Printmaking & relief technique
To the modern reader, the word print might suggest mechanically mass-produced commercial products, such as books, newspapers, and textiles. “Print" also is used commonly for the reproduction of an artwork in a high quality premium print from the photograph of artwork that can be in limited editions.
"Printmaking", however is a term referring to the process and techniques that an artist uses in creation of original artwork by hand.
Traditional printmaking techniques include relief, etching, intaglio, lithography and screen-printing.
I use traditional relief technique with lino as the main matrix, a material that its use goes back to mid 18 century.
In relief processes, the negative, or nonprinting part of the block or plate, is cut away, leaving the design standing in relief to be inked and printed. You can think of it as a large hand-carved stamp.
My prints are hand-drawn on lino blocks & hand-carved then using premium oil based inkes, they are all hand pressed on archival paper.
I usually start by some kind of a research about the stories behind the subject I'm working on and find relatable myths, metaphors and stories. The famous google search, browsing visual element through my books or a conversation with my dad which will be around stories, poems and symbolism.
Then I start sketching my design on a paper. Recently I'd like to switch to iPad to examine different options and with a few back and forth between digital and hand sketch until I'm happy with the final result.
Then the sketch can be transferred to the surface of linoleum.
The final design is then carefully and slowly hand-carved using carving tools.
Some works need multiple blocks for multiple colours.
When the carving is finished, they are inked with a brayer and carefully placed on a marked area on my printing bench. Paper is placed on the lino block. First I press the paper by hand to settle it on the ink before using one of my favourite tools, a glass barren called frog, to print the design on paper.
One print is done! Repeating this process again for each print will create an edition.
Glass baren in use
Numbering & signing the editions
After a few days when the ink is dry, each print is numbered and signed that shows the number of "Edition". For example for an edition of 12 will look like: 1/12 - 2/12...12/12 that means there are only 12 prints available from that design and due to the process of hand printing, each individual print can have minor differences adding to their uniqueness and individuality. If a lino block is printed in more than one colour, or on different papers, it will have "Edition Varied " initial next before the number: V.E. 1/12.
When an edition is numbered, no more print from the block is taken.
My editions are usually small (sometimes under 10) specially on larger prints, or for larger editions, they are often varied on different colours of paper to keep each individual print more unique, rare and individual.