I just spent 3 days printmaking with Dan Welden, a master printmaker and the creator of solarplate printing. It was an amazing experience, not only for pushing new boundaries, but for meeting some extraordinary local artists.
In the world of printmaking, I'd say I'm a neophyte enthusiast. I'm somewhat rigid to rules as a result of A) being a man, B) being a cop, and C) being a photographer. So when Dan laid down the rules, I was very attentive. Until he got to the final rule... There are no rules. Free your mind!
So, on the final day of class, I'm looking at a ratty plate which I over exposed a portion of it. "Free your mind....." I lopped off the over exposed potion with a cutter and began inking it up. Not the way it was intended, but in whatever way I felt. Throw some color here, some swirl there, burnish a bit there, and SLAP THAT SUCKER ON THE PRESS! Mass hysteria; anarchy.
When I pulled the print from the plate, I was stunned. It was like the part in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy goes from black and white to technicolor. It was an irreverent epiphany.
So, I guess the moral to the story is break some rules and conventions. There may be pay off at the end of it!
Solarplate intaglio printed as a relief with Akua inks on soaked Stonehenge paper. Scroll down a few posts to see the original photo.