WORKSHOPS AND TUITION

In essence, Corvine Art provides two services. The first is to facilitate the process of taking a block to print. Whether in small groups or privately, David can provide encouragement and guidance through the process of making various printing blocks and the eventual proofing and printing.

So our first service is advice, plate processing and print development for artists unfamiliar with printmaking, and assistance through the process for those more confident with the process. Towards the bottom of this page is a description of the etching process. Our fee for this type of service depends on the needs of the client and their budget. Always feel free to request a quote foryour project.

When the studio is not engaged in printing editions, we are happy to rent the studio to printmkers wanting to utilize the 1m x 1.98m bed press, seen in foreground, in the Home page's main photo. There is an hourly rate for access to the studio. Materials used are either replaced by or payed for by the client. We also require a meeting with those using the press and studio beforehand.

LIMITED EDITION FINE ART PRINTS

The second service we provide is printing editions of fine art prints for artists and their representatives. David has been printing for professional artists for around 12 years from Southeast Queensland.

There are two main printing techniques used.

  • Relief technique can utilize a wooden or linoleum printing block.
  • Intaglio technique most often involves a zinc or copper plate block.

In any case, an agreed upon number of prints are taken from the block using one of the etching presses pictured on our Home page. Printing is by hand, inking up a plate for each individual print.

At the end of the printing run successful prints are gathered together into a numbered, or limited edition. The block is then most often marked so that no more prints can be taken from it, resembling the already printed and limited edition.
Relief Block Print Example, A Lino Print...

Exampled is a one colour and reasonably small relief print. Entitled Crow Sign, the image was carved from a piece of linoleum sometime in 2001.

As printing goes this was a reasonably straightforward print. At present I would be charging my minimum rate of approximately $20 each to print an edition of 30 prints.

The price will vary according to the materials supplied by the client, and difficulty involved in reaching a satisfactory impression or print. Artists and clients are encouraged to supply their own ink and paper, although Corvine Art can facilitate purchase. Otherwise, Corvine Art has a stock of Hahnemuhle 300gsm rag paper on hand, and there is most often some Graphic Chemicals & Ink Co. Ink about the place. Printing sundries like turpentine, rags & plastic gloves etc. are factored into the price, as is the cost for labour, which is related to the complexity of the printing process.

Crow Sign, 2001, by David Jones, photogaphed by D. Jones.

Intaglio Printed Zinc Block Example, An Etching...

Exampled is an impression or print, taken or pulled from a zinc plate. The printable image on the plate was arrived at through the selective etching of the zinc plate with nitric acid.

This was a 20cm x 30cm high plate, printed in black. The plate itself was effectively etched, which allowed printing consistent multiple impressions.

Printing an etched plate takes longer, and the minimum price I'd quote is approximately $25 each to print an edition of 30 prints. As with Crow Sign 2001 above, this price includes materials that could be supplied by the artist or client.


Wauwa, 2001, by David Jones, photogaphed by D. Jones.

  • So the cost increases with, size, complexity and materials.
  • Each block should be proofed, or test printed until a good print is achieved.
  • From that point on an edition can be taken.

The costings presented are subject to change and quotes are made after careful consultation with the client...

PRINTING ON THE LARGEST ETCHING PRESS IN THE WORLD

Exampled is an image of Matilda Malujewel Nona's work, a roughly 2 meter wide and 1.2m high lino-cut block, relief printed on a sheet of Hahnemuhle 350 gsm rag paper, 1.24 meters high and 2.2 meters long. When framed this work was displayed as part of the Sageraw Thonar exhibition at KickArts Contemporary Arts, Cairns 2016.

Printing on the large press involves more labour, time and concentration. An experienced assistant is needed. Every part of the printmaking process is magnified, taking longer. And finally, a great deal of concentration and even patience is required, so as to give the best chance for a successful print. Material costs increase with size too.

With that said, their are further constraints. To begin with...

  • The bed or printing surface of the press is 3.85 meters long by 2 meters wide. Our printable area is smaller, at possibly 3.2 meters long by 2 meters wide. Having said that, the longest print to date printed on the large press was a work by myself around 8 meters long and 1,25 meters wide. Although this was made possible by using multiple blocks, and the image itself. So the biggest comfortable size for a printing block would be around 3 meters by 1.2 meters.
  • Paper is another limitation. We can source 2 meter wide rolls of Hahnemuhle 350 gsm rag paper on 20 meter rolls. This is a sturdy paper that can work with lino block prints or gigantic etchings. There are some wider papers that I have used, though they can be expensive or simply hard to source. Grammage of paper is an issue too, depending on printing process.

So each impression or print at maximum size, and I don't usually suggest many are made, can cost in excess of $400, depending on difficulty.


Araw Warul, by Matilda Malujewel Nona was printed at Corvine Art Studio for the Sageraw Thonar exhibition at KickArts Contemporary Arts, Cairns 2016. Photographed by Jon Linkins 2016.

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IN DETAIL

Technical assistance and tuition...

This can cover the entire process of bringing an image or idea through to a poof or print.

If the artist is already familiar with the processes and techniques I may be able to simply facilitate the process of plate making. I can set up the necessary paraphernalia for each step of the way and provide suggestions as to techniques of plate preparation at need.

An artist who wishes to learn will simply be encouraged to go through the steps of production at a rate comfortable to them, with supervision and help.  After only a little familiarization with the process, anyone could quite happily begin to explore the possibilities of the printmaking medium themselves.


To describe the process a little further…

After appropriate cleaning and beveling the edges of a zinc plate, the plate is then most often covered in an acid resist.

So the client ends up with a blank, prepared plate ready to 'draw' on, with a scribe or needle usually, but not exclusively. Depending on the size and complexity of image that the client envisions, this drawing stage can take the artist some time.

When the line has been applied we meet up again to etch the plate. There need not be any line work of course and many techniques exist that need considering even before applying the first acid resist layer.

Usually however the line drawing is etched onto the plate first. With zinc, we use a reasonably cheap and relatively weak solution of nitric acid and water to etch the plate. It is immersed for a number of seconds or minutes depending on the deepness or eventual heaviness of line required for the image. Once this line 'state' has been reached a proof or two is often, but not necessarily taken. At this point the artist may even wish to take the proofs home to 'color in', to work out what areas of tone are needed.

The next step is most often to 'aquatint' the plate, giving it a complex texture, the ability to hold ink, and produce tone or color in the eventual print.

To aquatint the plate a spray of acid resist is applied, speckling it with fine, minute dots of hard ground usually, an acid resist. These dots help create a texture on the zinc plate when etched, that holds varying amounts of ink when printing. The more time the plate spends in the solution, the darker the eventual print will be in these areas. By covering the plate in acid resist gradually, and incrementally, and bathing it between these applications of hard ground, tonal effects and color retaining areas on the plate are achieved.

The typical routine is to spray the plate and 'block out' with hard ground or an acid resist, any areas that should remain white. The plate is etched for a short time and then rinsed. Any areas the artist would wish to be a light in tone are then blocked out and the plate can be bathed again. This process is repeated, again and again depending on how much gradient of tone is required across the image. This can take time, and after proofing the aquatinted plate there may even be more etching required, and another proof taken, until the artist is happy with the resulting proof.

This may all sound like a time-consuming process, and I guess it is. If the image is simple and of small dimensions a print can really be achieved in a day's session.

It is my job to guide and assist the artist through a number of possibilities from the very beginning of the process. Hopefully making the decision-making process a little easier, and the whole experience of printmaking enjoyable. 


An Edition…

An edition is taken from a printing block to the specifications of the client when; color, printing technique, paper type and the number of prints to be included in the edition are all settled, and a BAT print or ‘bon à tirer’ has been produced.

Editions are priced according to edition size, print size and difficulty. 

Postage is not included, however postage can be arranged and included in the cost.


A further breakdown of steps to an edition of fine art prints...

When a plate, whether in metal or linoleum is completed, and a print arrived at which satisfies the artist, it is time to consider an edition of the print.

The number of prints included in the edition must be decided upon.

An edition comprises of a number of prints which are the edition proper. There are other prints that could be assumed to be within the edition as well.

A number of artist's proofs are usually taken equal to roughly 10% of the edition proper.

There is a BAT too or ‘bon à tirer’ print, with which the edition prints are compared for inclusion in the edition.

So, an edition of 10 prints would most likely have a BAT print and at least 1 AP or artist's proof. Of course, all the state proofs, SP's and trial prints or TP's or color trial proofs, CTP's to name a few could be considered connected to the edition as well. 


The type and size paper must be chosen...

It falls to the client to purchase the necessary paper for the edition plus 10% for possible failure rate. We can however arrange for paper. There is a huge range of paper types suitable for printmaking which can lend so much to the image.

Ink and color must be decided on.
Yet again it is up to the client to provide the ink for the edition and 10% failure rate. Any excess is retained by the client of course and may be used for future editions. We can also arrange for ink.

Once a size of the edition has been settled on, the paper chosen and ink decided on, and we have a fair idea of the difficulty in printing the plate, we can usually offer a quote.

Well, there you go...

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