Print assemblage


This week saw ruthless clearing out. Piles of prints were assessed, and any found wanting were ripped up and put into the recycling bin. Then there was a much smaller pile left, of prints that I like and could one day be framed (very few), of prints that I can use to draw into, and ones that can be made into three-dimensional objects. These were the ones I turned to.

There were three prints I liked, that I had printed in the same session so they had a connection to one another. They are monotypes, one-off prints. These ones are made from layers of ink rolled up on an acetate sheet, then items placed to mask off areas or add marks and textures. I generally put them through the press several times, adding more each time. The main feature on these was strips of raffia, twisted randomly. Each time they went through the press they picked up ink which was then transferred to the plate, and thus to the paper, next time they were used. All these sheets were printed on both sides, ending up with a mostly green image on one side and mostly red on the other.

Deciding how to use these prints was the next question. The first thing I did was start folding, turning one side to the other, folding edges up. Nothing was quite working, so it was set aside for more thinking time. Eventually, I decided to cut the top and bottom off the print, divide these into strips, and started with threading one strip through slots cut in the middle of the main piece which was now folded into a 4 leaf concertina. The strip was flipped over to reveal the opposite side. From there, I decided to add more strips, then do the same to the second print, using the same measurements. Once that was done, they naturally fitted together, with the end panel of one fitting under the protruding flaps of the inserted strips on the other.

I made a third concertina using the same method, but it doesn’t fit with the other two, the colours are different enough that it jars with them, but it can stand alone as part of the family. Also, I am planning to enter this into a print awards show which is accepting 3D works and due to the size restrictions only the two together will fit, adding the third would exceed the length allowed.

Below are some detail images of the double concertina, followed by images of the third one, including the early stages of development. Now to find a title – any suggestions welcome!

Author: anna warren portfolio

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

14 thoughts

  1. Love, love, love this construction and especially the process. What comes to my mind in viewing it is “wondering wanderings.”


    1. The process is so enjoyable – at least, once I have some idea of where I am going! But nevertheless, I do enjoy the thinking and planning. There is never one answer, there are so many approaches that I could have taken but this seemed to be cohesive with the imagery. That is a very nice title – there really is a sense of wandering, with the way the raffia lines move across the paper. Thanks so much Anne-Marie!


      1. I love the way your mind works, Anna. You remind me of Karl Weick who wrote (among other things) The Social Psychology of Organizing in which he explored the process of sense-making. He talked about split decisions where we trust the maps in our head enough to take actions but at the same time distrust those maps so we can discover paths/ideas not part of those maps. In explaining the importance of doubt, he shared the following poem (In Broken Images) by Robert Graves.

        He is quick, thinking in clear images;
        I am slow, thinking in broken images.

        He becomes dull, trusting in his clear images;
        I become sharp, mistrusting my broken images.

        Trusting his images, he assumes their relevance;
        Mistrusting my images, I question their relevance.

        Assuming their relevance, he assumes the fact;
        Questioning their relevance, I question the fact.

        When the fact fails him, he questions his senses;
        When the fact fails me, I approve my senses.

        He continues quick and dull in his clear images;
        I continue slow and sharp in my broken images.

        He in a new confusion of his understanding;
        I in a new understanding of my confusion.

        Thanks so much, Anna, for tickling my mind and letting me scratch the tickle by revisiting my friend Karl Weick.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. That poem is wonderful – it really connects with the way I like to think, seeing all the greys rather than the neat black or white argument, and the idea that constant questioning is a way of coming to, if not the right answer, then maybe the best answer for the particular conundrum, and encouraging a depth of thinking. Self-doubt can be a wonderful thing! I will investigate Karl Weick and revisit Robert Graves. (Whenever I read poetry I feel I must read more, then forget … but this time I must do it!) I am so pleased we have re-connected, a 40-odd year hiatus gone!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the combination of the handmade paper and the “pop up” concertina book. It’s a great way to show off the paper, while putting it in an entirely new form. And glad the purge resulting in a new work. I’m overdue for major recycling in my office/studio.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The transformation from flat image to 3D always feels a little magical, the new object shows the imagery in such a different way. A purge is really satisfying but it has to be done at the right time – too early and you can have regrets. I felt really uplifted once I had done it, I could think more clearly again. Thanks Jean!


  4. As I’m just about to start typing, I look below your “leave a reply” section to the six little Instagram images below. I can’t help noticing the aspect of ‘contained’ in all of them. There is something systematic about your mind that collects objects or ideas, studies them, turns them into new objects and then regroups/reassembles them. It is quite fascinating.
    But now back to your print assemblage, things that come to my mind are all the opposite of what I often see in your work ie. creepy. What I associate with this work is the idea of celebration, wrapped gifts, ribbons, Japanese type screens (unsurprisingly) and also obi (again). You know I can’t help thinking of the last two subjects. So – yes – contained things beautifully, aesthetically and sensitively presented.


  5. You are absolutely right – I LOVE containers, whether in real life (boxes, baskets, tins, can’t resist them) or in my artwork, I have plans for more panelled artworks. It must say something about me, I’m not sure what. I hadn’t seen them in this, but you are right. I’m so pleased you see the happiness and light in these – creepy is good but not in everything!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its funny, I knew those pieces were in the pile but I couldn’t even think about them while I was confronted by a mountain of stuff. Once the pile was manageable I could see what I wanted to do. Throwing out is so therapeutic! Thanks Leonie, I’m delighted you think it works!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Anna – this is a superb us of these beautiful mono-prints. I have dabbled in similar (using prints in folded-books) and love to see other people’s experiments. Will have to think about titles…


    1. Thank you so much Patti – it took ages for me to decide what I was going to do with these prints, but once I started folding the form came together quite quickly. For a title I have gone with a variant of one that was suggested – Wandering, Wondering. I had to make a decision as I wanted to enter it into a print show that accepts 3D objects!


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