The Print Centre is split into five main areas, which offer a comprehensive range of print processes from the hand rendered through to wide format digital printing.
Initially students will undertake an introductory workshop in an area that will cover the principles of working in a particular process, and the relevant health and safety issues. They then return on either a self-directed basis or on a designated print module particular to their course. .
The Screen Printing Studio is a non toxic area. The process is water based using Daler Rowney System 3 Acrylics with Mediums and additives. By using fine meshes and textured drawing films, incredible detail can be achieved on various substrates. A selection of hand-rendered marks can be produced using soft graphite, soft pencils, chinagraph crayons, litho crayons and drawing inks, etc. The direct screen coatings, when dry, become very sensitive stencils and when exposed to ultra-violet light and washed out, show an incredible range of litho-like textures.
We also print fine photographic images using film positives output on clear laser film. Four-colour separations, duotones, tritones or monotones can be printed on different substrates. Screen Mono techniques are also explored using Daler Rowney System 3 Acrylics, Watercolours and Pastels.
Water-based ceramic decals can also be produced using UWET transfer Paper and onglaze ceramic powders. When mixed in the right proportions with an acrylic medium/retarder, detailed multi coloured decals can be printed.
Equipment in the Screen Printing Area includes:
The etching area covers a range of intaglio processes from autographic methods through to the use of photographic plates. Copper plates etched in ferric chloride is the most common substrate used.
Intaglio work on copper can be made using hard ground, soft ground, aquatint and sugarlift. There is an aquatint box and a fully equipped acid room with extraction. We use Toyobo photo-polymer plates for photographic work – which are water washable – and particularly suitable for embossing as a deep relief surface is created to print from. The studio has 3 etching presses, the largest of which will accommodate Double Imperial paper, (112cm x 76cm).
The digital printing area offers a bureau service as well as a dedicated support service. The area currently has two wide format printers: a Hewlett Packard DesignJet 5000, which can print up to 60-inches wide, and an Epson 9600 which can print up to 44-inches wide.
We print on a wide range of different substrates including papers, transparencies and canvas. Students pay for their prints according to size on collection of their work. A colour laser bureau service is available to students and is a very popular way of printing multiples, pamphlets or small publications.
A colour laser bureau service is available to students. Printing from the EPI Centre computers, including those at Bush House and Spike Island.
The lithography area has facilities that cover the entire range of lithographic printmaking, including the original method of printing hand-rendered imagery from a limestone block, ‘grained’ aluminium plates (similar to the Litho stone) for hand rendered work, and the current type of industrial/ commercial photographic printing plates.
We have a good stock of reusable stones up to 24 x 19 inches, and a large supply of both grained aluminium and photo-sensitive commercial plates suitable for image sizes up to A2. Both stone and grained aluminium plate require drawing materials such as litho crayon and ink or ‘tusche’, which are particular to the process, and the Print Centre and faculty shop have a ready stock of all these essential materials.
Photographic and hand rendered imagery can be printed via the commercial lithographic plates. These are used by the printing industry in the production of books, magazines, posters etc, and enable the student to produce highly finished work with minimal experience of the lithographic process. To print from plates the area has three manually operated offset proofing presses, the largest of which can print paper sizes up to 96cm x 70cm, and to print from stone and grained aluminium plate we have a powered direct press that will take paper up to A1.
Relief printing is often a very direct method of producing a print. Because there are usually only a few stages of process involved, blocks can be drawn, cut and printed in a very short space of time. The inks used are oil based and it is possible to print several colours on top of one another, as well as using relief prints in conjunction with other printing methods. The more commonly used methods in the area are:
The bulk of the basic introductory workshops cover either monoprinting, collograph or linocut and the area has 2 Albion relief printing presses and a large Columbian press for printing this kind of relief-block work. The relief area also has a good range of wooden and metal (lead) typefaces for students producing text based work, and two dedicated Vandercook proofing presses to print from type on paper up to A2 size.