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Strong 20 micron aluminium foil for Kitchen Litho

We have found that our success rate with avoiding damage and tears to the aluminium foil during inking up has been much improved by using thicker aluminium foils. Most domestic aluminium foils are around 8 to 9 microns thick but some commercial or BBQ foils are much thicker. We have successfully been using a 20 micron Aluminium foil that we found on amazon. The details are as follows:

 

Testudo Alu Foil, Catering Foil, 30cm x 45m, 20 micron

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Testudo-Aluminium-Foil-Kitchen-Thickness/dp/B07B3VL3T9

£8.99 including free UK Delivery.

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Fabriano Unica Printmaking Paper

Our current favourite paper at Paper-works* for most printmaking is Fabriano Unica paper. It is made of 50% cotton, and has been specifically developed to be suitable for all printmaking techniques. The paper is a combination of the many years experience of the Fabriano paper mills and a collaboration with a group of artists from the Opificio della Rosa , an international centre dedicated to the awareness and spread of traditional and innovative methods of printmaking.

The artists from Opificio della Rosa have tested the paper with a host of printing, engraving and other techniques, testing it to its limits. The paper  has a weight of 250g/sqm and is economically priced and available in white and cream in three different sizes: 50cmx 70cm , 56cm x 76 cm and 70cm x 100cm.

Paper-works* has been successfully using Fabriano Unica for Linocut, Drypoint, Kitchen Litho and Cyanoprint.

Individual sheets of Fabriano Unica are available for purchase from paper-works* by those attending workshops or members open days.

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Learnings from the Kitchen Litho Workshop

Mug, Kitchen Litho

Kitchen Litho Workshop 23rd January 2018

 

Four of us spent the day exploring the technique of Kitchen Litho. With spray bottles full of coke and lots of water, wet sponges and sticky oil based Litho ink it’s a fun and a messy business !

We had successfully done a dry run of the technique but with more people doing it together we got our share of mishaps. Problems generally surfaced at the inking up stage where the image became lost under an immovable layer of ink!. Its been a good learning experience and we’ve been back in the studio today to iron out the issues that arose yesterday.  The main flaw seems to have been applying too much ink in one go and not using enough water on the plate and the sponge whilst wiping off excess ink. If the roller seems to have barely any ink on it as you apply it to the aluminium foil then that seems a good place to be starting from. Other issues include potential cross contamination of sponges used at different stages of the process and the fragility of the aluminium foil.

Most of the images that we worked on were using soft litho crayons. We also successfully used a children’s wax crayon to achieve finer lines. Overall what came out strongly was the suitability of this printing technique for rapid , gestural drawings.

 

 

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First Experiments with Kitchen Litho

Kitchen Litho Equipment

Today we spent a couple of hours doing our first experiments with the Kitchen Litho technique. Its all well and good reading up accounts of how its done but nothing beats having a go. Blog posts that either elaborated on Emilie’s methods (sandpaper (!) and vinegar ?) , or reported failures, meant that we were beginning to approach our workshop day with a little trepidation. All this was quickly dispelled once we got our hands dirty.

The basic “kitchen” requirements include : Aluminium cooking foil, a glass chopping board, sponges, a bottle of Cola , plenty of kitchen paper and a handheld plastic spray bottle. These were supplemented in our experiments today with a thin sheet of plastic, a pack of Korns soft Lithographic crayons, oil based lithographic ink, an ink roller, blotting paper and a small etching press!

1 Wrap aluminium foil around a thin sheet of wet plastic, matt side out

Preparing aluminium foil for Kitchen Litho

2 Mark the aluminum foil with a Korns Litho Crayon ( Soft No. 1)

mark making with Litho crayon

3 Spray the aluminium foil plate with Cola

spraying aluminium foil with cola

4 Rinse off Cola with a wet sponge

rinsing off cola

5 Wipe dry with kitchen roll then pour on a little vegetable oil

6 Use the vegetable oil and a sponge  to wipe off the Litho Crayon

7 Wipe off oil with a damp sponge leaving a clean aluminium plate

8 Roll out the Litho ink on the glass chopping board

9 Use a clean sponge to wet the surface of the foil then roll on a thin layer of ink

10 Wipe off excess ink using a sponge

11 Repeat wetting, inking and wiping to leave a well inked plate

12 Place on press, register paper then cover with damp paper, dry newsprint, thin acrylic sheet then thick etching blanket

13 Pass through press with pressure similar to that which you might use for intaglio

14 Remove print and dry flat between blotting paper

15 return to stage 9 for subsequent prints

So the first attempt was successful but lots to learn and improve on. We had read that Litho crayon was the easiest mark making method and there are lots of alternatives to explore. The aluminium foil is also quite fragile so we would like to explore a source for a slightly thicker and stronger one.

with thanks to Emilie Aizier . Emilie’s website

Read a brief summary of kitchen litho resources

 

 

 

 

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Kitchen Litho | A brief summary of resources

Kitchen lithography book

Kitchen Litho

Kitchen Litho was conceived by French Artist Emilie Aizier. It is a simplification of her earlier lithography experiments using sheet aluminium plates and phosphoric acid. Aluminium foil is much cheaper than using aluminium and carbonated soda drinks are, it turns out, a weak solution of phosphoric acid!

Emilie’s experiments and early web postings in 2011 and the publication of her book in 2012 have spawned a whole series of advocates and followers. Aside from notes in websites and blogs there are now also a number of You Tube videos demonstrating the technique. Most of these follow the process described by Emillie but some add additional steps. Some advocate the preparation of the aluminium foil surface with fine sandpaper however in the main the accounts achieve successful prints following Emillie’s method.

The original book by Emilie truly captures the spirit of Kitchen Litho and emphasises experimentation rather than providing a prescriptive methodology. This is after all the spirit from which the printing technique was born.

Recently there have been  two other publications on the technique published in 2016 and 2017. Paper-works* have yet to get our hands on these to review them.

In 2015 and 2016 Emilie Aizier promoted an annual open online competition and exhibition of works employing the kitchen litho method. This has now become a biennial event. The next submission date is the 31st December 2018 .More details are available from www.atelier-kitchen-print.org

Bibliography

“Kitchen Litho” by Emilie Aizier published 2012, 70 pages. Obtainable form Emilie’s website

“Aluminium Foil Lithography” , Spark Box Studio, by Chrissy Poitras and Kyle Topping  published 2016 (?), 57 pages – downloadable pdf only.

‘Kitchen Lithography: Hand Printing at Home: From Buttons and Bags to Postcards and Pillowcases’ ,by Laura Sofie Hantke and  Lucas Grassmann, Princeton Architectural Press, published 2017, 120 pages.

Website and blog articles

Kitchen Litho by Emilie Aizier  http://www.nontoxicprint.com/kitchenlitho.htm

Kitchen Litho by Printzeal http://printzeal.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/kitchen-litho.html

Aluminium Foil Etching by C S Poppenga http://poppenga.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/aluminum-foil-etching.html

My attempt at Kitchen Lithography by  Lori Dean Dyment  http://ldeandyment-soiwasthinking.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/my-attempt-at-kitchen-lithography.html

Kitchen Lithography http://www.nzprintmakers.com/2011/09/kitchen-lithography.html

Kitchen Litho by Barbara Hudin, http://www.barbarahudin.com

Read about paper-works* first experiments with Kitchen Litho.

Facebook

There is a group page on Facebook for those interested in the technique https://www.facebook.com/groups/kitchen.litho/