Tailor-made: printing, paper and process


The Cattle Dog Printmakers are a small group of hobby artists interested in the processes involved in producing printed artwork.

Etching is an artistic process based on the principle of transferring images from a base surface to another surface, most often paper or fabric.

Traditional printmaking techniques include woodcut, etching, etching, monoprinting and lithography, while modern artists have expanded the techniques available to include screen printing and collagraphy.

One of the great advantages of gravure is that multiple impressions of the same design can be printed from a single original base surface or “plate”.

Plates are traditionally made from wood, metal, lino or stone, but modern engravers also use cardboard, glass and polystyrene.

As children, many of us were introduced to printmaking through potato imprints – with designs carved into a halved potato that was painted and stamped onto paper.

To print their works, artists use tools to create pressure to transfer the paint/ink from the plate to the paper.

The most controlled way to exert this pressure is through a printing press, which the Cattle Dog Printmakers bought through a grant in 2016, and for use in the Warwick Artists Group Studio on Willi Street.

In addition to exploring the craft of printmaking, the group has expanded their practice to include eco-printing, papermaking and the creation of other works on paper such as artists’ books and small three-dimensional parts.

Warwick cattle dog engravers celebrate their seventh anniversary with this exhibition titled Bespoke – Print, Paper and Process.

Exhibit Coordinator Jill Birtwistle explains how the art of making the plates and printing paper inspires the group.

“Through the exploration of various printmaking techniques, we produce unique, handcrafted images that showcase the diversity of this visual art form,” said Jill.

“We all appreciate the craftiness of this way of making art.”

Bespoke: Print, Paper and Process will be on display at the Orange Wall Gallery at the Warwick Art Gallery from April 14 to May 21.

The official opening will be provided by the famous paper artist and bookmaker Sandra Pearce on Saturday April 16 at 10:30 am.

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