Screenprinting and Intaglio: The development of coherent, user and environmentally friendly systems for creative printmaking.
Robertson, Carol (2010) Screenprinting and Intaglio: The development of coherent, user and environmentally friendly systems for creative printmaking. PhD thesis, University of Sunderland.
In 1987, to avoid working with hazardous traditional materials, I began to research with the aim of developing safer and more environmentally friendly printmaking systems for artists. I studied the history of innovation to identify principles; analysed theory and practice; identified risks; selected criteria; researched classical, traditional and new methodologies; revised classification and terminology; identified gaps in the projected systems; developed water-based materials for acrylic-resist etching, screenprinting and autographic positives; created new systems for water-based screenprinting, etching, collagraphy and other intaglio methods; tested these through teaching artists and co-publishing with high-profile artists; revised teaching and learning; documented the research; and wrote and illustrated two pedagogic books to disseminate the research. The results of the research have been the creation of coherent printmaking systems designed for artists; the manufacture by Lascaux of eighteen new water-based materials for printmaking; the exhibition of works made using the systems; and the publication by Thames & Hudson of the books. These definitive books explain why there was a need for change; how the systems are as user and environmentally friendly as is currently possible; how the principles remain true to classical and traditional theory; how to use the new systems; and how effective and versatile the systems are; and they also demonstrate the many creative possibilities. The research has made a significant contribution to knowledge and has been influential in the worldwide move towards the modernisation of printmaking. The systems and terminology such as acrylic-resist etching (ARE) and photocollagraphy are increasingly used in art colleges and print studios. The research continues to be disseminated and validated through the international availability of new products; the creating, exhibition and purchase (for major collections) of prints made using the systems; and by documentation online, in artists’ catalogues, and in my books and those written by other authors.
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