The place for original handmade prints and printmaking courses taught by Carol Nunan

Carborundum Printmaking

Irish artist - Hughie O'Donohue

In my last post I mentioned returning to basics (in collagraphs with view to starting with carborundum printmaking).

As I began to think about putting a video together about making collagraphs I started with that video shot list I mentioned before. What is it? Well, my son, a student film maker introduced me to this term. It’s basically the writing on a storyboard without the pictures. The process of listing the various materials one can use to make a collagraph lead me to the realisation that, while I often use many different materials in my work, sometimes, paring down those materials to one or two can produce prints that are more interesting – that old term “less is more”. It is a really good way to become familiar with the vagaries and the multiple possibilities that a single material can offer. So while my shot list is a work in progress and leading to the possibility of many videos rather than just one or two, I decided to use this approach to begin a body of new landscapes.

Want to join me for the journey? It may not always be a pretty one but hopefully I’ll have something decent to show for it at the  end.

Inspiration

I’ve decided to make four carborundum collagraphs (so far) based on some well known landmarks in Northumberland. Northumberland has more castles than any other county in England. The subject matter of three out of the four collagraphs I’ve started are Lindesfarne, Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh Castles. Berwick, Alnwick, Chillingham, Warkworth and Langley Castles may follow in time. You can see I’m not short of material. The fourth plate I’m making is based on Northumberland’s iconic Sycamore Gap on Hadrian’s Wall.

Ross Loveday - carborundum printmaking

Ross Loveday – carborundum print

Caroborundum plate - carborundum printmaking

Peter Wray carborundum plate turned painting (in collaboration with Judith Collins)

Influences

A Google search for collagraph prints lead me to the work of Ross Loveday. I love the monochromatic loose approach to his work and that got me thinking about the kind of approach I’d like to take with landscapes. The reason I’ve chosen the castles I’ve mentioned is that each of them have an easily recognised silhouette. Another printmaker whose work I love who works with carborundum is Peter Wray. I’ve been on several of his workshops and as a consequence he has had a big influence on my work. I’ve also been looking at the work of Irish artist who worked in collaboration with Peter Wray a few years ago to produce larger than life carborundum prints, Hughie O’Donohue. You can see the style of his paintings reflected in his carborundum prints and vice versa. I am becoming increasingly more fascinated how one art medium feeds into another and back again as I find this happening in my own work.

Materials:

  1. Mount board with a linen grain
  2. Gesso
  3. Carborundum
  4. Modelling paste

I’m using mount board on this occasion although at some stage in the future I’d like to try .8mm or 3mm ply for the wood grain. For the moment I’m using mount board with a rough(ish) linen grain because this will add interest to the background skies.

I’m using gesso over PVA on this occasion for two reasons:

  1. PVA doesn’t hold it’s shape as well as gesso does so it is easier to work with lesson to create texture in different ways with either a palette knife or paint brush that won’t disappear or soften off too much.
  2. PVA is reactivated by damp paper unless it is sealed with shellac or varnish of some kind. Whilst I do plan to seal my plates I want to use a light sealant so as not to knock back the carborundum too much. I want to see if there is a significant difference between PVA and gesso to the end result.

I’m using carborundum in two ways. I’m sprinkling it over the wet gesso and tapping off the excess and I’m mixing it in with the gesso. Each method has its own merits which I hope will become evident as I proceed.

On some of the plates I want to create more definite texture to aid the depth of the image.

I’ll post some photos in the next post with more detailed explanation.

Irish Painter - Hughie O'Donohue - carborundum printmaking

Irish painter – Hughie O’Donohue

7 Comments

  1. quest bars February 18, 2016 Reply

    Hey! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and
    starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a extraordinary job!

  2. bastcilkdoptb April 2, 2016 Reply

    Howdy very cool blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Superb .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds additionally?KI am happy to find so many helpful information here within the put up, we need work out extra techniques on this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  3. JessieBSofer September 25, 2016 Reply

    My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find almost all
    of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking for. can you offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs?
    I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you
    write with regards to here. Again, awesome site!

    • Carol Nunan September 25, 2016 Reply

      Hi Jessie
      I have often considered inviting guest writers on the provision that I am familiar with who they are, whether they know what they are talking about and whether I feel their input is a good fit. I’ll be upfront with you. You give me no information about yourself or your spouse – no website to look at, no indication you know anything about printmaking, nothing to go on. This makes me skeptical and leads me to believe you are one of the many many spammers who clutter up my inbox all the time. If I’m wrong point me to your website, show me where you have written other guest posts connected with printmaking that I can look at and I’ll keep an open mind.
      I have no wish to be rude. But I’m not interested in time wasters or people looking to be paid for writing posts for me.
      Thanks for your interest.

  4. ArianaZWeick November 18, 2016 Reply

    Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

    • Carol Nunan November 18, 2016 Reply

      I’m not aware of any reports of people having difficulty with the pictures loading on this website but if there is anyone else out there who reports the same thing let me know and i’ll look into it.

  5. HesterHHadef December 30, 2016 Reply

    Hi there! Someone inside my Facebook group shared this website around thus i got
    to give it a look. I’m definitely enjoying the info.
    I’m book-marking and will also be tweeting this to my followers!
    Exceptional blog and fantastic design and
    style.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*