an artwork is created

One of ed. art’s most popular artists is Annette Hammarén; her affecting images with motives from nature seem to move something within the nature-loving Swedish soul. Annette Hammarén works with classic printmaking, in editions where each print is hand printed on cotton paper. The artist herself carries out the printing work, and in Annette Hammarén's case, it is an important part of the process. We had the opportunity of following Annette one day in the print shop, to learn how a work of art comes into being.

The result was a little video showing the process, and the text and photo documentation that you'll find below, if you scroll past the video.

Today Annette is test printing an image consisting of two plates. She has already prepared the plates (we will tell you more about them another time). She has a copper plate in which she etched a motif and a so-called photopolymer plate to which she has transferred a photograph.

First, Annette prepares the printing ink, mixing the colour and getting the right texture

She then applies the ink thinly to the plates with a plastic spatula. 

Now all excess ink should be wiped off. It should only adhere to the recesses of the plates

Annette wants to get as many colors as possible on as few plates as possible. Therefore, she is using an orange-black gradient on one of the plates.

She spreads the inks on a glass plate ...

.... and rolls them out so the transition between them becomes soft. Then she rolls the roller once over the plate.

Now everything is ready to print. On the printing table Annette has marked out her most common formats so that she can easily fit the plates in the right place. This is where she now places plate number 1.

The paper is made of cotton which means that it is completely acid-free and that it can be soaked. For the ink to be absorb, the paper must be moistened. Annette has soaked the paper. Now she picks it up ...

... and dries it by putting it between two papers, brushing away the water.

Then the paper is placed on top of the printing plate. It needs to be perfectly straight!

Now paper and plate are run through the printing press which presses down with several tons of pressure. The ink will then transfer from plate to paper.

Now the next plate is ready to be printed. It needs to end up in exactly the same place as plate number one. Therefore, Annette has put a weight on the printing paper so that it doesn’t move when she lifts it to remove the first plate.

Placing plate number two, carefully letting down the paper on top and then back through the press again.

Now the image is ready to be examined by the artist's critical eyes.

And compared to other test prints

Then the prints are pressed, left to dry flat

Time to print a new artwork!

Read more about intaglio printmaking, and other printmaking techniques here.

See all artworks by Annette Hammarén here