In my mind making a mask to go over the printing plate with circles would be easy. However I realised in my first attempt at printing the circles using a thick paper as a mask was restricting how much ink I was getting onto the paper. I remembered I’d encountered this problem when using masks for the first time at the start of the course.
So I decided to use layout paper (like tracing paper) as my mask, cutting out the appropriate circles and making sure to place the mask the wrong way round onto of the inked printing plate. Below is a photo of the successful mask before printing:
I realised that cutting circles of textured wallpaper and pressing these into the exposed ink circles meant that I needed them to be slightly larger than the cut out area so that when I rolled over the back of the textured circles the texture would transfer leaving no edge apart from the edge created by the mask.
I place the textured circles over the ink circles and a sheet of paper over the top before rolling over that with a rolling pin. I found this technique helped to get the maximum imprint of the texture onto the surface of the ink. Below is a photo of the textured circles after printing, just to help make what I’m taking about clearer.
The print in the photo above took three stages. As you can see different stages of printing were more successful than others, which is good in some sense as this was me trying out slight variations in methods to find the best method for the print.
There’s a couple of issues with the print:
1. Some of the circles came out very faintly – see the purple one in the bottom right hand corner. I think this is due to me using a thick paper mask at this point and applying the ink too thinly onto the plate for a light colour.
2. The texture is slightly muffled looking and not as crisp as I had imagined or had achieved in the rectangular print (see image below for a reminder of the print I’m referring to):
3. The effect of the circles and therefore different colours overlapping isn’t as strong as I had hoped for. I think this is mainly due to the ink not coming through strong enough and that’s partly an issue of not enough ink on the plate and the mask needing to be thinner.
The print in the photo above was achieved using a slightly different method. I used the inked circles and pressed them directly onto the paper and then rolled over them with a rolling pin. I found the impressions from the texture was much better, but I don’t think it’s really monoprinting?
Ideas moving forward:
I think using the thin mask works well so I’ll stick to that. I wonder if a combination of back drawing texture onto the circles would work alongside creating texture with the wallpaper circles. I also need to make some decisions about colour combinations but I think this can only be decided once I’ve decided exactly what I want to convey in the series.