Process is hugely important in my practice - it guides my image making, provides parameters, and generates ideas. Printmaking often acts as an intermediary or intervention - work germinates from a collected archive of drawings, photographs, memories and experiences, and evolves through printmaking processes such as etching, lithography and woodcut. I often print onto thin Japanese washi papers, which are then taken a stage futher and used to create unique collage pieces. 

I have 15+ years of experience working in printmaking - it’s what I’m trained in and it’s what I love doing. I specialise in etching, lithography and woodblock printing.

Lithography is a planographic print process which uses a limestone block, a metal plate or a wood block as a matrix to print from, and relies on the antipathy of grease and water to create a print. (The video playing above/to the side was made by filmmaker Bill Newsinger while I was print fellow in stone lithography at Leicester Print Workshop in 2013). 

Etching is an intaglio printmaking technique, where lines and texture are bitten into the surface of a metal plate with acid. When ink is applied to the plate, these lines hold ink and are transferred to the paper surface when run through a printing press.

Mokuhanga (Japanese woodblock printing) is a relief printing process where sharp gouges are used to carve into the surface of a wood block. Water-based ink is then applied to the block surface, specialist washi paper is laid down on top and pressure is applied by hand with a baren to create the print. I learned this technique on a 5-week artist residency in Japan in 2018. 

©2021 Kathryn Desforges