I have taken my first tentative steps in lithography (this January)
I consider myself to be someone who draws. My practice is hugely informed by and preoccupied with drawing – so for a while now I have wanted to try my hand at lithography – one of the most mysterious techniques within printmaking.
So I grind my first stone until my arms are half numb and feel long and stringy. Then I move my stone (with a bit of help!) to a well lit part of the studio, and chalk transfer my design onto the cold, smooth surface.
I arm myself with litho crayons and cautiously begin making marks….Mistakes are made within seconds, those first few marks with a no.4 crayon feeling particularly alien. I use a craft knife to attempt a carved point, but the feel is nothing like any pencil or charcoal I have used before and I am having to re-learn my approach to both carving the soft black stick, as well as figuring out how it reacts when pressed against the cold litho stone.
Becky remarks on how I wear my emotions on my face, red cheeks giving away my frustration.
I persevere and get to a point I feel happy with and that feels like a natural conclusion to the day. Down tools. Cover my stone carefully with tissue paper and a ‘please don’t touch!’ Then make a mental note to have a good think about how to approach the feathers and how to incorporate flowers into my design before returning to the studio the next day.