These prints are products of Urbandale Public Library Art Galleries Art Under Pressure steamroller printing event. On May 10th these relief prints were made using a steamroller in the parking lot of the Library. There will be a silent auction of the prints on the to help further other Gallery projects starting on June 20th and going until the 30th. Go to the Silent Auction page for more information.
What is a relief print?
The simplest form of relief printing is stamping. Part of the stamp is raised and that part gets inked. Part of it is recessed and that part does not get ink. When the stamp is inked and then pressed down on paper the image that was raised is now printed on the paper. Where the stamp was recessed the paper shows through.
Other forms of relief printing are really just a variation stamping. Artists carve away parts of a flat surface leaving a raised surface that will be inked and then transferred onto paper or fabric. Often this is done on wood blocks or linoleum. In our case they were carved large sheets of MDF board.
How were these made?
So on May 10th all the artist brought their boards and we rolled ink onto the carved boards trying to make sure we did not get ink into the recesses or carved areas of the board. The boards were then moved over to the printing area and centered. The artists choose a variety of fabrics to lay on top of the inked board. With all the wind that day this definitely became a group project.
After the fabric was laid, a layer of newsprint was put down to keep any ink from seeping through the fabric and onto the carpet layer. Carpet was used to evenly disperse the weight of the steamroller. Then a board was placed on top of everything and the steamroller is ready to drive over the print.
Once the steamroller applied the pressure needed to transfer the ink from the boards to the fabric everything was reversed and the fabric was hung to dry.