June 15, 2018

Eppink's 101 Techniques - Part II

        After Norman R. Eppink covers Relief Processes in his 101 Prints: The History and Techniques of Printmaking, he goes on to other printmaking techniques in which, on the whole, I have significantly less interest.  Nevertheless, several of his sample pieces still serve to shed interesting light on relief printmaking.  For example, when he engraves a pewter plate, he prints the plate both intaglio (ink is forced down into the crevices) and relief
(ink stays up on original surface) for comparison.  He also includes a relief printed version of his metal line engraving.  You can see in both of these how the intaglio print makes the more expected picture - black lines on a white background - while the relief printed version makes a sort of negative.  This is why intaglio took over from relief as the reproduction method of choice in printing.  It is, after all, a lot easier to reproduce the look of a drawing that way.  This is also why I prefer relief printmaking: it has its own unique look instead of being merely a method of reproducing another medium.
        Along with his other metal plate techniques, Eppink includes a dotted metal print, a technique that has always been printed in relief.  You can see my previous post about the technique here.  Why he put it where he did in his book, I don’t know, but I do like this one, with its interesting patterns and textures.
        Unlike the collagraphs I’ve done, Eppink’s collagraph is printed intaglio, which is how one of my favorite collagraph artists, Bonnie Murray, does hers.  This makes for a really interesting look, and this is one of my favorites of Eppink’s prints.  It looks very Venetian.  I’d experiment with this myself, except that
I’ve not yet figured out how to make or seal a collagraph so that it’s sturdy enough to withstand the wiping away of the surface ink that’s required for intaglio printing.  Maybe someday!
        As for Eppink’s continued march through printmaking techniques, I have little interest in Planographic Processes (which is lithography), and although I suppose one could argue that monotypes are planographic, Eppink categorizes his under Miscellaneous Processes.  I don’t much care about Stencil Processes (which include stencils and serigraphy, the fancy word for silkscreen).  And my prejudice is that Photography Processes aren’t printmaking at all but belong in a wholly different book!
        And that concludes Eppink’s review of “serious” printmaking… but tune in for the third and final installment, where things get wild and fun!

[Pictures: Man of the Cloth, engraving by Norman R. Eppink, printed in both intaglio and relief;
Fish Count, line engraving printed as metal relief by Eppink;
Trio, dotted metal print by Eppink;
Façade, collagraph by Eppink;
Pears in a Basket, monotype on glass by Eppink, all from 101 Prints: The History and Techniques of Printmaking, 1967.]

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