Viewing single post of blog Sustainable Printmaking at home and abroad

Nurturing a seed sown back in Autumn 2014 with La Ceiba Gráfica telling me that one of the reasons they didn’t practise screen printing was that it was too environmentally unfriendly, (along with the printing method not ‘antique’ enough and more significantly they would have to rely on international imports – is there anyone manufacturing screen printing medium in Mexico? (another thing to research) … my challenge was set:
• To investigate what I know as “non-toxic” screen printing so I can become more informed about the materials and processes I choose to use as an artist.
• Experimenting with natural pigments and vegetable dyes for printing ink – grinding earth and beetles, boiling flowers and leaves; and using different natural binders to mix with; learning about their traditions and histories of their use by indigenous Mexican peoples. I hope to demonstrate screen printing as a viable option for consideration of La Ceiba Gráfica’s studio offer.
• To set up a DIY screen print studio using water-based acrylic inks (what I am already familiar with), including DIY exposure unit to gain more understanding of the photo-emulsion. (which could be developed into a mobile workshop to take to the street…) returning to La Ceiba is important to me to continue the conversation and also learn more about their values and sustainable outlook as a contemporary printmaking studio.

Having begun my screen printing training since Health & Safety at Work regulations were brought in, I haven’t ever used oil-based (solvent) ink systems so don’t have the experience of the amount of solvents used in the clean-up process (and vapours given off from the inks themselves) and so experienced the impact of this system on my health and a printmaker or environmentally.

As a process-based artist, a physical engagement with the materials and mediums I choose to use is an important consideration for me to balance the impact on the environment with the impact of my work (questions worth). Though, I hope the work I do produce communicates my ideas through my passion and skill. The necessity of making … of being in my creative ‘flow’.

My creative arts practice responds to place. By taking myself out of my everyday environment, I open myself up to collecting new inspiration. By processing primary research and materials, I illuminate the overlooked corners of our world, bringing an awareness to the traces of human activities, and commenting on their impact on our physical environment.

My current work uses weathered and torn advertisement billboard poster to reflect not only on these physical traces of a consumerist society but also on the commercial printing process and the industry itself.

And so my adventure of experimenting with new materials begins in new and wondrous climes…