Keith began the Masterclass by asking the students “what is printing?” One participant explained how she had previously looked into ‘mono prints’ and how you can make more than one print using a block and building up layers of surfaces.
Keith showed examples of a couple of printing blocks that he had brought along with him to the Masterclass. Keith’s friend Paul Peter Piech was a printmaker and had gifted Keith some of the blocks that had been used in hiw own work. Keith showed students how the wooden blocks had been carved to resemble the image that Paul wanted to print. Paul had a few small blocks. Keith explained how Paul’s method of working meant collating a series of small blocks to create a larger piece. This meant he could add different colours to each block and insert detail by printing in layers.
Keith explained that their task was to create a simplified printing block by creating a design out of layered cardboard. Due to time Keith explained that their pieces would not be as intricate as Paul Peter Piech’s prints but the aim of the day was to create a ‘Piech inspired’ poster.
Keith told the group of how he wasn’t fond of Printmaking in college. The lecturers that wore pristine white coats due to creating limited edition prints put him off the idea of printing. It didn’t seem experimental enough due to the clinical environment. Keith learnt how limited edition prints or ‘one off’ prints can sell for a lot of money and this was why everything in his college’s print making studio was so clean. It wasn’t until years later when Keith got back into experimenting with Printmaking.
Each student was handed a piece of paper in order to map out their print. They were asked to include text, either one word or a phrase that could be translated into print.
One of the participant’s lines in her drawing were too intricate Keith advised her to use it as a starting point and to build on it, thickening her lines and turn it into something that can be achieved by a print.
In conversation, a participant also discovered that Keith had worked with her father who is a glass artist in the past.
Keith used a participants work as a perfect example of translating a pencil drawing into an image on Card that can be cut out and turned into a printing block.
A participant went to Keith for help as her drawing was so close together she couldn’t envision how her print would work. Keith reassured her that everything would work well and that sometimes it can be difficult to remember that when parts get cut away and layered, the print will change. He gave the group the advice of colouring the sections of their prints that they wanted to appear in their prints so that it was easy to see which parts needed to be cut away. They could use this as a guide to what the final print would look like.
The group began printing by rolling paint onto their blocks. Keith gave a quick demonstration beforehand with the printing equipment (rollers, palet, card, paint) explaining that beautiful work can be created with simple tools.