest your roller with ink on whilst printing.

                           Spindle roller and Holder Ironbridge Roller Holder

The smallest roller  is 4” Diameter x 10” length = a circumference of 12.56” Making the maximum plate size (for double inking) 10” x 12.56”

The medium roller  is 5” Diameter x 14” length = a circumference of 15.70” Making the maximum plate size (for double inking) 14” x 15.70”

The largest roller is 6” Diameter x 21” length = a circumference of 18.84” Making the maximum plate size (for double inking) 20” x 18.84”

We can also make bespoke spindle rollers for printmaking and holders so if there is a particular size you would like, get in touch.

Rubbers

Soft Blue Nitrile Rubber- 25 Shore⁠

2

2″ x 4″ Hand Printmakers Roller come in Soft, Medium, or Hard Spec

The Soft Rubber holds a lot of ink. When printing, your your edges of lines and areas that you have cut, scratched or etched out will appear softer than if you were using a harder shore roller.⁠

Medium Red Nitrile Rubber- 38 Shore⁠

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6″ x 21″ Medium (Red) Spindle Roller For Relief Printing

The Medium Rubber will help you ink up quickly but not as fast as the softer roller. Edges of areas that you have cut, etched or scratched will appear sharper than if you were using the softer roller.⁠

Hard Black Nitrile Rubber- 60 Shore

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2″ x 8″ Hand Printmakers Roller. The Printmaker can choose from either Soft, Medium, or Hard Spec of Roller

Using the Hard Rubber to ink your plate will take slightly longer than a softer roller. The edges of areas that you have cut, etched or scratched will ink up precisely.⁠

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.

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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?IMG 8219

 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.