Girard Gallery is honoured to be a member gallery of Dorset Fine Arts and the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative LTD.
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Listed below are a number of techniques used by the artists of Kinngait (Cape Dorset).
Stone Cut is an elegant process and Cape Dorset printmakers have refined it to a fine art. The first step is tracing the original drawing and applying it to the smooth surface of the prepared stone. Using india ink, the stonecutter delineates the drawing on the stone and then cuts away the areas that are not to appear in print, leaving the uncut areas raised, or in relief. The raised area is inked using rollers and then a thin sheet of paper - usually fine, handmade Japanese paper - is placed over the inked surface. A protective sheet of tissue is placed over this sheet, and the paper is pressed gently against the stone by hand with a small, padded disc. Only one print can be pulled from each inking of the stone, so the edition takes time and patience and care.
Screen Printing In screen printing, the screen is first created by stretching a fabric (eg silk) over a frame of wood or aluminium. The image is first drawn (manually or with software) on a piece of paper or plastic, or captured in a photograph. Then it is cut out to form a stencil. Next, the stencil is attached to the screen. Then areas of the screen mesh are blocked with a waterproof masking medium. These areas become the negative areas of the final image. The screen is then placed over the desired substrate (eg. paper, glass, textile) and ink is then applied to top of the screen and spread across the screen, over the stencil and through the open mesh onto the substrate underneath. The ink is spread using a squeegee - a rubber blade usually the same width as the screen. The unblocked area is where the ink filters through and creates the image. Any number of colours can be used, although a separate screen is required for each colour. More on screenprinting visit:
Lithography was introduced at the Kinngait Studios in the early 1970s. Unlike stonecut and etching, hand lithography requires no cutting of the printing surface. Instead, the design is simply drawn on a limestone block or aluminum plate with grease pencils or with a greasy liquid. The stone or plate is then inked with a grease-based ink while being continuously sponged with a thin film of water. The water repels the greasy ink, confining it to the area defined by the original drawing. Multi-colour prints usually require a separate stone or plate for each colour. In printing, the inked stone or plate, paper and tympan (protective covering) is cranked by hand through a press. Under tremendous pressure, the drawn image transfers to the paper. In recent years, several lithographs have included the application of chine collé. This technique involves pressing a thin sheet of sized, oriental paper to a heavier backing sheet and printing both at the same time, adding another dimension of colour and texture to the final image. More on Lithography: https://www.dorsetfinearts.com/lithography
Various forms of intaglio printing have also been part of the Kinngait Studios’ media, including copper engraving and etching. In etching, the impression is made by pushing the paper into inked depressions and recesses in a metal plate. First, an acid-resistant substance called a ground is applied to the surface of the plate. The artist then draws the image through the ground using an etching needle, and the plate is immersed in an acid bath which etches or “eats” into the drawn areas. In printing, the inked plate is laid face up on the flat bed of the etching press and dampened paper is placed on top. The paper is then covered by several layers of felt blankets and the complete sandwich of plate/paper/blankets is run through the press, compressing the felts and forcing the paper into the recesses of the etched plate. The paper pulls the ink out of the recesses and the impression is made. Aquatint is often used in conjunction with linear etching and engraving as a method of etching tonal areas onto the plate. More on etching visit: