20:20 Print Exchange started in 2009 as a project between Hot Bed Press in Salford and Red Hot Press in Southampton. Print workshops joined in by producing artworks, and then hosting exhibitions of the work from other participants across the UK. The organisers liked the format so much they quickly decided to roll it out to more print workshops. In 2010 there were 120 artists from 10 print workshops involved and in 2011 there were 257 artists from 19 print studios producing 6,425 prints!
At Boundary Wharf we have been busy bees for the past few months, producing a great diversity of prints by the lovely artists of Medway Fine Printmakers. Each artist had to produce an edition of 25 prints, measuring 20cm x 20cm, and the best part about this exchange is that you can be as creative as you like, there is no theme or subject to tie us down! So here are a few of many more prints to come.
Update – more images from our 20:20 print exchange
We’re lucky to have been joined by Jane Furst, a printmaker who specialises in intaglio techniques and creates beautiful prints that draw inspiration from deep sea creatures. Jane has been helping us during Wednesday Club, assisting users with drypoint work. She kindly took us through her techniques recently, showing plates, prints and her lovely notebooks, documenting the methods she uses and details of processes applied to specific plates.
Jane Furst – mezzotint print, plate and notebook
Mezzotint plates take weeks to work, first roughening the copper plate with a rocker that makes tiny impressions to create the beautiful soft blacks and halftones. The rocker is moved over the plate in a precise pattern, and Jane documents where she has got to with the process in her notebooks. Once the plate has achieved a velvety black print, it can be burnished to bring it back to lighter tones and white.
Jane showed us examples of her photo etching plates. These come coated in a photo-sensitive resist. Once exposed to UV light, the resist hardens. A transparency with solid black and white artwork is placed on the plate before exposure to the UV light, so that areas of the resist remain soft and can be washed away with a special solution after exposure. Once prepared the plate is etched in acid, with the metal only affected in the areas where the resist was removed. Very detailed work can be created with this method.
Jane Furst – photo etching print, transparency and plate
Jane also works with aquatint and hard and soft ground etching methods. She has combined these to great effect with drypoint for her series of prints based on microscopic marine life forms ‘animal and plant’. Taking inspiration from nineteenth century biologist Ernst Haeckel, but also using metaphor. Jane places the thin aluminium drypoint plates on top of the etching plates and runs them through the etching press together, using a technique she has developed herself.
Jane Furst – Treasures of the Deep, drypoint and etching