Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Silkcut v Vinyl./ Reduction plus Stencil.

Experimenting again and I used for the first time the new vinyl plates in a workshop back in September , 22nd and carved the owl on the reverse of that plate. As it turns out it is my favourite plate/image so have used it constantly but realise I can't keep producing the one image.
My next challenge was to use it as a reduction plate which presented me with a few hurdles. Knowing that it "stretches" I needed to stabilize the sides during the process.This meant I could reduce the edges so took a clue from screen printing days and made my own stencils to protect the printing paper. Also I wanted to use two different colours and designs from this plate so had to bear that in mind as well.
To make my own stencils I printed off the image first and kept that as a template but made sure I used reasonably thick paper to cut them out so they would last a few editions.

Original Plate.

Inked Plate.

Inked Plate with Stencil Added.

The Print.

The background was printed with a light colour first from the same size plate and reprinted with a slightly darker colour,working with tonal value here.

Some detail on the head and the background colour isn't as grey as this looks.

Because I had inky fingers after a few runs I just place some paper over those areas to protect the printing paper.

Reducing the belly area. I only do this once a definite decision has been made especially as I wanted to reuse the plate in another edition and another colour.

Now I started rethinking design in the wings just to add interest. The best part of using stencils is if they don't work then I can reduce the plate, once cut away I can't replace it!!

The stencil ready to be placed on the inked plate. Note the arrow lower right corner , this is always part of the registration process and thinking reverse position too.
Stencil and printed plate and it wasn't necessary to ink the complete plate but enough to cover the areas I wanted to print and to hold the stencil onto the plate.

Here's the result of that print and not sure I liked it after all so now I can change it to the reduction method.

I missed the registering a bit here and when I inked the blue/black wings I inked the branch in green .
In the end it's about a 7colour reduction/stencil print and I am happy enough with it.


  1. Very interesting post Alison. You've explained the process so clearly - you must be a natural teacher!

  2. Thanks Amanda, not sure about the teaching though. I made heaps of notes beforehand!