My name is Ian Chamberlain and I am an artist/printmaker.
I work primarily with Etching and am inspired by man made objects.
Are you solely a printmaker or do you work in any other creative fields?
I work with print and drawing. I use drawing as a way to record information
and understand the subject. I will then take selected drawings that I feel
will be enhanced by the etching process. I usually create a series of prints
to give me several ways to record the subject matter.
I will sometimes exhibit drawings separately and alongside the prints.
What is your earliest recollection of making a print and what made you to want to do more?
My earliest recollection of printmaking was printing potato cuts at primary school, funnily enough the work has not changed that much, it is still about physical manipulation of the print matrix through cutting and scraping.
When I was introduced to the Rhinoceros Print by Albrecht Durer I was
fascinated in the way Printmaking can be used to tell a story or be used to
deliver information that may be correct or not.
What inspires you and are there any themes or ideas that often run through your work?
My work is influenced by manmade structures, reinterpreting them as monuments placed within the landscape. They are devoid of people; the architectural scale can no longer be based on the physical measurement of the human body. I am interested in the use of a traditional Print process such as etching being used to record subject matter that is generally at the cutting edge of technology for its time. I aim to represent and interpret the form and function of these objects, simplifying the complex structure. The prints are constantly being scrutinized, giving them an existence of their own rather than a perfectly re-produced image. I am interested in the use of a traditional Print process such as etching being used to record subject matter that is generally at the cutting edge of technology for its time.
I have always taken huge influence from Giorgio Morandi and Piranesi and although not printmakers in their own right, Bernd and Hilla Bechers photographs have given me huge inspiration and given me a wider scope
for my own work. I also get inspired by teaching onto the M.A Printmaking course and Drawing and Applied Arts course at UWE (University of the West of England). It is very easy to be able to feed off the energy and enthusiasm the students bring. Over the last few years some very exciting work has been created and I hope even more diverse and challenging works will be achieved
in the future.
For me the enjoyment is in the physical manipulation of the plate and the effects this brings to the final print. I spend a lot of time working and reworking the plates; it is in this time spent I feel the prints have a life of their own away from the original subject matter.
Do you have a favourite tool or something you find invaluable when printing?
My burnisher, music and coffee.
Can you share a little printing trick or secret with us ?
Add a little bit of chalk to your ink to make it stiffer, this will make it harder
to over wipe.
How would you like to develop your printmaking skills in the future?
I would love to have more time to dedicate to my work and really start
to develop an understanding of the range of marks and tones that can
be achieved through etching.
Monochrome or multi-coloured?