Sunday, January 03, 2016

Old Christmas cards

A follower asked to see other Christmas card editions that I have sent to buyers in the past (see post below this one for more). I've been doing this for nearly ten years now. 

Here's the full card, with close-ups above. This was a digital archival print, but more usually  the cards I make use a conventional intaglio process. Below is an early etching. This is a good example of an approach I adopt for Christmas card editions, in that, to save on time in the actual printing up stage (which is pretty time consuming) I sometimes make two almost identical plates. They can be inked and printed at the same time, halving the amount of effort in the printing up stage. Individual receivers of cards are unaware that they are getting one of two (or sometimes three or four) almost identical images. 

I always keep one copy of each years print. I this case here of the Santa with squid picture and insects, I only have one of the two versions of the image left. For those who dont know about printing  intaglio plates, like an etching or a drypoint, I'll explain that each print in an edition has to be inked, wiped and run through a large press. An edition of fifty or more is a major undertaking. Small plates are quite fiddly to print up so my trick of making a single bigger plate with two versions of the image on the same plate makes the printing easier with a doubling of actual print output. Each version of the image is numbered as a separate edition.

This year for the Christmas card edition I made a series of small etchings utilizing a specially developed home-made etching ground. There were four different 'Christmas zombie' s, each wearing snow-shoes. The bulk of the body is depicted using this etching ground and then small refinements and additions are etched on top. This print above is one of the four zombies.

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