20th October, 2014

Just this weekend my co Old Bear Press artist, Heather Chou, and I finished our collaborative zine we were putting together called ‘Halves’. We created 6 pages each, which we then mailed to each other for the receiver to finish, so half the book is more distinctly in my style, with a number of scientific illustrations that were half finished, and the other half in Heathers. 
They are digitally printed and pamphlet stitched in an edition of 100. Just this weekend my co Old Bear Press artist, Heather Chou, and I finished our collaborative zine we were putting together called ‘Halves’. We created 6 pages each, which we then mailed to each other for the receiver to finish, so half the book is more distinctly in my style, with a number of scientific illustrations that were half finished, and the other half in Heathers. 
They are digitally printed and pamphlet stitched in an edition of 100. Just this weekend my co Old Bear Press artist, Heather Chou, and I finished our collaborative zine we were putting together called ‘Halves’. We created 6 pages each, which we then mailed to each other for the receiver to finish, so half the book is more distinctly in my style, with a number of scientific illustrations that were half finished, and the other half in Heathers. 
They are digitally printed and pamphlet stitched in an edition of 100. Just this weekend my co Old Bear Press artist, Heather Chou, and I finished our collaborative zine we were putting together called ‘Halves’. We created 6 pages each, which we then mailed to each other for the receiver to finish, so half the book is more distinctly in my style, with a number of scientific illustrations that were half finished, and the other half in Heathers. 
They are digitally printed and pamphlet stitched in an edition of 100.

Just this weekend my co Old Bear Press artist, Heather Chou, and I finished our collaborative zine we were putting together called ‘Halves’. We created 6 pages each, which we then mailed to each other for the receiver to finish, so half the book is more distinctly in my style, with a number of scientific illustrations that were half finished, and the other half in Heathers. 

They are digitally printed and pamphlet stitched in an edition of 100.

13th October, 2014

Making a little book with spiders. I started with a simple drawing and I’m screenprinting everything. There is a layer on the front, there will be a layer on the reverse and the book cover is being screenprinted too. I will be folding it into a turkish map fold and there should be an edition of 20 ready for Friday and the Manchester Artists Book Fair. Making a little book with spiders. I started with a simple drawing and I’m screenprinting everything. There is a layer on the front, there will be a layer on the reverse and the book cover is being screenprinted too. I will be folding it into a turkish map fold and there should be an edition of 20 ready for Friday and the Manchester Artists Book Fair.

Making a little book with spiders. I started with a simple drawing and I’m screenprinting everything. There is a layer on the front, there will be a layer on the reverse and the book cover is being screenprinted too. I will be folding it into a turkish map fold and there should be an edition of 20 ready for Friday and the Manchester Artists Book Fair.

11th October, 2014

I also took part in the 20:20 print exchange as part of Artlab Contemporary Print Studios. Artlab is the artist group that uses the printmaking studios at the University of Central Lancashire. I currently have one of the 2 fellowships they give out to graduating students specializing in print. I’m doing that this year along with the first year of my MA in Fine Art. I also took part in the 20:20 print exchange as part of Artlab Contemporary Print Studios. Artlab is the artist group that uses the printmaking studios at the University of Central Lancashire. I currently have one of the 2 fellowships they give out to graduating students specializing in print. I’m doing that this year along with the first year of my MA in Fine Art.

I also took part in the 20:20 print exchange as part of Artlab Contemporary Print Studios. Artlab is the artist group that uses the printmaking studios at the University of Central Lancashire. I currently have one of the 2 fellowships they give out to graduating students specializing in print. I’m doing that this year along with the first year of my MA in Fine Art.

10th October, 2014

The last technique I tried with the refractory concrete was using a relief plate to cast from.
I had a spare piece of vinyl that I had used previously for some relief printed business cards. I rolled the vinyl up in a blended roll of various underglazes to see how well that technique would translate, i.e whether it was possible to get equal intensities of oxide on the roller, then onto the vinyl and then finally onto the concrete.
I will try glazing this one completely to see how vibrant the colour goes.
The vinyl in the mount ready for the concrete to be poured on
The last technique I tried with the refractory concrete was using a relief plate to cast from.
I had a spare piece of vinyl that I had used previously for some relief printed business cards. I rolled the vinyl up in a blended roll of various underglazes to see how well that technique would translate, i.e whether it was possible to get equal intensities of oxide on the roller, then onto the vinyl and then finally onto the concrete.
I will try glazing this one completely to see how vibrant the colour goes.
Detail of the blended roll
The last technique I tried with the refractory concrete was using a relief plate to cast from.
I had a spare piece of vinyl that I had used previously for some relief printed business cards. I rolled the vinyl up in a blended roll of various underglazes to see how well that technique would translate, i.e whether it was possible to get equal intensities of oxide on the roller, then onto the vinyl and then finally onto the concrete.
I will try glazing this one completely to see how vibrant the colour goes.
The cast concrete
The last technique I tried with the refractory concrete was using a relief plate to cast from.
I had a spare piece of vinyl that I had used previously for some relief printed business cards. I rolled the vinyl up in a blended roll of various underglazes to see how well that technique would translate, i.e whether it was possible to get equal intensities of oxide on the roller, then onto the vinyl and then finally onto the concrete.
I will try glazing this one completely to see how vibrant the colour goes.
Revealing the concrete
The last technique I tried with the refractory concrete was using a relief plate to cast from.
I had a spare piece of vinyl that I had used previously for some relief printed business cards. I rolled the vinyl up in a blended roll of various underglazes to see how well that technique would translate, i.e whether it was possible to get equal intensities of oxide on the roller, then onto the vinyl and then finally onto the concrete.
I will try glazing this one completely to see how vibrant the colour goes. The last technique I tried with the refractory concrete was using a relief plate to cast from.
I had a spare piece of vinyl that I had used previously for some relief printed business cards. I rolled the vinyl up in a blended roll of various underglazes to see how well that technique would translate, i.e whether it was possible to get equal intensities of oxide on the roller, then onto the vinyl and then finally onto the concrete.
I will try glazing this one completely to see how vibrant the colour goes. The last technique I tried with the refractory concrete was using a relief plate to cast from.
I had a spare piece of vinyl that I had used previously for some relief printed business cards. I rolled the vinyl up in a blended roll of various underglazes to see how well that technique would translate, i.e whether it was possible to get equal intensities of oxide on the roller, then onto the vinyl and then finally onto the concrete.
I will try glazing this one completely to see how vibrant the colour goes.

The last technique I tried with the refractory concrete was using a relief plate to cast from.

I had a spare piece of vinyl that I had used previously for some relief printed business cards. I rolled the vinyl up in a blended roll of various underglazes to see how well that technique would translate, i.e whether it was possible to get equal intensities of oxide on the roller, then onto the vinyl and then finally onto the concrete.

I will try glazing this one completely to see how vibrant the colour goes.

9th October, 2014

The third method I used with the concrete is also the one I feel I had most success with and found the results worked with my imagery more than the other types.
I used a plate I created last December that was originally an aluminium lithograph plate. The plate was then closed with a shop roll up and left in ferric chloride for about 5 hours (not a very strong baume so next time I will try it with a deeper etch). This method turns your lithograph plate into a relief plate with the areas that are covered in ink acting as a resist in the ferric. This method is called gillotage. 
For the concrete cast I roughly scrimmed in some manganese oxide and then surface rolled some areas with cobalt. 
I really liked the effect this kind of plate gave, particularly in the images before firing where the colours of the oxides are not that strong. It has the look of a fossil and that sort of imagery is something I plan on playing with now in the refractory concrete. 
So expect to see a lot more gillotaged concrete on this blog. 
Gillotage plate and concrete cast
The third method I used with the concrete is also the one I feel I had most success with and found the results worked with my imagery more than the other types.
I used a plate I created last December that was originally an aluminium lithograph plate. The plate was then closed with a shop roll up and left in ferric chloride for about 5 hours (not a very strong baume so next time I will try it with a deeper etch). This method turns your lithograph plate into a relief plate with the areas that are covered in ink acting as a resist in the ferric. This method is called gillotage. 
For the concrete cast I roughly scrimmed in some manganese oxide and then surface rolled some areas with cobalt. 
I really liked the effect this kind of plate gave, particularly in the images before firing where the colours of the oxides are not that strong. It has the look of a fossil and that sort of imagery is something I plan on playing with now in the refractory concrete. 
So expect to see a lot more gillotaged concrete on this blog. 
The cast concrete
The third method I used with the concrete is also the one I feel I had most success with and found the results worked with my imagery more than the other types.
I used a plate I created last December that was originally an aluminium lithograph plate. The plate was then closed with a shop roll up and left in ferric chloride for about 5 hours (not a very strong baume so next time I will try it with a deeper etch). This method turns your lithograph plate into a relief plate with the areas that are covered in ink acting as a resist in the ferric. This method is called gillotage. 
For the concrete cast I roughly scrimmed in some manganese oxide and then surface rolled some areas with cobalt. 
I really liked the effect this kind of plate gave, particularly in the images before firing where the colours of the oxides are not that strong. It has the look of a fossil and that sort of imagery is something I plan on playing with now in the refractory concrete. 
So expect to see a lot more gillotaged concrete on this blog. 
Detail of the concrete
The third method I used with the concrete is also the one I feel I had most success with and found the results worked with my imagery more than the other types.
I used a plate I created last December that was originally an aluminium lithograph plate. The plate was then closed with a shop roll up and left in ferric chloride for about 5 hours (not a very strong baume so next time I will try it with a deeper etch). This method turns your lithograph plate into a relief plate with the areas that are covered in ink acting as a resist in the ferric. This method is called gillotage. 
For the concrete cast I roughly scrimmed in some manganese oxide and then surface rolled some areas with cobalt. 
I really liked the effect this kind of plate gave, particularly in the images before firing where the colours of the oxides are not that strong. It has the look of a fossil and that sort of imagery is something I plan on playing with now in the refractory concrete. 
So expect to see a lot more gillotaged concrete on this blog. 
The concrete after firing

The third method I used with the concrete is also the one I feel I had most success with and found the results worked with my imagery more than the other types.

I used a plate I created last December that was originally an aluminium lithograph plate. The plate was then closed with a shop roll up and left in ferric chloride for about 5 hours (not a very strong baume so next time I will try it with a deeper etch). This method turns your lithograph plate into a relief plate with the areas that are covered in ink acting as a resist in the ferric. This method is called gillotage. 

For the concrete cast I roughly scrimmed in some manganese oxide and then surface rolled some areas with cobalt. 

I really liked the effect this kind of plate gave, particularly in the images before firing where the colours of the oxides are not that strong. It has the look of a fossil and that sort of imagery is something I plan on playing with now in the refractory concrete. 

So expect to see a lot more gillotaged concrete on this blog. 

8th October, 2014

The second process I tried was using intaglio plates to cast from, using oxides again in place of ink.
Molds needed to be made first to place the plates and pour the concrete in.
For this I used 4 heavily bitten zinc plates and one with a simple line drawing of a bird.
The oxide was mixed in the same way as normal printing ink, gradually mixing copper plate oil into the oxide and then grinding it with a glass muller until the coarseness is gone. It can be mixed long or short depending on the inking method you are using.
The heavily bitten plates I inked up roughly with scrim, barely taking away any oxide from the surface, while the bird was surface rolled. Then the concrete was poured in. The plates needed to be inked while the concrete was being mixed as the concrete needs to be wet to pull the oxides off the plate.
The concrete was left to set for 2 days before the mold was removed and you can see in the 5th picture the plates being removed from the concrete.
At this point the concrete can then be screenprinted on like in the earlier technique, but I left it so I could see what affect the intaglio plates had.
We then fired the concrete and brought them out of the kiln to reveal an incredibly bright blue from the cobalt. 
The oxides I used were manganese oxide, iron oxide and cobalt oxide. I felt like I had the same problems with the oxides as I did with silkscreening them with regards to the proportions of oxide to oil. For instance with the surface rolled bird I think that if I had less oil the bird itself might have printed clearer but then it also could be a case of the lines not being deep enough. 
We were originally planning on trimming each plate down separately which has the added benefit of showing the aggregate but the effect of them all together is quite nice so I might leave it. I’m also unsure of whether I will glaze it or not.
Making molds
The second process I tried was using intaglio plates to cast from, using oxides again in place of ink.
Molds needed to be made first to place the plates and pour the concrete in.
For this I used 4 heavily bitten zinc plates and one with a simple line drawing of a bird.
The oxide was mixed in the same way as normal printing ink, gradually mixing copper plate oil into the oxide and then grinding it with a glass muller until the coarseness is gone. It can be mixed long or short depending on the inking method you are using.
The heavily bitten plates I inked up roughly with scrim, barely taking away any oxide from the surface, while the bird was surface rolled. Then the concrete was poured in. The plates needed to be inked while the concrete was being mixed as the concrete needs to be wet to pull the oxides off the plate.
The concrete was left to set for 2 days before the mold was removed and you can see in the 5th picture the plates being removed from the concrete.
At this point the concrete can then be screenprinted on like in the earlier technique, but I left it so I could see what affect the intaglio plates had.
We then fired the concrete and brought them out of the kiln to reveal an incredibly bright blue from the cobalt. 
The oxides I used were manganese oxide, iron oxide and cobalt oxide. I felt like I had the same problems with the oxides as I did with silkscreening them with regards to the proportions of oxide to oil. For instance with the surface rolled bird I think that if I had less oil the bird itself might have printed clearer but then it also could be a case of the lines not being deep enough. 
We were originally planning on trimming each plate down separately which has the added benefit of showing the aggregate but the effect of them all together is quite nice so I might leave it. I’m also unsure of whether I will glaze it or not.
Inked/oxided up plates
The second process I tried was using intaglio plates to cast from, using oxides again in place of ink.
Molds needed to be made first to place the plates and pour the concrete in.
For this I used 4 heavily bitten zinc plates and one with a simple line drawing of a bird.
The oxide was mixed in the same way as normal printing ink, gradually mixing copper plate oil into the oxide and then grinding it with a glass muller until the coarseness is gone. It can be mixed long or short depending on the inking method you are using.
The heavily bitten plates I inked up roughly with scrim, barely taking away any oxide from the surface, while the bird was surface rolled. Then the concrete was poured in. The plates needed to be inked while the concrete was being mixed as the concrete needs to be wet to pull the oxides off the plate.
The concrete was left to set for 2 days before the mold was removed and you can see in the 5th picture the plates being removed from the concrete.
At this point the concrete can then be screenprinted on like in the earlier technique, but I left it so I could see what affect the intaglio plates had.
We then fired the concrete and brought them out of the kiln to reveal an incredibly bright blue from the cobalt. 
The oxides I used were manganese oxide, iron oxide and cobalt oxide. I felt like I had the same problems with the oxides as I did with silkscreening them with regards to the proportions of oxide to oil. For instance with the surface rolled bird I think that if I had less oil the bird itself might have printed clearer but then it also could be a case of the lines not being deep enough. 
We were originally planning on trimming each plate down separately which has the added benefit of showing the aggregate but the effect of them all together is quite nice so I might leave it. I’m also unsure of whether I will glaze it or not.
Pouring concrete
The second process I tried was using intaglio plates to cast from, using oxides again in place of ink.
Molds needed to be made first to place the plates and pour the concrete in.
For this I used 4 heavily bitten zinc plates and one with a simple line drawing of a bird.
The oxide was mixed in the same way as normal printing ink, gradually mixing copper plate oil into the oxide and then grinding it with a glass muller until the coarseness is gone. It can be mixed long or short depending on the inking method you are using.
The heavily bitten plates I inked up roughly with scrim, barely taking away any oxide from the surface, while the bird was surface rolled. Then the concrete was poured in. The plates needed to be inked while the concrete was being mixed as the concrete needs to be wet to pull the oxides off the plate.
The concrete was left to set for 2 days before the mold was removed and you can see in the 5th picture the plates being removed from the concrete.
At this point the concrete can then be screenprinted on like in the earlier technique, but I left it so I could see what affect the intaglio plates had.
We then fired the concrete and brought them out of the kiln to reveal an incredibly bright blue from the cobalt. 
The oxides I used were manganese oxide, iron oxide and cobalt oxide. I felt like I had the same problems with the oxides as I did with silkscreening them with regards to the proportions of oxide to oil. For instance with the surface rolled bird I think that if I had less oil the bird itself might have printed clearer but then it also could be a case of the lines not being deep enough. 
We were originally planning on trimming each plate down separately which has the added benefit of showing the aggregate but the effect of them all together is quite nice so I might leave it. I’m also unsure of whether I will glaze it or not.
Detail of one of the casts
The second process I tried was using intaglio plates to cast from, using oxides again in place of ink.
Molds needed to be made first to place the plates and pour the concrete in.
For this I used 4 heavily bitten zinc plates and one with a simple line drawing of a bird.
The oxide was mixed in the same way as normal printing ink, gradually mixing copper plate oil into the oxide and then grinding it with a glass muller until the coarseness is gone. It can be mixed long or short depending on the inking method you are using.
The heavily bitten plates I inked up roughly with scrim, barely taking away any oxide from the surface, while the bird was surface rolled. Then the concrete was poured in. The plates needed to be inked while the concrete was being mixed as the concrete needs to be wet to pull the oxides off the plate.
The concrete was left to set for 2 days before the mold was removed and you can see in the 5th picture the plates being removed from the concrete.
At this point the concrete can then be screenprinted on like in the earlier technique, but I left it so I could see what affect the intaglio plates had.
We then fired the concrete and brought them out of the kiln to reveal an incredibly bright blue from the cobalt. 
The oxides I used were manganese oxide, iron oxide and cobalt oxide. I felt like I had the same problems with the oxides as I did with silkscreening them with regards to the proportions of oxide to oil. For instance with the surface rolled bird I think that if I had less oil the bird itself might have printed clearer but then it also could be a case of the lines not being deep enough. 
We were originally planning on trimming each plate down separately which has the added benefit of showing the aggregate but the effect of them all together is quite nice so I might leave it. I’m also unsure of whether I will glaze it or not.
The cast slab
The second process I tried was using intaglio plates to cast from, using oxides again in place of ink.
Molds needed to be made first to place the plates and pour the concrete in.
For this I used 4 heavily bitten zinc plates and one with a simple line drawing of a bird.
The oxide was mixed in the same way as normal printing ink, gradually mixing copper plate oil into the oxide and then grinding it with a glass muller until the coarseness is gone. It can be mixed long or short depending on the inking method you are using.
The heavily bitten plates I inked up roughly with scrim, barely taking away any oxide from the surface, while the bird was surface rolled. Then the concrete was poured in. The plates needed to be inked while the concrete was being mixed as the concrete needs to be wet to pull the oxides off the plate.
The concrete was left to set for 2 days before the mold was removed and you can see in the 5th picture the plates being removed from the concrete.
At this point the concrete can then be screenprinted on like in the earlier technique, but I left it so I could see what affect the intaglio plates had.
We then fired the concrete and brought them out of the kiln to reveal an incredibly bright blue from the cobalt. 
The oxides I used were manganese oxide, iron oxide and cobalt oxide. I felt like I had the same problems with the oxides as I did with silkscreening them with regards to the proportions of oxide to oil. For instance with the surface rolled bird I think that if I had less oil the bird itself might have printed clearer but then it also could be a case of the lines not being deep enough. 
We were originally planning on trimming each plate down separately which has the added benefit of showing the aggregate but the effect of them all together is quite nice so I might leave it. I’m also unsure of whether I will glaze it or not.
Detail of the fired plate
The second process I tried was using intaglio plates to cast from, using oxides again in place of ink.
Molds needed to be made first to place the plates and pour the concrete in.
For this I used 4 heavily bitten zinc plates and one with a simple line drawing of a bird.
The oxide was mixed in the same way as normal printing ink, gradually mixing copper plate oil into the oxide and then grinding it with a glass muller until the coarseness is gone. It can be mixed long or short depending on the inking method you are using.
The heavily bitten plates I inked up roughly with scrim, barely taking away any oxide from the surface, while the bird was surface rolled. Then the concrete was poured in. The plates needed to be inked while the concrete was being mixed as the concrete needs to be wet to pull the oxides off the plate.
The concrete was left to set for 2 days before the mold was removed and you can see in the 5th picture the plates being removed from the concrete.
At this point the concrete can then be screenprinted on like in the earlier technique, but I left it so I could see what affect the intaglio plates had.
We then fired the concrete and brought them out of the kiln to reveal an incredibly bright blue from the cobalt. 
The oxides I used were manganese oxide, iron oxide and cobalt oxide. I felt like I had the same problems with the oxides as I did with silkscreening them with regards to the proportions of oxide to oil. For instance with the surface rolled bird I think that if I had less oil the bird itself might have printed clearer but then it also could be a case of the lines not being deep enough. 
We were originally planning on trimming each plate down separately which has the added benefit of showing the aggregate but the effect of them all together is quite nice so I might leave it. I’m also unsure of whether I will glaze it or not.
The fired slab
The second process I tried was using intaglio plates to cast from, using oxides again in place of ink.
Molds needed to be made first to place the plates and pour the concrete in.
For this I used 4 heavily bitten zinc plates and one with a simple line drawing of a bird.
The oxide was mixed in the same way as normal printing ink, gradually mixing copper plate oil into the oxide and then grinding it with a glass muller until the coarseness is gone. It can be mixed long or short depending on the inking method you are using.
The heavily bitten plates I inked up roughly with scrim, barely taking away any oxide from the surface, while the bird was surface rolled. Then the concrete was poured in. The plates needed to be inked while the concrete was being mixed as the concrete needs to be wet to pull the oxides off the plate.
The concrete was left to set for 2 days before the mold was removed and you can see in the 5th picture the plates being removed from the concrete.
At this point the concrete can then be screenprinted on like in the earlier technique, but I left it so I could see what affect the intaglio plates had.
We then fired the concrete and brought them out of the kiln to reveal an incredibly bright blue from the cobalt. 
The oxides I used were manganese oxide, iron oxide and cobalt oxide. I felt like I had the same problems with the oxides as I did with silkscreening them with regards to the proportions of oxide to oil. For instance with the surface rolled bird I think that if I had less oil the bird itself might have printed clearer but then it also could be a case of the lines not being deep enough. 
We were originally planning on trimming each plate down separately which has the added benefit of showing the aggregate but the effect of them all together is quite nice so I might leave it. I’m also unsure of whether I will glaze it or not.
Cobalt oxide fired

The second process I tried was using intaglio plates to cast from, using oxides again in place of ink.

Molds needed to be made first to place the plates and pour the concrete in.

For this I used 4 heavily bitten zinc plates and one with a simple line drawing of a bird.

The oxide was mixed in the same way as normal printing ink, gradually mixing copper plate oil into the oxide and then grinding it with a glass muller until the coarseness is gone. It can be mixed long or short depending on the inking method you are using.

The heavily bitten plates I inked up roughly with scrim, barely taking away any oxide from the surface, while the bird was surface rolled. Then the concrete was poured in. The plates needed to be inked while the concrete was being mixed as the concrete needs to be wet to pull the oxides off the plate.

The concrete was left to set for 2 days before the mold was removed and you can see in the 5th picture the plates being removed from the concrete.

At this point the concrete can then be screenprinted on like in the earlier technique, but I left it so I could see what affect the intaglio plates had.

We then fired the concrete and brought them out of the kiln to reveal an incredibly bright blue from the cobalt. 

The oxides I used were manganese oxide, iron oxide and cobalt oxide. I felt like I had the same problems with the oxides as I did with silkscreening them with regards to the proportions of oxide to oil. For instance with the surface rolled bird I think that if I had less oil the bird itself might have printed clearer but then it also could be a case of the lines not being deep enough. 

We were originally planning on trimming each plate down separately which has the added benefit of showing the aggregate but the effect of them all together is quite nice so I might leave it. I’m also unsure of whether I will glaze it or not.

7th October, 2014

This set of photos documents the first technique I tried with the concrete. This is a technique that had already been established to print a clear image by Tracy and Alasdair and so was a good starting point to establish a familiarity with the concrete and the oxides that we were printing with.
For this process we mixed the oxides with medium and printed the images like normal screenprints with the idea that the medium the oxides were suspended in is burned off in the kiln leaving only the oxide behind. The oxides were slightly difficult to work with solely because it was difficult to judge the ratio of oxide to medium in order to get an image that prints but doesn’t bleed when fired. When fired the oxides also change colour so judging colour schemes was tricky too!
I went through a number of stages with this piece of concrete:
I was provided with a slab of concrete that was ready to be printed on. 
I created a toner wash drawing that had a number of different marks (dots, lines, hashes, washes), and exposed image on a textiles screen.
The first layer of oxide was a red underglaze, as you can see in the later photographs when fired this turned a rosy pink. This may be due to too little oxide to medium but I have also been told that if I glaze it completely it should turn redder.
The second layer was a marbled mixture of manganese oxide and iron oxide, I drizzled the manganese onto the image on the screen then pulled the iron over that.
After this the concrete was fired in order to see the colours I was working with. The benefit with refractory concrete is that you can fire it as many times as you need.
When I was able to see the colours they seemed rather pale so the third layer of oxide was another marbled mixture of manganese oxide with a black underglaze.
We then experimented with different ways of applying glaze. I tried silkscreening the glaze onto my concrete so that I would be left with areas of matte and gloss. This was only partially successful as when printing the liquid the glaze did pull through the screen but we think the actual glaze itself didn’t pass through the mesh of the screen. So maybe using a bigger mesh or just pouring/spraying over a stencil would work better.
I like the matte finish with only slight bits of glaze but when I try the next one I will consider my oxide choice more carefully as some are less durable than others.
Toner wash drawing
This set of photos documents the first technique I tried with the concrete. This is a technique that had already been established to print a clear image by Tracy and Alasdair and so was a good starting point to establish a familiarity with the concrete and the oxides that we were printing with.
For this process we mixed the oxides with medium and printed the images like normal screenprints with the idea that the medium the oxides were suspended in is burned off in the kiln leaving only the oxide behind. The oxides were slightly difficult to work with solely because it was difficult to judge the ratio of oxide to medium in order to get an image that prints but doesn’t bleed when fired. When fired the oxides also change colour so judging colour schemes was tricky too!
I went through a number of stages with this piece of concrete:
I was provided with a slab of concrete that was ready to be printed on. 
I created a toner wash drawing that had a number of different marks (dots, lines, hashes, washes), and exposed image on a textiles screen.
The first layer of oxide was a red underglaze, as you can see in the later photographs when fired this turned a rosy pink. This may be due to too little oxide to medium but I have also been told that if I glaze it completely it should turn redder.
The second layer was a marbled mixture of manganese oxide and iron oxide, I drizzled the manganese onto the image on the screen then pulled the iron over that.
After this the concrete was fired in order to see the colours I was working with. The benefit with refractory concrete is that you can fire it as many times as you need.
When I was able to see the colours they seemed rather pale so the third layer of oxide was another marbled mixture of manganese oxide with a black underglaze.
We then experimented with different ways of applying glaze. I tried silkscreening the glaze onto my concrete so that I would be left with areas of matte and gloss. This was only partially successful as when printing the liquid the glaze did pull through the screen but we think the actual glaze itself didn’t pass through the mesh of the screen. So maybe using a bigger mesh or just pouring/spraying over a stencil would work better.
I like the matte finish with only slight bits of glaze but when I try the next one I will consider my oxide choice more carefully as some are less durable than others.
First silkscreen layer
This set of photos documents the first technique I tried with the concrete. This is a technique that had already been established to print a clear image by Tracy and Alasdair and so was a good starting point to establish a familiarity with the concrete and the oxides that we were printing with.
For this process we mixed the oxides with medium and printed the images like normal screenprints with the idea that the medium the oxides were suspended in is burned off in the kiln leaving only the oxide behind. The oxides were slightly difficult to work with solely because it was difficult to judge the ratio of oxide to medium in order to get an image that prints but doesn’t bleed when fired. When fired the oxides also change colour so judging colour schemes was tricky too!
I went through a number of stages with this piece of concrete:
I was provided with a slab of concrete that was ready to be printed on. 
I created a toner wash drawing that had a number of different marks (dots, lines, hashes, washes), and exposed image on a textiles screen.
The first layer of oxide was a red underglaze, as you can see in the later photographs when fired this turned a rosy pink. This may be due to too little oxide to medium but I have also been told that if I glaze it completely it should turn redder.
The second layer was a marbled mixture of manganese oxide and iron oxide, I drizzled the manganese onto the image on the screen then pulled the iron over that.
After this the concrete was fired in order to see the colours I was working with. The benefit with refractory concrete is that you can fire it as many times as you need.
When I was able to see the colours they seemed rather pale so the third layer of oxide was another marbled mixture of manganese oxide with a black underglaze.
We then experimented with different ways of applying glaze. I tried silkscreening the glaze onto my concrete so that I would be left with areas of matte and gloss. This was only partially successful as when printing the liquid the glaze did pull through the screen but we think the actual glaze itself didn’t pass through the mesh of the screen. So maybe using a bigger mesh or just pouring/spraying over a stencil would work better.
I like the matte finish with only slight bits of glaze but when I try the next one I will consider my oxide choice more carefully as some are less durable than others.
Second silkscreen layer
This set of photos documents the first technique I tried with the concrete. This is a technique that had already been established to print a clear image by Tracy and Alasdair and so was a good starting point to establish a familiarity with the concrete and the oxides that we were printing with.
For this process we mixed the oxides with medium and printed the images like normal screenprints with the idea that the medium the oxides were suspended in is burned off in the kiln leaving only the oxide behind. The oxides were slightly difficult to work with solely because it was difficult to judge the ratio of oxide to medium in order to get an image that prints but doesn’t bleed when fired. When fired the oxides also change colour so judging colour schemes was tricky too!
I went through a number of stages with this piece of concrete:
I was provided with a slab of concrete that was ready to be printed on. 
I created a toner wash drawing that had a number of different marks (dots, lines, hashes, washes), and exposed image on a textiles screen.
The first layer of oxide was a red underglaze, as you can see in the later photographs when fired this turned a rosy pink. This may be due to too little oxide to medium but I have also been told that if I glaze it completely it should turn redder.
The second layer was a marbled mixture of manganese oxide and iron oxide, I drizzled the manganese onto the image on the screen then pulled the iron over that.
After this the concrete was fired in order to see the colours I was working with. The benefit with refractory concrete is that you can fire it as many times as you need.
When I was able to see the colours they seemed rather pale so the third layer of oxide was another marbled mixture of manganese oxide with a black underglaze.
We then experimented with different ways of applying glaze. I tried silkscreening the glaze onto my concrete so that I would be left with areas of matte and gloss. This was only partially successful as when printing the liquid the glaze did pull through the screen but we think the actual glaze itself didn’t pass through the mesh of the screen. So maybe using a bigger mesh or just pouring/spraying over a stencil would work better.
I like the matte finish with only slight bits of glaze but when I try the next one I will consider my oxide choice more carefully as some are less durable than others.
Third silkscreen layer
This set of photos documents the first technique I tried with the concrete. This is a technique that had already been established to print a clear image by Tracy and Alasdair and so was a good starting point to establish a familiarity with the concrete and the oxides that we were printing with.
For this process we mixed the oxides with medium and printed the images like normal screenprints with the idea that the medium the oxides were suspended in is burned off in the kiln leaving only the oxide behind. The oxides were slightly difficult to work with solely because it was difficult to judge the ratio of oxide to medium in order to get an image that prints but doesn’t bleed when fired. When fired the oxides also change colour so judging colour schemes was tricky too!
I went through a number of stages with this piece of concrete:
I was provided with a slab of concrete that was ready to be printed on. 
I created a toner wash drawing that had a number of different marks (dots, lines, hashes, washes), and exposed image on a textiles screen.
The first layer of oxide was a red underglaze, as you can see in the later photographs when fired this turned a rosy pink. This may be due to too little oxide to medium but I have also been told that if I glaze it completely it should turn redder.
The second layer was a marbled mixture of manganese oxide and iron oxide, I drizzled the manganese onto the image on the screen then pulled the iron over that.
After this the concrete was fired in order to see the colours I was working with. The benefit with refractory concrete is that you can fire it as many times as you need.
When I was able to see the colours they seemed rather pale so the third layer of oxide was another marbled mixture of manganese oxide with a black underglaze.
We then experimented with different ways of applying glaze. I tried silkscreening the glaze onto my concrete so that I would be left with areas of matte and gloss. This was only partially successful as when printing the liquid the glaze did pull through the screen but we think the actual glaze itself didn’t pass through the mesh of the screen. So maybe using a bigger mesh or just pouring/spraying over a stencil would work better.
I like the matte finish with only slight bits of glaze but when I try the next one I will consider my oxide choice more carefully as some are less durable than others.
Detail of the oxides
This set of photos documents the first technique I tried with the concrete. This is a technique that had already been established to print a clear image by Tracy and Alasdair and so was a good starting point to establish a familiarity with the concrete and the oxides that we were printing with.
For this process we mixed the oxides with medium and printed the images like normal screenprints with the idea that the medium the oxides were suspended in is burned off in the kiln leaving only the oxide behind. The oxides were slightly difficult to work with solely because it was difficult to judge the ratio of oxide to medium in order to get an image that prints but doesn’t bleed when fired. When fired the oxides also change colour so judging colour schemes was tricky too!
I went through a number of stages with this piece of concrete:
I was provided with a slab of concrete that was ready to be printed on. 
I created a toner wash drawing that had a number of different marks (dots, lines, hashes, washes), and exposed image on a textiles screen.
The first layer of oxide was a red underglaze, as you can see in the later photographs when fired this turned a rosy pink. This may be due to too little oxide to medium but I have also been told that if I glaze it completely it should turn redder.
The second layer was a marbled mixture of manganese oxide and iron oxide, I drizzled the manganese onto the image on the screen then pulled the iron over that.
After this the concrete was fired in order to see the colours I was working with. The benefit with refractory concrete is that you can fire it as many times as you need.
When I was able to see the colours they seemed rather pale so the third layer of oxide was another marbled mixture of manganese oxide with a black underglaze.
We then experimented with different ways of applying glaze. I tried silkscreening the glaze onto my concrete so that I would be left with areas of matte and gloss. This was only partially successful as when printing the liquid the glaze did pull through the screen but we think the actual glaze itself didn’t pass through the mesh of the screen. So maybe using a bigger mesh or just pouring/spraying over a stencil would work better.
I like the matte finish with only slight bits of glaze but when I try the next one I will consider my oxide choice more carefully as some are less durable than others.
Glaze screenprinted onto the concrete
This set of photos documents the first technique I tried with the concrete. This is a technique that had already been established to print a clear image by Tracy and Alasdair and so was a good starting point to establish a familiarity with the concrete and the oxides that we were printing with.
For this process we mixed the oxides with medium and printed the images like normal screenprints with the idea that the medium the oxides were suspended in is burned off in the kiln leaving only the oxide behind. The oxides were slightly difficult to work with solely because it was difficult to judge the ratio of oxide to medium in order to get an image that prints but doesn’t bleed when fired. When fired the oxides also change colour so judging colour schemes was tricky too!
I went through a number of stages with this piece of concrete:
I was provided with a slab of concrete that was ready to be printed on. 
I created a toner wash drawing that had a number of different marks (dots, lines, hashes, washes), and exposed image on a textiles screen.
The first layer of oxide was a red underglaze, as you can see in the later photographs when fired this turned a rosy pink. This may be due to too little oxide to medium but I have also been told that if I glaze it completely it should turn redder.
The second layer was a marbled mixture of manganese oxide and iron oxide, I drizzled the manganese onto the image on the screen then pulled the iron over that.
After this the concrete was fired in order to see the colours I was working with. The benefit with refractory concrete is that you can fire it as many times as you need.
When I was able to see the colours they seemed rather pale so the third layer of oxide was another marbled mixture of manganese oxide with a black underglaze.
We then experimented with different ways of applying glaze. I tried silkscreening the glaze onto my concrete so that I would be left with areas of matte and gloss. This was only partially successful as when printing the liquid the glaze did pull through the screen but we think the actual glaze itself didn’t pass through the mesh of the screen. So maybe using a bigger mesh or just pouring/spraying over a stencil would work better.
I like the matte finish with only slight bits of glaze but when I try the next one I will consider my oxide choice more carefully as some are less durable than others.
The concrete fired with glaze

This set of photos documents the first technique I tried with the concrete. This is a technique that had already been established to print a clear image by Tracy and Alasdair and so was a good starting point to establish a familiarity with the concrete and the oxides that we were printing with.

For this process we mixed the oxides with medium and printed the images like normal screenprints with the idea that the medium the oxides were suspended in is burned off in the kiln leaving only the oxide behind. The oxides were slightly difficult to work with solely because it was difficult to judge the ratio of oxide to medium in order to get an image that prints but doesn’t bleed when fired. When fired the oxides also change colour so judging colour schemes was tricky too!

I went through a number of stages with this piece of concrete:

I was provided with a slab of concrete that was ready to be printed on. 

I created a toner wash drawing that had a number of different marks (dots, lines, hashes, washes), and exposed image on a textiles screen.

The first layer of oxide was a red underglaze, as you can see in the later photographs when fired this turned a rosy pink. This may be due to too little oxide to medium but I have also been told that if I glaze it completely it should turn redder.

The second layer was a marbled mixture of manganese oxide and iron oxide, I drizzled the manganese onto the image on the screen then pulled the iron over that.

After this the concrete was fired in order to see the colours I was working with. The benefit with refractory concrete is that you can fire it as many times as you need.

When I was able to see the colours they seemed rather pale so the third layer of oxide was another marbled mixture of manganese oxide with a black underglaze.

We then experimented with different ways of applying glaze. I tried silkscreening the glaze onto my concrete so that I would be left with areas of matte and gloss. This was only partially successful as when printing the liquid the glaze did pull through the screen but we think the actual glaze itself didn’t pass through the mesh of the screen. So maybe using a bigger mesh or just pouring/spraying over a stencil would work better.

I like the matte finish with only slight bits of glaze but when I try the next one I will consider my oxide choice more carefully as some are less durable than others.

6th October, 2014

I recently took part in a printmaking research weekend at my university called the 1st International Refractory Concrete and Printmaking symposium. The aims were to invite 2 artists from the Netherlands, Erik Kok (ceramicist) and Rudi Bastiaans (printmaker) to work with Tracy Hill (printmaker) and Alasdair Bremner (ceramicist) along with some MA students (both printmaking and ceramics). We were looking at exploring the possibilities of working across the disciplines of printmaking and ceramics with a particular focus on refractory concrete, building on research that Tracy and Alasdair presented at IMPACT 2013.
By having a number of artists with different specialisms we were able to experiment with a number of different techniques relevant to our own specialisms. In the four days we cast over 70kg of concrete and tried techniques from casting from monoprints to silkscreening onto fired concrete squares.
I will be making a few posts highlighting the different techniques I tried personally along with some thoughts on how the concrete worked with each technique and how I’d adapt it the next time I try it.
Overall it was an incredible 4 days that sparked a number of ideas, and it was also a fantastically fun medium to work with.

I recently took part in a printmaking research weekend at my university called the 1st International Refractory Concrete and Printmaking symposium. The aims were to invite 2 artists from the Netherlands, Erik Kok (ceramicist) and Rudi Bastiaans (printmaker) to work with Tracy Hill (printmaker) and Alasdair Bremner (ceramicist) along with some MA students (both printmaking and ceramics). We were looking at exploring the possibilities of working across the disciplines of printmaking and ceramics with a particular focus on refractory concrete, building on research that Tracy and Alasdair presented at IMPACT 2013.

By having a number of artists with different specialisms we were able to experiment with a number of different techniques relevant to our own specialisms. In the four days we cast over 70kg of concrete and tried techniques from casting from monoprints to silkscreening onto fired concrete squares.

I will be making a few posts highlighting the different techniques I tried personally along with some thoughts on how the concrete worked with each technique and how I’d adapt it the next time I try it.

Overall it was an incredible 4 days that sparked a number of ideas, and it was also a fantastically fun medium to work with.