Alongside the 3d printed plates, I’ve been creating zinc plates with multiple deeply bitten levels to build the physical form of the holes. The laser cut stencils makes applying the mask much easier and creates an accurate shape. I’m using aquatint, transfer print and drypoint to apply detail. This is a more traditional way to make the plate but uses the laser cutter for efficiency.
Ive been experimenting with 3d modelling from the clay casts, Multiple photographs from all angles were taken of the clay cast and imported into Autodesk Recap to create 3d models of the hole for printing. The cast immediately looked like a landscape surface with an ambiguous scale.
This is a test print of an actual road hole at a much smaller scale and at a total height of 1.5mm. I’ll be experimenting with printing isolated sections of road holes to test the level of detail and planning to make much larger plates by printing tessellating sections of holes at actual size. I need to work on reducing or utilising the raft that forms around the object during printing as I don’t want this in the final prints and it isn’t east to cut it away accurately afterwards.
I’ve created this circular test plate to work out the depths to create between layers, and how to apply ink to the plate for printing. The test plate is printed at low quality with creates quite visible lines in the surface which holds ink well, or can be sanded out for a smoother surface. The smooth surface can be left ink free, or ink can be applied and rubbed back which created a monoprint effect. Where the print has lifted slightly from the plate during printing it has created a more natural texture which in the plate which holds more ink and gives a stronger impression. Drypoint works well in the plastic and can be used for more detailed areas.
In 2015 I worked on a series of prints and 3 dimensional drawings which were based on a single rock. I took casts from the rock using latex to create a series of plaster replicas which I could work directly into enabling me to explore its form and take the facets, cracks and surfaces apart in isolation. This was part of an ongoing project called Landscape | Object which was part of the group show ‘Avidity‘ at the Penwith Gallery, St Ives, Cornwall in November 2015.
I have decided to use this way of working again to explore the form and structure of my road holes. I want to be able to see more of the hole than I can by simply observing it in situ, and then deconstruct it, isolating its crevices and contents, and reconstructing them to create relief printing plates.
I’ve been taking clay casts from road holes to allow me to take them back to the studio and develop into printing plates. The clay takes an exact impression of the hole including what is inside it. My next steps are to experiment with converting these clay casts into 3d prints.