Final Project: Rubber printing

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Experimentations with rubber printing

Stephen Fowler is an illustrator with lots of experience in rubber printing. We were therefore delighted to attend a workshop with him. Straight away, he invited us to  create our own designs and experiment with the possibilities the technique offers.

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Stephen showing students’ work

First of all, a rough sketch or drawing with a graphite is transferred onto the rubber itself, which is then carved with a craft knife. I opted for a zigzag pattern before embarking on the silhouette of a toddler or a pet. Even with the simple design, I ran into problems straight away as I did not carve away from the artwork. If you do not do this, it weakens the rigidity of the stamp and the print is not as strong as it should be. It took a few attempts to get it right even with the more straight forward designs.

Also another thing to bear in mind:  what to take out and leave on the stamp as well as remembering you will get a reverse image. In other words, planning what you want inked and the negative space is key.  It is a very enjoyable technique but it takes practise to get the desired effect.

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Several attempts at stamps carving


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Works from workshop

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I enjoyed the workshop but am not sure if or how I will use the rubber printing technique in my final project.  I will keep experimenting and decide as I go along if I have any spare time.I am now set on using watercolour for the artwork and as it stands now I have to come up with 16 spreads and incorporating a new medium might prove difficult. I am not sure yet how stamping mixes with the chosen medium.  I also bought some lino to experiment with.

I may have a go for a smaller handmade book if time allows me to do so.


2 Comments on “Final Project: Rubber printing”

  1. Lucy Nichols says:

    Oh my god, stop posting stuff, its making me feel so bad that i havent posted anything for ages

    by the way, have put some of the paper books back in the library. have still got the best ones out, but can bring them in wed

    And also probably worth you checking out this guys work. he has made some very simple paper models of a city scene, that are aimed at kids. look very effective.


    • I was wondering what was going on. I want to read what you are up to. How is the oesophagus progressing?
      No, just kidding. My posts are delaying tactics but at the same help me stay focus as every time I do something new, I encounter a new problem!
      Thanks for the books. I will be in tomorrow and check them out. Will you be there at registration?

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