In our Cecil Court Gallery we are blessed to have a collection of prints by the multi-talented artist, Jazmin Velasco. We wanted to find out more about how Jazmin creates her art works and have delved into her practice of printmaking.

The two main printmaking processes Jazmin uses can be described as opposites. The first, Intaglio, a process that requires the image to be engraved onto the material, and secondly, the various types of Relief Printmaking, that cut into the material creating a raised image. 

For ‘Henley Couple’, Jazmin uses a process known as Intaglio. Wood or a metal plate can be used as the base material for this process and is usually coated with an acid-resistant wax or resin. Jazmin is then able to engrave her image onto the plate, consequently removing this coating and exposing the base material. Once submerged in acid, the engraved image is fixed onto the material. A layer of ink is then applied to the plate, collecting in the incisions of the image. The plate is then wiped clean leaving that which resides in the engraved grooves. At this stage, the image is ready to be transferred onto paper. When the plate and the paper are rolled and pressed together, it is important the paper is wet so as to pull out the ink from the engraved image incised into the plate. This time-consuming process requires great patience to ensure the image reflects the artists intentions. 

The opposing process, and the process Jazmin uses more frequently is, relief printmaking; which can take form as a wood cut, lino cut or a wood engraving.

‘Pyramid’ is a Wood Cut and ‘Mr Collins Loves Miss Bennet’ is a Lino Cut. The two methods of printing follow the same process and the artist is able to use the same tools to create both. The difference between the two is the base material, where wood or lino can be used as the ‘plate’. The similarity and requirements of these materials is that they are soft to allow the artist to carve out the image. Unlike Intaglio, the image is executed by the raised areas of the material. The ink when spread thinly over the surface catches these raised areas, coating them opposed to filling the gaps in the material. The image can then be printed onto paper accordingly. 

‘The Dog Walker’ and ‘Horse and Weather’ are Wood Engravings and are created following the same steps. A wood engraving however, is made from much harder wood, which is often from the slower growing trees such as lemonwood, boxwood, cherry or pear. The wood is cut by dissecting the tree which means the wood is tougher to carve into as it requires the artist to cut against the grain. This process will require a different tool that enables the artist to cut the wood more effectively. Jazmin illustrates the differences in the image below. Due to the hard work and determination required to produce a wood engraving, the scale of these works is often smaller. Despite the difficulties posed Jazmin manages to create a variety of different prints that showcase her exceptional skills in printmaking.