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About Printmaking

Many people think that printmaking is about reproductions. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Every print made or exhibited at Double Elephant is an original. This means it doesn’t exist in any other form and was conceived and executed purely as a print. There are many different ways to make prints, including etching, screen-printing, and relief printing. Often the prints are in small limited editions, sometimes only one is ever made. The whole process involves artistic input from creation to completion.

Prints at Double Elephant are created from a block, plate or through a stencil. They might be etched into a smoothly polished sheet of copper; collaged from a variety of textured materials, hand-cut into a piece of box wood or feature intensely-hued ink squeezed through a mesh stencil. It might be none of these traditional methods but an artist’s very personal working method developed over many years.

Artists are drawn to printmaking because it can provide a language of marks, a richness of colour and depth and other unique characteristics that can’t be achieved in any other way. Some artists produce all their work using printmaking processes. Others, such as painters, sculptors, new media artists etc, move in and out of this way of working whenever they need to.

Anyone can print, whether or not you perceive yourself to be “artistic”. Printmaking does not necessarily rely on drawing or technical skills and pleasing results can be achieved quickly and straightforwardly. Put simply, within 15 minutes a person of any age, with no prior experience, can produce an original art work that they will take pride in displaying. However, beyond the basics of entry-level printmaking, there is endless scope for experimentation and development; professional printmakers continue to learn and develop their practice over the course of their career.

At Double Elephant, we love printmaking because it offers such variety. And however it is achieved, there is always an exciting element of surprise involved as an artist reveals another unique print. Printmaking, therefore, has broad appeal and lends itself to outreach very easily. This is why Double Elephant runs one of the only portable print studios in the country, offering schools and community groups across the region the opportunity to learn and enjoy printmaking for themselves.

Take a look at our fabulous demo videos to find out more.

Handcrafted by Rock Kitchen Harris