Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Cooking with colour

With two blocks carved for the first of the new set of prints, it was time to start printing . . .

It's a bit like cooking, first I needed to assemble the ingredients and do the prep'.

Dark Bronze Blue, Yellow Ochre and White inks plus a dash of Extender makes pale turquoise.

Rolled out so it makes that nice chush-chush sound, and we're ready to go.

Block number one positioned on the drawing board and inked up

and after using a bit of elbow grease the first print is hung up to dry.

I don't have a vast array of tins of printing ink. Maybe it's a throw-back to A-Level art lessons where we were only allowed four tubes of watercolour paint: Prussian Blue, Yellow Ochre, Light Red and Crimson. My printing ink collection consists of Dark Bronze Blue, Crimson, Yellow Ochre, Primrose Yellow, White and Black (which I've gone off using).

Yellow Ochre, a smidge of Crimson, and teeny weeny dab of Primrose Yellow, white and teaspoon of Extender and we have Suffolk Pink ready for inking up block number two.

I usually print onto BFK Rives paper, but results can be variable – temperature, ink colour, the size of the blocks all seem to influence the success rate. For these prints I decided to use a different paper, I chose Kitakata 36gsm paper which is handmade in Japan using 90% Philippine Gampi (Wikstroemia diplomorpha) and 10% pulp. It's got a lovely silky texture, a vintage book page colour and is very strong, but it's also slightly translucent which makes printing much easier because you can see what's happening as you rub the reverse of the paper onto the inked block.

The second colour was really quick to print.

So now I need to get that third block carved . . .

The tabby studio assistant was a great help . . .


  1. Oh How pretty, I love the print.

  2. What a fantastic thing to be able to do! How do you carve the blocks?

  3. That chush chush roller sound brings back memories of college. :)
    The print looks lovely and the cut out block is a work of art on its own!

  4. As soon as I've answered an email I'm expecting I'll be working on lino myself.
    Our upcoming exhibition is titled "Listen to the Ink" and I'm sure you understand that!
    About the assistant...she's probably resting after clearing up those old bean pods for you. ;-)

  5. As one who had some promise, I was told, but had to give up art before O Level to take sciences, I'm fascinated by the process. Thanks for letting us into your work room.

  6. There's something really appealing about the colours you've chosen - I think it's that gorgeous 50's quality. Looking forward to seeing the finished print.
    P x

  7. Your lino prints are the nicest! I love the colours and the carving is amazing. I always feel inspired to have a go myself whenever I see your printing in action , thanks for taking the trouble to show us how you work and to give us an insight into your materials of choice.

  8. ah, the inspiration provided by the lovely pattern on the assistant's backside :) thanks for letting us in on the amazing amount of work which goes into creation.

  9. Wonderful to follow the process Celia. The prints look like they will be fabulous when finished - looking forward to seeing them.

  10. It's fabulous to see this process in action Celia - stunning carvings and that teal colour is, as you may have seen in my house, rather a favourite. What a gorgeous chuck!

  11. Those look great - but I'm most envious of the lovely studio assistant!

  12. As someone who has the same spatial understanding of a brick has, I find this fascinating. I have spent ages staring at the pictures working our which bits are cut away and which left and how the two blocks line up. As far as I'm concerned it's alchemy. Gorgeous alchemy.

  13. Thanks for all your encouraging comments.



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