Sunday, October 13, 2013

New Zealand Printmakers: Proof Makers, 21Oct-13Dec, Hamilton

New Zealand Printmakers: Proof Makers, 21Oct-13Dec, Hamilton: Proof Makers , an exhibition of 9 contemporary NZ Printmakers, will be open to the public from Monday 21 October to Friday 13 December 2...

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Today I finished printing this work for the upcoming Proofmakers exhibition: Graphic Overlay:  North Meets South. 
12 aluminum plates were coated in acrylic hard ground and installed at Waikato University. Staff and students were invited to ‘make their mark’ by scratching on the plates. Likewise 12 plates were distributed at the Dunedin School of Art. 

The plates were etched in a copper sulphate and salt solution and printed progressively in either intaglio or relief with Charbonell inks (White, sepia and red ochre) on Incisioni paper. Silver leaf comprised as my layer to complete 25 prints and the work has passed through the press a mighty 325 times upon completion. Each print has a hole in each corner in an invitation to extend the collaboration further - while on exhibition viewers may rearrange the prints into a composition that suits them. I hope someone sends me a photo/video of this activity. 

It was an interesting process for me to print imagery which I had less control over - however I found this to be quite liberating. Instead of doing my usual head banging banter of "if only this line was thicker, thinner, bigger, smaller, upside down" etc I just had to get on with it by responding to each layer and working more decisively. The etching process changed the plates - one I left in the solution for a week, another etched through the imagery because the wrong side was scratched, another revealed lovely patterns on the back of the plate.

 While printing I had to utilise some tricks, for example, many plates were text based and written right reading and so would print in reverse - so I off set printed one - but to no avail really as it just read as a texture after being printed over silver leaf. The paper started to break down after about 4 layers but I found if I wet the back of the paper with a spray bottle and talcum powdered the ink side I had a better chance of success.  Initially I was going to print the plates completely over one another but instead used a mask or cut some up and printed partial plates -thanks to my friend Kat who helped me out with this idea as I was showing her my concern of capturing all the 24 plates.  I found it fascinating to see what became obliterated and what appeared through in a subtle way further down the track. It was fun to play with the multiples. 

When I was at art school a tutor said to me that I took my layers of printmaking too far, I didn't know when to stop and that I should keep a proof of each stage of a layered work so I could evaluate it. Have finally taken that advice on board?

One arrangement of final work

Thanks to Steph Chalmers for instigating and organising Proofmakers. More exhibition details on Facebook.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Longstitch Book Binding Class

Due to a waiting list for the last class I am running another Longstitch Binding workshop. This one will be
 held at  Glenfalloch Homestead.  Make a soft and a hard covered book as part of Art in the Garden 
 - Sunday 13th October 1.00 - 4:30. Cost:$50

 (All materials provided but it may be useful to bring your own pencil/pen and a camera if you want to take 
photos of bookbinding stages as you work).  Limited places available!
To ensure a place please register your interest at 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Screen printing class

A local school, Broad Bay, invited me to teach some screen printing to Year 7 and 8 students. I tied the theme in with their science topic of butterflies and yesterday we went to the Otago Museum to draw some beautiful specimens in the collection (thanks Cody). It was so interesting to learn that the specimens are so delicate that even if you sneeze on them bits can fall off! Students wrote poems about butterflies and I translated these onto photostencil screens. Then the students made paper stencils as well and screenprinted with acrylic paint on laser cut shapes...some gorgeous results ready to fly off to their new homes!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Transport Themed print afternoon at Toitu

Sunday afternoon was spent with a creative group of people at Toitu Settlers Museum printmaking. I didn't have time to make a handout before the class so here are some notes on materials etc....

INK - we used oil based Flint Ink and Charbonnel Paynes Grey. We also used some cheap oil paint - Maries brand - Prussian blue - as our blue. Oil paints can be used to tint etching inks. I got the tube we used tube from Pete's Emporium in Wellington.

For adding graphic lines and extra colour we used water soluble caran d'ache crayons.

We used MULL, (Art Zone) which had been washed to soften it a little to wipe the ink out of plates. Some websites/books refer to this as tartlan. I also experiment with other fabrics to try and save $ - some washed cross stitch fabrics seem to work ok. Alternatively you can starch baby muslin.

 Imagery was sourced from the Toitu Settlers collection, from old patents and the wonderful airship was from  If you are not familiar with this site I am sure you will be amazed at the work Karen Watson puts into it and how generous she is.  We used solar plate and images had been pre -exposed onto these from imagery lazer printed out on OHP.  Tone was added to the plates by the double exposure technique - using a dot matrix screen for 90 seconds.

Margaret printed up the ink palette at the end of the day
Janeen addded collage elements


 Background plates were made by 1.inking up a flat surface roller using ink which had some transparency ink added. 2. Intaglio printing (wiping up with mull) plates made of a cardboard base, painted with gesso and sealed with shellac. I often apply gesso over 'failed' solar plates and they make for fantastic backgrounds as some of the original matrix shows through and adds interesting surprises.

Plans of the train Josephine

Clean stuff - baby oil. If you accidently get some ink on your hands dust your hands with talcum powder, it helps stop transferring the ink onto paper. Oil residue can be cleaned up with a spray of water with a dash of detergent in it.
Baby wipes - ever handy in the print studio.

We used 'doofers' to handle paper with - these are just small pieces of heavy mylar folded in half. 

Want to know more about printmaking in NZ?

Some suppliers:
Flint Ink, gesso and shellac - Art Zone
Heavy mylar (I think it is not actually called mylar but cannot remember the actual name. The heavy weight has good spring and can also be used for drypoint etching) - Miller Studios, Dunedin
OHP  Warehouse Stationery I buy it by the pack full 3M Transparency Film but it can also be purchased individually from Print Shops.
Sheet Mounting adhesive (acid free)- Jac - and printmaking paper available from Kaia at Southern Papers
Printmaking presses - Chris Fersterer

Monday, February 25, 2013


I am often asked to teach Solar printmaking but only do so is your chance!

Hosted by the Caselberg Charitable Trust  (proceeds to the Trust)

When:           SUNDAY 17TH MARCH 2013
Time:            10.00am - 5:00 pm

Venue:               Art Workshops Studio, Broad Bay, Dunedin  
Park & Meet:   9.30am.  7, Frances Street, Broad Bay

Cost:          $120.00  ($100.00 for Caselberg Trust members)
                      *Plus materials cost, see below*
                      (bring own lunch – morning and afternoon tea provided)

Printmaking with the sun will introduce and advance participants in using solar or photopolymer plate printing. Both emboss and double exposure intaglio processes will be explored. Solar plate printing is relatively low toxicity and the techniques learnt on this course can be continued in the home environment. 
This one day intensive workshop is suitable for beginners to advanced printmakers and may also appeal to artists working in other media who are interested in extending their current art practice through the graphic surprise of printmaking.   While the process of printmaking allows the production of multiples or a series, people attending this workshop will be focusing on process, exploring possibilities and producing a range of results. There will be oil based and AKUA (soy based) inks available for you to try.

While the essentials will be provided it is recommended that along with your enthusiasm you bring:

 MOST IMPORTANT: bring some images, drawings, photos, text etc already printed out on transparent film or mylar.  This can be done on the computer or a photocopier. Have different ‘things’ copied ready so you can select what to expose onto the solar plate on the day.  Amongst the variety have something that is a tonal image (like a photograph) and something that is graphic (like text).  The graphic image below is also shown in inverse – if you want to create a stamp like plate print out both the positive and inverse – it gives you more options. (This only works for graphic images, don’t bother inverting your tonal images) The size of our plates is small A7 105 x 74 mm so think about working within that proportion.  You could scale your imagery to slightly smaller than this size to allow a clean plate edge or you could work edge to edge like I do!

  • a ‘failed’ plate – this may be a solar plate or a metal or cardboard one, or if you have nothing just bring along a piece of flat cardboard. Any size.
  • any papers you would like to experiment printing on – such as flax paper
  • a couple of bits of solid cardboard (about A4 size to take your prints away in)
  • visual diary for jotting down notes. Optional - a camera is a handy way to record too.
  • gloves (I like using the doctor and nurses ones from the supermarket)
  • apron
  • pencil case/scissors, any of your favourite printmaking tools etc
  • extra solar plate if you have some that you want to work with

*Materials kit - $20 (payable on the day to Lynn to cover materials costs)
Photopolymer (solar) plate 2 x A7 size each person (105 x 74 mm)
Paper for printing on


Name: __________________________

Address: ________________________


Email: ___________________________   Phone:___________________

Fee:     $120.00 ($100.00 for Caselberg Trust members)
        Please make cheques payable to Anna & John Caselberg  
        Charitable Trust
        (nb materials cost payable on the day to Lynn as above*)
Confirmation of place on workshop will be sent on receipt of payment
        (Minimum numbers apply)
        Please note: Places are limited for the workshop, so please book early               to secure your place
1.  Email Leslie Turner to check there is a space

   2.  Send cheque $120.00 ($100 for Caselberg members) to:
  Leslie Turner, 58 Spotiswoode Street, Andersons Bay, Dunedin

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Art Journalling

I made my friend Kat a small sized journal so she could carry it with her and do her art journalling while she is out and about attending to her busy life. Because I can't help but interfere and because I wanted to make the journal personalised to Kat I had added some details to a few pages - a stamp, a few stitches etc. And wow, while I am still sharpening my pencils in readiness for new art making Kat has been applying the creative magic - she has just updated her blog with some delicious entries....

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Matiu Somes: On The Island

Solander Gallery Wellington invites you to participate in the upcoming program.

The “Matiu Somes: On The Island” program consists of 3 parts.

1/   An exhibition of selected works from the very successful Matiu Somes: The Next Chapter exhibition featuring seven New Zealand artist’s responses to a weekend residency on Matiu Somes Island.

2/  Public printmaking workshops

3/  Meet the artist opportunities.
Part 1
Matiu Somes: On The Island
A selection of 14 works will be exhibited on Matiu/Somes Island over the Wellington Anniversary Weekend (19-21 Jan).  This exhibition will take place in the Caretakers Cottage and will be open to the public from 10.30am to 4.00pm each day over the weekend.

The exhibition provides an opportunity for visitors to the Island to experience the artist’s works in the direct context of the Island environment. The public will be able to gain valuable insight into the artist’s motivations and creative processes and more importantly reflect on their own experiences and thoughts on the Island’s stories, historical places, and environment. The exhibition gives an opportunity for the public to compare their responses to the Island with that of the artists and, in a way, to validate their own creative interpretation. 

Part 2

Workshop experiences

Public printmaking workshops will also be conducted over the weekend and is an important opportunity for people of all ages to understand and appreciate the exhibition and the Island’s history and environment in a multi sensory way.
The workshop experience is not only an enjoyable process but provides a platform on which to explore, examine and discuss the significant historical places and stories surrounding Matiu Somes Island. By making a small piece of art to take away, visitors have a signifier of their visit which potentially could generate conservations to a broad audience.

There will be workshop experiences available at two different locations on the Island over the course of weekend. Both workshop venues will operate from 10.30am until 3.30pm

Workshop 1: Screenprinting workshop – Caretakers Cottage

This workshop will be run by Lynn Taylor who is a very experienced art tutor from Dunedin and one of the artists included in the Matiu Somes: The Next Chapter exhibition. Lynn will provide a number of silkscreens with prepared images from the Island for the public to print from using non toxic and environmentally friendly materials. There will also be opportunities for older participants to create their own papercut stencils to screenprint their designs onto paper and fabric.

This workshop will operate on Saturday & Sunday from 10.30am to 3.30pm

Age range
  • Suitable for adults and children as young as 8 with supervision by a parent

Typical experience duration
  • Approximately 15 -20 minutes for each experience

Workshop 2: Monoprint Workshop – Barracks Building

 This workshop will be run by Basia Smolnicki  and Vincent Drane who are both practicing printmaking artists and experienced art tutors (both with over 20 years teaching experience). This workshop will introduce relief and monoprints on paper created from the surface of a variety of found objects such as feathers, leaves and grasses as well as prepared woodcuts that illustrate the diversity of wildlife on the Island. All materials will be nontoxic and environmentally friendly.
This workshop will operate on Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10.30am to 3.30pm

Age range
  • Suitable for adults and children as young as 8 with supervision by a parent

Typical experience duration
  • Approximately 15 - 20 minutes for each experience

Friday, January 4, 2013

Bookbinding - Gelatine Print Covers

I thought this would be a quick project but like most projects there was a lot of fiddling! I made the covers by gelatine printing Clematis leaves on old Encyclopedia pages. (Ex Readers Digest - the pages print well as they are quite absorbent. Used one of my favourite colours for this process - green black.) Then I couldn't find end papers to match so handprinted a blue/green on French Arches Paper. (Again, not so quick because each book needs two end papers = 32 and both sides have to be printed = 64 times through the press + the experimenting to get the right look! I ended up using oil based ink) All stitched up with embroidery thread and French Link Stitch Binding , 12 signatures of 4 pages each, steel grey paper 80 gsm.  They are A5 size - I am happy that the local Warehouse Stationery slices a ream of paper in half for $2. I got them to trim a bound book too, but decided to keep the forecreep to retain the handmade feel. An edition of 16 - to be posted on Monday to The Little River Gallery, Banks Peninsula, for a shared exhibition titled 'Taylormade', opening soon!