North East industrial prints

The rooting about and organising of my chaotic plans chest drawers uncovered my first ever etching, a print that was produced around 1963. The tutor who taught us printmaking told me to go out and draw directly on the plate on location, ‘en plein air’ as it is now fashionably called. He also insisted that the plate was prepared with a soft ground, a very sensitive surface to transport across a room let alone on a bus, and this for someone who couldn’t carry a beer back from the bar without spilling some. Although there is some plate marking the cut-down cardboard box trick worked quite well. To make it extra difficult I went by two buses about thirty miles to the old ironstone mining area in Cleveland, or Teesside as it is now called, to draw some old industrial sheds and buildings that have now been levelled in the name of progress. I then had to transport the plate back to continue the process in the acid bath and take some proofs. This is a proof from the very first stage and the final print and two further proof stages have disappeared into the mists of time.

Derelict buildings. Proofs only. Monochrome/single colour. Image size 250mm x 250mm


  1. Looks better than a first attempt John. What did the boss say when you took her home for the first time to show her your etchings, nudge, nudge, wink, wink!



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