Tuesday 29 October 2013

Meet the printmaker: Gilian Thompson

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work…What sort of prints do you make?
I did a photography degree right before everything turned digital.  I travelled
for 10 years then moved to Bristol to do an MA in Multi-disciplinary Printmaking. I am a member of Spike Print Studio and I’m currently working as a Technical Intern at UWE’s Print Centre.

I specialise in intaglio printing and etch with both copper and aluminium.
My work is about paring-down form and line to a minimum in order to evoke
a particular emotion.  I’m interested in how simplicity can produce a quiet yet powerful presence in space.


Are you solely a printmaker or do you work in any other creative fields?

Just print. It takes up all my time.


What is your earliest recollection of making a print and what made you to want to do more?

An old Catalan artist, Albert Plaza, taught me how to etch with nitric acid a few years ago. I liked the alchemy of it.


What inspires you and are there any themes or ideas that often run through your work?

Simple elemental forms, handmade paper and lots of black ink.  My inspiration comes a lot from found photographs, and reinventing compositions.


The work of which other printmaker/s do you admire?

The story of Kathan Brown who took an old etching press she found in Edinburgh all the way over to San Francisco in the 1960’s.  With this press she set up Crown Point Press. Functioning as a print workshop and publisher, Crown Point invites artists to complete a residency where they are assigned a personal technician.  Over the years it has hosted artists such as Sol LeWitt, Chuck Close, Anish Kapoor, Ed Ruscha and Kiki Smith. Art historian Susan Tallman, author of The Contemporary Print, has described Crown Point Press as, ‘The most instrumental American printshop in the revival of etching as a medium of serious art.’

Printmaking is made up of lots of different processes, which aspect do you enjoy 
the most?

Inking and wiping the plate before printing. It’s meditative.
Do you have a favourite tool or something you find invaluable when printing?

Heavy weight handmade paper, with beautiful asymmetrical sides and feathery deckles. Camp coffee- though, not to drink!


Can you share a little printing trick or secret with us ?

Make yourself a reusable registration sheet. If you draw a square grid on a piece of mark resist you can use the same sheet no matter what your plate or paper size.

How would you like to develop your printmaking skills in the future?                          
would like to edition work for artists.  I like the idea of working with people who don’t use printmaking in their everyday practice. I’m curious to see how a sculptor or a painter would approach etching. One of the most interesting collaborations I’ve heard of is when John Cage put fire through a press.



Gilly will be at The Print Shop for the rest of Volume 3.
She will also be teaching Intro To Etching on 1st November, find out more about the workshop click here 

The Print Shop
Unit 6
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus

Open Daily
Mon - Sat 10am - 6pm
Sun 11am - 5pm

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