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Creative Waihi hired me to run a printmaking class for beginners.
Two hours a week for 6 weeks.
If you know anything about printmaking you will know that that is an almost impossibly short time to have 13 total beginners each produce a pleasing print at the end of but all went well and the class was a success.
To begin with I was teacher and we went through preparing the plates, applying the grounds and transferring the various designs and etching the plates in acid.
Then came the first printing and we discovered that all the plates were overbitten and not printing well because of my underestimation of the strength of the acid and the time the plates should spend in the acid.
Week 4 I softened the ink with plate oil, introduced best quality printmaking paper, increased the press pressure to the max and encouraged the students to leave some plate colour so as not to wipe off too much ink.
These measures worked and reasonable results were achieved.
Week 5 and 6 they all went crazy!
My expensive paper was vanishing at an alarming rate, they were tearing into all the coloured ink and making their own colours, queueing at the press, not listening to me, not going home at home time but working on and on. Ink and mess all over the place. Like kids in a toy shop on a sugar and colouring rush. The energy was amazing, the time flew by, as no one was listening to me I had to teach by example and inked a few plates in unusual ways and introduced texture effects and was constantly interrupted by pleas, demands and questions so my head was spinning. It was an amazing experience and we got some great results and many printmaking techniques explored and many interesting and elusive effects changing a simple and pleasant design into something much more.
The poor things are now all addicted to printmaking.
My God! What have I done!!