Making an Intaglio Drypoint Print from Recycled Paper Cartons
While walking a freshly emptied carton of frozen Mango & Cream bars to the recycling bin, I wondered if the thin paper carton would yield an intaglio print. There’s only one way to find out, right? So let’s give it a twirl, shall we?
Recycled Cartons as Printmaking Materials
If you’re new around here, visit a previous post about a series of printmaking experiments involving Trader Joe’s plastic Biscotti containers printed by stomping on the paper & plate to make a drypoint etching over here.
And if you’re leaning more towards a collagraph print, rather than a Drypoint Etching, this post with all the how to make a collagraph goodies might help you get started.
Printing Lots of Detail on an Intaglio Plate
If this experiment were made with a simpler design – no cross hatching, and less cat hair, etc. – I could print it by hand. Since there is so much detail, and hundreds of linear elements to transfer from the plate to paper, I think hand-printing this might be a beast.
Moistened printmaking paper stretches. A lot. So, rubbing the back over and over with a good baren would make contact with the line work on the plate in slightly different regions of the paper, repeatedly. Lines would print in a staccato style – over and over, next to each other, rather than in the exact same place.
When printing something like this on a press, the cylinder and the press bed provide so much pressure, the paper contacts the plate to collect the ink just once. That results in a nice, clean print.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do this experiment at home without a press! (Read on…)
Printing from Paper Food Cartons at Home without a Press
The next experiment on my roster is underway right now. I’m using a paper carton from a box of tissues, and I’ve got the beginnings of a still life of limes in a bowl sketched on the rear side of the carton material.
I still need to seal the carton, and scribe my line work, but THIS TIME – I’ll be avoiding all the details and cross hatching, so I can print with a rolling pin in the kitchen. All the shading in the image can be applied to the print with other media (like watercolor or colored pencils). I think this approach will work, so stay tuned for that post coming up soon.
Making Prints from Recycled Packaging
If you’re on instagram, can I recommend following Karen Wicks? She’s making intaglio prints from small packaging, sliced open and printed fully, including flaps, creases, logos and tabs. Have a look at her work over here. Artists like Karen make us survey the stuff we toss in the recycling bin with new eyes and broader possibilities. Don’t you think?
What artistic experiments are you playing with in your creative time these days? Share a description, and a link to your work if you’ve got one – in the comments.
In the meantime, thanks for stopping in, and be sure to come back and visit for the next ‘press-less’ version of this printing from paper cartons experiment!
I’ll see you in the next post –
I know that the writer does call up the general and maybe the essential through the particular, but this general and essential is still deeply embedded in mystery. It is not answerable to any of our formulas.Flannery O’Connor