Thursday, 6 April 2017

100 Ammonites Project - an introduction to the online exhibition



Ammonite no.1 and no.100   etching and etching and mixed media 6x8cm   ©2016Lisa Le Quelenec


This project started on a print making course at Arts University Bournemouth tutored by Jan Bullas where I made a tiny etching plate of an ammonite. I hadn’t done any etching since my foundation course in Art & Design at Falmouth College of Arts many, many years before but had been hankering for a long time to return to experimenting with printmaking. During the course, I tried different printmaking methods including monoprints, lino cuts, collagraphs, drypoint and etching. It was etching and drypoint that really got me hooked.


From March to November 2016 I experimented printing an edition of 100 prints from this small plate. As time went by I could see more and more possibilities to explore. I did set myself a few rules and boundaries to work within;

  • All prints have been made on the same size paper 6x8inch Snowdon printing paper 140lb
  • All prints have been made using water-soluble printing ink
  • When using mixed media and chine collé I allowed myself to work outside of the confines of the plate and into the paper borders.


Prints No.1 to 50 are straight etching prints, what you see is the result of the ink being passed through the press with no further additions made. After the first 50 I started to use chine collé and from print No. 63 both chine collé and/or mixed media was used for further experiment in variation.




Ammonite no.32 with the zinc etching plate on the right   ©2016Lisa Le Quelenec


Whilst 100 variations did at first feel like a huge undertaking I was soon caught up in the excitement of the project and felt the pressure of time running out by the time that I was getting to the last 30 or so.


Ammonite   photograph   ©2016Lisa Le Quelenec


As I worked I was thinking about the parallels of fossil hunting, choosing a rock, splitting it open to reveal the fossil, not knowing for sure what would be revealed - the excitement and anticipation at finding a perfect specimen. All similarities with each stage of making a print. Experience makes the result more predictable but there will always be an element of surprise when the paper is pulled back to reveal the image. I think this is why I have fallen in love with printmaking and there will be much more in my future.

To view the exhibition click on the tab at the top or click on the link



I hope that you enjoy visiting the 'exhibition' and looking at how the image evolved.




The prints are available at seasidestudiosuk on Etsy.


Cards, notebooks and accessories of selected prints are available at Redbubble here.


A catalogue for the exhibition of all 100 prints is available from blurb here;

 100 ammonites Etching and mixed media in a variable edition