Transforming prints


Printmaking is an art form that somehow gets inside you – once you start it is hard to leave it behind. I would have described myself simply as a printmaker 20 years ago, but over the years other media became important to me, and printmaking became less of a focus, but was always in the back of my mind. Now it is front of mind, I have an allocated day for it once a week, and of course preparations for that day occupy a lot of the rest of the time. There is so much pleasure in creating prints, that moment of the reveal as paper is peeled back from the plate – did you get what you expected, or something entirely different. The weather affects the print, high humidity makes the ink run more smoothly, and dampens the paper, low humidity makes the ink harder to work. Cold and heat too have sometimes unexpected effects. All this adds to the nature of printmaking, the constant surprises that emerge.

I am not looking for perfect editions, in fact the reverse is what interests me, the moment of serendipity, the reaction of layering another plate over the previous image, how the inks respond to one another. Even results which could be interpreted as a disaster can be turned to advantage. Inspiration comes all the time – an image may be offset back onto the second plate, and a new ghost print can be taken from this. Printing on the back of the paper gives new possibilities and this is what I have been using in then developing three dimensional forms from the prints.

Coming up is a print exhibition with the title of ‘Music Box’, and I will submit some of my 3D works. So far, two are complete, the one shown above, which was inspired by the workings of one of those tiny hand-wound music boxes that play a tinny version of Happy Birthday, and the one below. This one I see as an imaginary musical instrument, perhaps something from a civilisation we know nothing of, so no-one knows how it should be played.


More prints have been made, so the next step is turn transform them into more musical objects.

Both of these are approximately 26 cm wide.

Author: anna warren portfolio

I draw, I paint, I am a printmaker. Always searching for the interesting detail in the world around me.

18 thoughts

  1. Tantalising as a piece of music unremembered Anna 😉 ! I’m looking at your 3D Art wishing I could also see the whole printed sheet you created 🙂 How lovely to reignite a fresh new year of creativity by exploring your printmaking again … look forward to more . I do hope you’ll share more about the exhibition nearer the time 🙂
    x Poppy


    1. Ah, those unremembered pieces of music! That is such a lovely analogy Poppy. I’m not sure you would want to see the whole printed sheet, they are a bit of a sow’s ear … but I have put some on my Instagram page, if you would like to check that out (they look so much nicer on a little phone screen!) (I am anna_warren_portfolio on Instagram). Yes, there will be more …

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve taken a look Anna ! and some 🙂
        Fantastic seeing even more of your /work in progress creations there … love the new one coming together . I’ve very recently joined instagram myself but not posted – not quite figured it all out yet and I’m not quite sure what I want to do with it !


        1. I really enjoy Instagram – its simple and undemanding and I have been inspired by lots of people who I follow. I think you would get a lot out of it Poppy, there’s no pressure to post regularly, just when you have something to share. And most things look so good on a tiny screen! I’m looking forward to following you ….


  2. Both your ‘prints’ are surprising, in that I would never think of them as prints but as sculptures. The second one also looks like a necklace. Each has its own elegance, charm and quirkiness. Your 3-D works are fascinating because of glimpses of what is mostly concealed, as well as that which is readily revealed.


    1. I’m glad your first thought is ‘sculpture’ rather than ‘print’. The print is essential, but nevertheless I see it as the vehicle for expressing an idea in three dimensions. Interesting that you say the second one is like a necklace, another friend said it was like a crown. Nice to get a wearable perspective too!


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