Prints and methods of printing from artist John Wragg

About the artist John Wragg and his prints

John Wragg is an accomplished artist, born in Stockport, UK and this is an explanation of how he produces his current prints.

John’s artwork is mainly abstract and geometric in nature, producing paintings, constructions and prints. Whatever the nature of the imagery, his work seeks to capture four dimensional space through the use of contrasting colours, light, tessellation and optical illusion.

* Please read more about John and see other examples of previous work on John Wragg’s Artist Profile.

John’s modified printing press

In the photo attached, there is a picture of John’s hundred-year-old mangle, converted into a printing press and which he is using for his latest prints. He brought it over from England after it was fitted with a travelling bed and two work surfaces, either side of the rollers. Guides were welded to the framework to ensure the travelling bed moves smoothly through the rollers without deviation.

John's 100-year-old modified mangle press
John’s 100-year-old modified mangle press

The mangle originally had wooden beech rollers but the fluctuations in temperature here in Spain caused them to split. John therefore recently had steel rollers made and fitted by an engineer in Motril. He now has a press comparable with far more expensive commercially made machines.

Examples of John’s current print work and methods of printing

The prints he produces are mainly linocuts but he also make collographs and card cut prints. His lino prints are cut and sometimes etched, using caustic soda. John has also had some of his lino plates laser cut, which can give extraordinary results, especially in conjunction with standard cutting and etching.

Expanding his practice

As John’s press has adjustable pressure points, it will print etchings, which require greater pressure than surface printing. He says he doesn’t produce conventional etchings but he is going to experiment with printing intaglio from his plates (printing an impression from the lower surface of the plate). This will be an extension of his practice which he is always seeking to expand. He also now has a Dremel and a 3D printing pen, which he believes can be exploited for further developments in his print making work.

Edited by Hilly Barmby. To see my artwork, please click on my name.

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