Pointy penguins?

A little break from lithography and etching planning, was in the form of a lino-cut print. As per tradition in my family, any cards for any kind of occasion are always handmade. These prints were for my uncle and as his favourite birds are gannets I thought I would do a quick lino cut of them. My partner saw the final prints and the first thing he said was “Are they pointy penguins ?” turns out either I’m not very good at depicting them or colour is the only determiner between a penguin and a gannet.Either way, here it is !



Blue pointy penguins!


Marks, Textures and Materials.

A short post, just to talk about today’s class. We looked at stone lithography, continuing on from last weeks quick sketch onto the group stone, although the print came out successfully, the instructor wanted to explain more about the texture and marks that can be achieved by different materials when applied in different ways. Although my last shells onto the stone were achieved by the ink and nib pen with a small addition of lithography crayon, I wanted to use a more varied range of materials, the ones that interested me the most was the touche wash, the demonstration that I was showed presented within the wash, some lovely and very expressive reticulations that I will use in my next stone lithograph.


Touche wash that produces reticulations along with different marks.


Tutorial on materials , taken whilst demonstrating the strength of a wash!


Hot off the press.

The first print that we were asked to make was based on where we wanted to take our projects in print. For me that was to do with nature, more specifically crustaceans  and intricate markings that would transfer well to etchings. A snail, although a mollusc was my initial choice, the lines on the shell and the depth that could be created with different directional lines would be challenging but could work very well. After putting on the ground and baking it, I was ready to use the needle to draw the shell, although the first mark was nerve wracking I soon slipped easily into it. When I printed the piece on the press, experimenting with different colours and the way different inks ‘behaved’ was key to the process for me. To create the form and three dimensionality without any tone such as aqua-lift, I used different colour inks, the darker being blue on the outer edges of the shell and the red as the highlighted areas. The below images are the final outcome of this attempt to create tone through colour. Although they worked well I am going to experiment with how they appear when placed on top of another etched plate, so keep an eye out for any update on this!


Preparing to place the plate into the acid bath.


Plate ready to be inked.


Inked up plate.


Black ink print !


Two colour tone attempt!


The prints are drying…slowly.

The Printing Rooms.

The School Of Art (more commonly know to students as the ‘SoA’)  at Aberystwyth University is a Grade II listed building, it retains many of its original features and the character behind the building is still there after so many years. The close proximity of the workshops, lecture halls, studios and gallery and museum allows students like myself to experience all types of events and practices. The entirety of the bottom floor of the building, along with a few other rooms in the SoA, has been dedicated to the print profession and includes:

Screen Print Area- Previously prepared screens , colours, gel and vacuumed beds for the screens are all  provided among other items.

Etching – Filled tanks with acid and the non toxic BIG ground (highly recommended) along with space to wash plates and prepare them are available for use.

Woodcut – Areas to cut safely, tech room for ordering wood that will be then be cut to specific size requirement, some tools ( although always best to buy own tools) and inks and rollers, presses made for printing woodcuts of which there are two varieties provided.

Lithograph-Stones which are sometimes already grained ready for use, inks, tools and four presses are provided.

I have included pictures of some of these print rooms so my viewers can have a look !





A library, a lecture and a lot of prints.

In most other courses, I hear never ending complaints about lectures, but then again most other courses probably don’t get to take a casual visit too the National Library of Wales. And look at original Rembrandt’s. Or Durer’s. Or Whistlers. I do however and it was bliss, the internet and pictures will never do these prints justice due to the simple fact that you can’t feel them, or judge the size and the intricacy in the marks or the texture or the effects of the time and wear on them. Although lectures can be interesting, in my mind having a lesson where you can handle the pieces, albeit with white gloves( literally!) creates a level of depth that cannot be gained by just talking about it. Luckily I was allowed by staff to take photographs of the session and the prints that the class saw and despite these photographs not having the same effect as the real pieces as I stated earlier, hopefully they will be just as enchanting to a viewer who can’t make the trip to see them ! Although I absolutely recommend you try!


A New Beginning!

First day back at Uni. A quick change of plans the day before from the book illustration module to a intaglio printmaking module meant my new timetable started on the Monday.Early morning start instead of a three day weekend ,urghhh ! Today consisted of a 9 AM lecture outlining the week by week plans for the semester and a short but sweet introduction into some of the history of Printmaking. Next was a 6 hour practical demonstrating various techniques for lithography and etching. We were asked to design a simple quick drawing on a group stone using any preliminary ideas we wanted to explore throughout the semester. The aim of this class was to generate a understanding and become more confident with the materials used in lithography. Lithography is brilliant for emphasis of rich blacks and contrast is also a effective technique, aware of this I drew two different types of shells onto the stone using a ink and nib pen for detail, shading some parts of the shell to create form and depth with a crayon suitable for lithographs.When printed by the instructor this turned out very successfully, although the correct level of ink opacity took some time to achieve.


Final group print.


My own design within the group print.

Introductions and Inspiration.

As is polite, I thought it best to introduce myself. My name is Clodagh (although I am known to my friends as Cloud; easier to say). I call Yorkshire home but live in Aberystwyth studying a major-minor degree in Fine Art and Art History. I have always known my future would revolve around art in some way or another, and the opportunity to study here is one big step on my road to where I am heading. Being brought up in the countryside has inspired my work greatly; flora and fauna, landscapes and family are recurring features, important not just to the art I create but to myself as a private individual. I have been focusing on a multitude of practices including screen-printing, woodcuts, lino cuts, life studies and photography. The current areas that I am concentrating on are lithographs and etchings. The latter areas are where I shall be starting my blog journey although others may pop up occasionally! Hope you enjoy!


A Yorkshire sunset.