Saturday, February 2, 2013

Cel-Tec and Gesso make a Beautiful Print

© 2013 Jill Alo, fleet/fleeting, 12.5 x 14", intaglio with a la poupee
I was in the studio yesterday with artist Jill Alo. I have long been inspired by her work (blog posts here and here) and yesterday was no exception. She was printing a new plate made out of plastic coated foam core (brand name Cel-tec or Sintra) with a coating of gesso on top.

Here's a detail of a black and white version so you can grasp the beautiful textures within. 

© 2013 Jill Alo, fleet/fleeting, detail

© 2013 Jill Alo, fleet/fleeting, plate detail
Here's the process:
  1. Start with a piece of Cel-tec material and bevel it.  (Hand held files work great, as does a scraping tool.)
  2. Apply gesso with a brush or palatte knife, depending on the texture desired. Sand.
  3. Carve into the plate.
  4. Ink up and print. Jill printed the plate intaglio style using oil-based etching ink mixed with burnt plate oil and wiped with a shop towel.


I'm about to attempt the same technique but I'm trying mat board as my substrate instead of Cel-tec. I won't be able to do a deep gouge, but I will layer on several coats of gesso so I can make some marks with a stylus. I plan on proofing next week and I'm excited to get back into the printshop after a long hiatus.