Monday, 28 March 2011

Masterclass with Norman Ackroyd

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate to be able to attend a Masterclass with the great printmaker Norman Ackroyd at Spike Island Print Studios, Bristol.
The facilities were fantastic and Ackroyd was inspirational. He demonstrated all the technical knowledge that he has built up over the years, generously sharing many tips and techniques. One of his memorable quotes for the day summed up his approach:

“Precision and elegance with freedom = great etchings”

The master examining his plates

After 4 hours of mad note taking and diagram drawing we left exhausted with information and our heads spinning with ideas. My head has hardly stopped spinning yet.

The focus of his demonstration was making a sugar lift with the recipe passed on by the Atelier Lacourière, repeated below:
  • white granulated sugar
  • fill 1/3 jam jar with sugar, same amount of hot water
  • Whole tube black gouache, shake to mix
  • Finally add the smallest drop of fairy liquid to break surface tension

    Ackroyds plates drawn with a rigger and mapping pen, lifting in hot water through a hard ground
Ackroyd made it all look so easy so I got busy.
Stage 1, sugar lift, stopped out during the biting time

I enjoyed the variety of tone and marks that can be achieved, and the freedom that can be achieved is very exciting. there are more plates on the way, and this one is getting a second treatment, hopefully I will post the results soon.


Sue Brown said...

What a fantastic opportunity! X

Sara Bowen said...

Oooh, I'm nostalgic! Once upon a time I was Chair of Spike Island Printmakers... and Norman Ackroyd is one of my all-time heroes! Sounds like you had a fantastic time. Love the print. Sara

Mavina Baker Printmaker said...

Great print, and thanks for sharing the sugar lift recipe.