Monoprinting is a lovely technique that allows printmakers to be spontaneous, painterly and experimental. This simple monoprint project produces beautiful delicate prints using a piece of scrim and an etching press.
Begin with a piece of perpex, a plastic inking plate or a sheet of drypoint plastic. use masking tape to tape off a rectangle on your perspex. If the plastic is transparent, place it over a cutting mat to get straight edges and right angles.
Cut a piece of scrim to fit inside the masking taped area.
Pull away threads from the scrim to fray the edges.
Manipulate the fibres to create gathers and holes.
Peel the masking tape away. Lay the scrim on top of the inked up area. Carry the perspex over to the etching press. Lay a piece of paper on top – we are using Snowdon (dry, not dampened) and cover with blankets.
Put the print sandwich through the press. The first print taken from this sandwich gives us a sold background and a white area where the scrim has acted as a mask.
Carefully peel the scrim from the perspex.
We can now print with the ink that remains on the perspex by placing it back on the print bed with paper on top.
Lay the scrim ink side up on a clean sheet of perspex (clean the original sheet or use a second sheet the same depth as the first so your press pressure remains consistent).
Lay a piece of paper on top, cover with blankets and run through the press. You should be left with a delicate print from the scrim.
We can also create two colour prints. Instead of printing the scrim by itself on a clean piece of perspex, we can lay it on top of a rolled out rectangle in another colour.
To do this, repeat the steps above by re-inking the perspex in the first colour and putting it through the press with scrim on top. This will ink up the scrim. Clean the perspex (or use a fresh piece) and roll out a second colour.
Place the scrim on top with the inky side facing up.
Cover with paper and put through the press.
We can take another print from the perspex once the scrim has been peeled off…
…and we can print with the orange side of the scrim.
To make your own scrim monoprint you will need: