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  • Writer's pictureChiara

Learning Lithography

Lithography is one of those skills that take a lot of practice. I have made a couple of attempts at lithography for recent projects and haven't had the confidence to follow through on my own, so the offer of a three-week lithography workshop is very appealing. Lithography is also specifically on my list for this project because of the potential to use white ink, though that turns out to be less of a boon than I had anticipated.


First to test my mark-making options. Using a fingerprint rather than a handprint I can make a number of samples on a small stone.

I test:

  • gum stencil with turps tusche

  • rubbing ink

  • roll-up ink

  • Castrol grease (which we use to lubricate the press scraper on the tympan)

  • wash-out solution (which is a mixture of bitumen and thinners)

  • turps tusche alone

  • vegetable oil/margarine from the kitchen

Roll-up ink and wash out solution show the most promise, so I test them on a larger stone with a handprint. And here comes my disappointment. I know lithography is planographic, but I'm not prepared for the flatness of the ink on paper. Even with black ink on white paper the results are disappointing. I'm afraid white on white will lack any impact.

I've had the opportunity to reinforce and refine some skills, having prepared, processed and printed two stones in the space of a few weeks. I've also learned more about the potential for lithography by seeing the work of other students in the workshop, but I'm not going to pursue this as a medium for this project.

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