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About

Cork Printmakers fine art printmaking studio is an artists’ resource, providing the space, facilities and equipment necessary to create art work through the medium of printmaking. We offer facilities in intaglio, screen-printing, lithography, letterpress, relief and digital printing.

Our purpose is to support and promote the creation and development of new work. We aim to address the technical and aesthetic concerns of artists working through print and we promote the highest standards of practice.

We facilitate professional development for artists and encourage collaborative work, through a range of dynamic programmes, projects and awards. In addition, we build an awareness, interest and appreciation of printmaking by developing and implementing high quality, highly accessible education programmes and event for members of the public.




History

Founded in 1991 Cork Printmakers Ltd. was established to meet the needs of artist printmakers who required printmaking facilities.

In 1994, Cork Printmakers Ltd. secured a workshop space in Thompson House, MacCurtain Street, a former bakery. Membership grew significantly over the following years putting an increased demand on the facility. A decision was made to find a more suitable workshop premises. Following negotiations with the Arts Council, Cork City Council and the then Department of Arts, Culture and Heritage, with the support of local Councillors and TDs, funding was awarded to refurbish a 19th century warehouse located at Wandesford Quay.

In 1999, the newly renovated printmaking facility was complete and Cork Printmakers Ltd. moved into its new home. Now supporting over ninety artist members our remit includes connecting and exchanging with artists from all over the world, contributing to and interacting with artist and arts organisations both locally and internationally.


Governance

Charity number: 10942

Please see a copy of our 2017 Audited Accounts here.

Cork Printmakers is committed to the process of adopting and implementing the Goverence Code for the Community, Voluntary & Charitable sector in Ireland. Cork Printmakers will shortly begin the journey to compliance.


Board of Directors

Leigh Gillen (Interim Chairperson), Leigh Gillen Events
Colette Quinn, Director, Real Insights
Cristín Leach, Art writer; Senior Communications Specialist, McKesson
Fiona Kelly, Artist
Naomi Masheti, Programme Coordinator, Cork Migrant Centre, Nano Nagle Place
Shane Clarke, CEO, Nano Nagle Place
Simon Cogan, Financial Controller in Inver Energy
Tadhg Crowley, Senior Curator, Education + Community, The Glucksman, University College Cork




Facilities

S C R E E N P R I N T I N G

Natgraph Exposure Unit – 152.4cm x 101.6cm (60” x 40”)
Trumax Printing Bed – 152.4cm x 101.6cm (60” x 40”)
Darkroom and Wash Out Room
Screens & Squeegees, various sizes

L I T H O G R A P H Y

Takach Lithography Press – 152.4cm x 84.5cm (60” x 33.5”)
Stones and Plates, various sizes
Rollers, various sizes
Hydraulic Lift


I N T A G L I O

Rochat Etching Press – 81cm x 165cm (32” x 65”)
Polymetaal JW100 Etching Press - 100cm x 200cm (39.5” x 78.7”)
Polymetaal JSV Etching Press - 80cm x 130cm (31.5” x 51.2”)
Starwheel Etching Press – 33cm x 76cm (13” x 30”)
Rochat Hotplate - 77cm x 64cm (30.3” x 25.2”)
Rollers, various sizes
Aquatint Room
Vertical Ferric Acid Bath
Horizontal Nitric Acid Baths


R E L I E F

Block Printing Press – 38cm x 66cm (15” x 26”)
(Polymetaal JW100 Etching Press - 100cm x 200cm can also be used for relief work)
Rollers, various sizes


D I G I T A L

HP5500 Designjet Full Colour Printer 106.7cm (42”)
IMac G5 & G4
Epson B&W Laser Printer A3
Epson Colour Inkjet Printer A2
External CD RW & Zip Drive
Flatbed Scanner A4
3.2 Megapixel Digital Camera
Slide & Data Projectors
Broadband Internet Connection

O T H E R

Guillotine (91.4cm) 36”
Drying Racks
Light Box 81.3cm x 132.1cm (32” x 52”)
B&W Photocopier A3






Techniques

D I G I T A L

HP5500 Designjet Full Colour Printer 106.7cm (42”)
IMac G5 & G4
Epson B&W Laser Printer A3
Epson Colour Inkjet Printer A2
External CD RW & Zip Drive
Flatbed Scanner A4
3.2 Megapixel Digital Camera
Slide & Data Projectors
Broadband Internet Connection

O T H E R

Guillotine (91.4cm) 36”
Drying Racks
Light Box 81.3cm x 132.1cm (32” x 52”)
B&W Photocopier A3

I N T A G L I O

A general category of printing techniques characterised by the incision of lines or images into a surface of a plate, which is usually metal. The whole plate is inked and then wiped to remove the ink from the plate surface, leaving ink in the incised areas only. The paper is dampened so that, under pressure, it will be squeezed into the inked recesses of the plate. Thin films of ink are sometimes left on the surface of the plate to achieve tonal effects.

E T C H I N G

Introduced in the early 1500’s, this process uses acid to make marks in a metal plate. The plate is covered with an acid resistant coating called a ground. The image is drawn using a sharp needle to scrape through the ground, exposing the plate. The plate is then immersed in an acid bath, the areas of exposed plate, the drawn areas, are bitten back by the acid. The characteristics of the marks produced depend on a number of factors, the tool used to draw the image, the type of ground used to coat the surface of the plate (hard or soft ground) and the length of time the plate is left in the acid bath.

A Q U A T I N T

An etching method introduced in the mid-17th century to create a more subtle tonal range. Powdered resin is made to adhere to a metal plate. When immersed in an acid bath the metal that remains exposed around the tiny drops of resin is bitten down, creating a pitted, grainy surface. These textured areas hold a thin layer of ink which prints as an area of tone. The longer the plate is left in the acid, the deeper the texture will be bitten and the darker it will print. A plate may be bitten several times to achieve a range of tonal areas. An acid-resistant ‘stop-out’ can be painted onto the plate to protect areas from being bitten in subsequent acid baths.

S P I T B I T E

A method of painting strong acid directly onto the aquatint ground of an etching plate. Depending on the amount of time the acid is left on the plate, light to dark tones can be achieved. To control the acid application, water can be used to coat the brush and then dipped into the acid. Traditionally a clean brush was coated with saliva, dipped into nitric acid and brushed onto the ground, hence the term “spitbite”.

P H O T O  E T C H I N G

Photo etching is an alternative to using acid to bite an incision into a plate. A copper plate is coated with a photo sensitive film; the artwork is then exposed onto the plate using a UV exposure unit. This process allows the artist to transfer autographic material such as negatives, drawings and photocopies. The plate is then inked and printed as an etching.

E N G R A V I N G

For this technique, a metal plate is incised with a tool called a burin, very like a fine chisel with a lozenge-shaped tip. Great skill is required to manipulate the burin as it is pushed at different angles and degrees of pressure to produce a variety of marks and lines. Engraved images comprise a multitude of crisp, fine lines. Shading is traditionally rendered by crosshatching or similar marks.

D R Y P O I N T

As with engraving, this is a process in which marks are made onto a plate using a sharp, pointed instrument. Unlike engraving, in which small amounts of metal are completely cleaned away with a scaper as the lines are incised, drypoint is characterised by the curl of displaced metal, called the burr, which forms as the line is cut. When inked, the burr creates a distinctive velvety appearance. This technique is usually done on soft copper plates, but also works very well on perspex. As the edition is printed, the burr becomes flattened and less distinct. Therefore, it is generally preferable to have a print with a small edition for drypoint.

M E Z Z O T I N T

This is very beautiful but time-consuming technique which was most popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. In creating a mezzotint, first the entire metal plate is roughened by marking fine lines into the plate in all directions with a rocker, making the surface receptive to ink. If printed at this stage, the entire paper would be black. The drawing is then created by burnishing or scraping into the plate, working from dark to lights.

P L A N O G R A P H I C

This process describes printing from a flat surface, where the inked and un-inked areas are on the same plane. This is opposite to relief where the inked area is raised, and intaglio where the inked area is incised.

L I T H O G R A P H Y

A process invented in the late 18th century, based on the resistance of grease and water. The origin of the term lithography includes reference to litho, for stone. An image is drawn on a smooth limestone or aluminum plate using pencils, crayons, tusche, grease, lacquer, or sometimes by means of a photochemical or transfer process. After the image is drawn, the entire surface is treated with rosin and talcum powder and then covered in a solution of gum arabic and nitric acid, which ‘fixs’ the image. The surface is cleaned down with a solvent leaving a greasy image of the drawing. It is then dampened with water and rolled with ink. The greasy image repels water and holds the oily ink while the rest of the stone’s surface does the opposite. The printing is accomplished in a press similar to that used in intaglio processes.

M O NO P R I N T / M O N O T Y P E

The key characteristic of a monoprint or monotype is that no two prints are identical, though many of the same elements may be present. All or part of a monoprint is created from printed elements whereas a monotype image is painted directly onto a smooth plate and then transferred to paper in a press. Only a single print can be made. A second pull is generally called a ghost.


S T E N C I L

A process of printing through an opening of material or cutout design.

S C R E E N  P R I N T
(Serigraph, Silkscreen)

The screen consists of a mesh, usually a synthetic nylon but originally silk, which has been stretched tightly over a metal or wooden frame. A stencil is then applied to the mesh, and the stenciled image is printed by forcing ink or paint, using a squeegee (rubber blade), through the exposed parts of the stencil and mesh onto paper or other material. The areas beneath the stencil remain un-inked. Screen prints can be made onto almost any material. There are a number of techniques available to create a stencil for screen printing, including, photographic, hand drawn and hand cut stencils, as well as using transfer films.

D I G I T A L

An image that has been part or wholly created digitally on a computer. Typically images are scanned into a computer and worked on or altered using image manipulation software. These can then be printed onto acetate and used in combination with traditional media, or printed directly from the computer onto paper, using inkjet or laser printers.