During Britain's Regency period the stretch of shore along the River Thames at Wapping was known as Execution Dock, so named for the practice of hanging executed pirates and smugglers from gibbets as a warning to other criminals. In 2011 we opened our new print studio there and appropriated the name, which we now apply to the more agreeable function of creating fine art prints.
The studio's location overlooking the River Thames provides a perfect environment for artists to work in residence.
Ink is pulled across exposed screens which each provide a layer of colour in the final artwork. A seventeen colour print, for example, requires the process to be repeated across seventeen different screens for each print.
Archival paper and state-of-the-art inkjet printing combine to reproduce existing artwork impeccably. Giclées at Execution Dock are further treated and glossed to add texture to each print. Fine art Giclée is now the industry standard for reproduction.
Images are carved by hand into wooden blocks used to print from. While various woods can be used for a range of textures, any suitable material can be used to make a woodcut; they are also called linocuts in reference to the linoleum which sometimes replaces wood.
An etching process normally used to reproduce existing artwork, the print is taken from an exposed flexible aluminium plate.
Traditional etchings, dry points require the artist to carve an image into a treated copper plate using a variety of hand tools. After ink is applied the prints must be made immediately before the etching lines become blurred, so dry points are often made and printed immediately on site.
The artist paints directly onto a copper plate which is then used to print two versions: the original monotype which is saturated in paint, and a "ghost print" that presents a softer version of the same image. Artists often hand-paint further on top of their monotypes.