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Agata Derda Artist Masterclass

In May at the Artlab Contemporary Print Studio we hosted two separate Masterclass event's - one with Agata Derda and another with Leonie Bradley of Same Same Press.

Agata Derda is a Polish-Canadian artist and printmaker influenced by the dark and conflict filled history of her native Poland. Her approach to making prints embraces the possibilities of both traditional and digital sides of printmaking, combining them in a unique and seamless final product. Essentially she uses rice paste as a mask over areas of her traditional print, which allows her to print the digital image over it without the need to register it, and also without the digital print filling in any white areas or highlights in the original image. She prints all of her images onto very fine Japanese paper and then chine-collé's them onto heavier watercolour paper.

During the workshop we approached her technique in a couple of ways to accommodate for the drying time of oil based ink and the limitations of small ink jet printers. Before the workshop we prepped a mix of relief prints, etchings and lithographs for the participants to use in the digital experiments and we also had a number of plates available for them to use on top of digital prints - flipping Agata's process and allowing people who weren't experienced in printmaking to experience the joy of pulling a print! The waterproof paper was interesting to work with - especially in lithography, it took the ink like a dream, presumably because of how smooth it is.

The last three photos in the gallery are my lithographs that one of the participants used, and the last image is my attempt at the process. I think it is a really interesting technique that opens up a lot of potential for scaling up lithographs and simplifying the layering and colouring process.

I will post again next week with a follow up post about Leonie's workshop.

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