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Original hand-made prints have their own special qualities that set them apart from other art forms. Collecting prints is a good way to start to acquire works by an artist whose paintings/sculptures are more highly priced. 

Please find below a glossary of the most commonly used printmaking techniques for prints offered on this web site. 

If you wish to purchase a print you can do so by clicking the BUY button. Payment can be made by Paypal. If however you wish to pay using an alternative manner (cheque, bank transfer) please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0771 257 7934.

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Alistair Grant - Boulogne Red & White - 1989
Lithography & screenprint 13/15 - 55.5 x 76 cm
Framed - 85 x 105 cm
WAS £545  SALE PRICE £345

Alistair Grant (1925-1997) is best known as a printmaker who experimented in blending print techniques in the 1970s and 80s. Working in the print department of the Royal College of Art, London from the 1960s onwards, he taught printmaking to students, many of whom went on to become some of the UK’s most widely recognised artists. After retiring from everyday teaching he became Emeritus Professor of Printmaking at the college.

Throughout his career he drew inspiration from Normandy, particularly the region around Etaples where his mother came from. He was a regular visitor there, the shapes and forms of the beaches and harbours (Boulogne in particular) providing limitless ideas for his work. Coupled with a vivacious palette his paintings and prints provide a colourful French counterpoint to that produced by the St Ives artists on the other side of the Channel.

This process is an extension of etching and was designed to imitate, in etching, the appearance of watercolour in a print - 'aqua tint'. It is a tonal printing method developed in the second half of the 18th century. The basic technique is where a resin is powdered onto the surface of the metal plate or floated in suspension across the surface. When warmed the resin fuses to the plate in a fine granular screen. The plate is then etched in the usual manner and a regular grey tone results. Dark areas are created by further exposure to the acid, the lighter areas being 'stopped out' by using an acid-resistant varnish.

Variations come with using alternatives to resin - for example, Thomas Gainsborough and Paul Sandby used a sugar-lift technique in which marks were brushed onto a plate with a mixture of India ink and sugar, and then covered in varnish. On immersion in water the solution will rise, lifting off the varnish and exposing the brush marks which are etched by the acid in the usual way.

Historically aquatint was applied to line etchings to provide a direct imitation of tinted drawings. Contemporary printmakers often explore its possibilities without adding conventional line.

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Bronwen Bradshaw - Stag - 2010
etching 2/10 - 24.5 x 26.5 cm
Unframed - Price £90

Bronwen Bradshaw is one of the leading printmakers in the West Country. She runs the Dove Studios near Glastonbury, specialising in aluminium etching.

Engraving is the earliest of the intaglio processes.

Intaglio is the general name for the process in which the printed image is produced by incising lines in a metal plate, either manually, as in engraving and drypoint, or by the action of acid, as in etching. The lines of ink are filled with ink and an impression is made by forcing dampened paper into these incisions using a press.

In engraving the design is incised into the plate (usually copper or steel) using a steel point aka burin. The plate is inked using a dabber and the surface then wiped clean and polished before being set on a press.

Steel engravings were, and still are, the most commonly used form of engraving for mass printings due to the resilience of the steel, so most used in broadsheets, magazines and for book illustrations. Copper plates tend to wear down very quickly which makes them unsuited for publishing large editions. Steel engraving was therefore also best suited for making print reproductions of other artists' artworks.

This is one of the two main intaglio processes.

Intaglio is the general name for the process in which the printed image is produced by incising lines in a metal plate, either manually, as in engraving and drypoint, or by the action of acid, as in etching. The lines of ink are filled with ink and an impression is made by forcing dampened paper into these incisions using a press.

Etching involves covering a copper plate (zinc is a commonly used alternative) with a ground (or varnish) of wax or other substances that are impervious to acid, through which the design is drawn using an etching needle aka burin. The plate is then placed in a sided tray/bath and treated with acid which eats (the term derives from the corruption of the Dutch word 'eten' meaning to eat) into the exposed metal. The quality and depth of line is controlled by the length of time the acid is allowed to do its work. When cleaned the plate is set for printing.

 

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Ingrid Hesling - from Fox's Mill Series - 2010
unique digital print on paper - 14.5 x 20 cm - Framed 33 x 39 cm
Was £90   SALE PRICE £60

Ingrid Hesling is a renowned Somerset artist photographer. This work is part of a project recording the demise of Fox's textile factory in Wellington, Somerset, a deserted mill whose future was uncertain.

A planographic process using the smooth surface of a limestone slab or metal plate. The technique depends on the antipathy of water and the greasy crayon or ink with which the design is freely drawn on the support's surface. The completed image is treated with acid and gum arabic, and when an inked roller is passed across the wet plate the ink adheres only to the greasy image and not to the damp surface. The impression is taken using a press.

The process is a form of photograhy but without using a camera. Many photogram artists work in darkrooms in which the image is made by placing an object or objects on a photo sensitive paper which is then exposed to light. Where the light strikes the paper the paper turns black, leaving a ghostly image of the object(s). Susie Needham is one of the UK's leading exponents of this technique.

Photograms can also be made outdoors - Susan Derges, for example, is well known for working this way, particularly in the various series or river scenes where the sensitised paper was placed under the water and exposed to moonlight.

A technique using a tautly stretched screen of silk or other finely meshed fabric through which stiff ink is forced with a rubber blade called a squeegee. Greasy crayon marks on the screen or cut-out stencils form the design by preventing the ink passing through the mesh. The screen can be sensitised with gelatine to receive a photographic image. Inks used can be either oil based or water based, the latter gaining preference with printmakers as it is far less toxic to use.

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Sir D. Y. Cameron - Rowallan's Towers - 1893
Etching printed on Japan paper - paper 23.9 x 20.2 cm / image 18.3 x 16.6 cm
Very good condition
Framed - Price £545 

Sir D.Y.CAMERON (David Young) is regarded as one of the great British etchers of landscape and architectural scenes and as a leading light in the British etching revival in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in Glasgow in 1865 he trained at Glasgow School of Art before attending Edinburgh College of Art in 1885. In 1887, George Stevenson, a friend of Seymour Hayden (another well-renowned etcher) suggested that Cameron try his hand at etching. In 1889 Cameron was elected an associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers where he exhibited regularly until 1902. He won numerous awards and accumulated honours, becoming Royal Academician in 1920. He was knighted in 1924 and was appointed King’s Painter and Limner in Scotland in 1993. He died in Perth in 1945.

 The two prints presented here come from two periods of Cameron’s etching career. Rowallan’s Towers (1893) is a relatively early print, on an architectural theme that is treated in a manner in the spirit of Sir Walter Scott. Cameron’s prints of this period feature areas of great darkness offset by highlights. There is a strong Romantic aspect too to this image. By contrast Drimmin (1932) is a drypoint print that typifies his late landscape style. The feathery lightness in the handling of this very evocative Scottish landscape scene, executed with a minimal amount of drawing, and the strong contrasting features, creates great atmosphere.

 Although Cameron made views based on his trips abroad (including to France, Holland and Italy), it is his Scottish subjects that are most striking. He captures the true essence of the Scottish landscape, a feat first attempted in the etchings of John Clerk of Eldin. Cameron’s prints have been much sought after by collectors and it is not hard to understand why.


Further information:

Rowallan's Towers is extremely rare. Cameron's etching cataloguer Frank Rinder cites this etching as existing in only ‘very few impressions’ and impressions are now exceptionally scarce.

Superb trial proof impression, printed in dark brown ink with considerable plate tone. This outstanding early trial proof has been printed using great pressure on the printing press, in order to show the artist every detail in the progress of the etched work, created slight creases in the paper. At this stage the etching appears just completed and has printed with unusual strength and clarity.

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Location

  • Geoffrey Bertram
  • 1 Knuscroft Lane, Thurloxton, Somerset TA2 8RL
  • 01823 413388
  • 0771 257 7934