Cartwright Hall Curator Andy Dalton:
Lithography uses a slightly different technique. This uses, you get a
stone surface, or a metal surface as well, you can use stone or metal,
and you get a wax crayon, and you draw on the surface of the stone with
a wax crayon, and then you get a special chemical that fixes the wax
onto the surface of the stone. And then you can get a roller with lots
of ink on it and...
Student: And put it on top of it.
you roll it across the lithographic stone. And because of the way that
the chemical treats the stone surface, the ink sticks to the waxy bits
that you've drawn...
Student: We have a plastic template that we put underneath and it comes out...
Andy: That's similar
way of doing it. And then you can put your paper down, rub the back of
it, and when you pull it away it leaves a drawing on the paper's
surface. And that way of printing is what you see all over today. So in
books and catalogues and newspapers, lots of different ways and
lithography was the way it was used to make printing.
You can see by this image, this is...this is an image of London,
actually, it's actually of Brixton. IT's by an artist called Anthony
Davis, and he lived in London and also Londonderry in the 1970s and 80s
and he was really interested in the different characters that he met in
the city at the time. But, his very particular way of working with
lithography. Now, what do you think the benefits of working on a
lithograph are to working on an etching? What's the difference between
those two images?
Student: Working on stone would be much easier?
Andy: Working on stone
would be much easier because you can just draw straight on. You don't
have to dig and etch and mark the surface of it. But what else? What's
different about this picture-
Andy: Colour! Colour -
it's much easier to make coloured images with lithography than it is
with etching, because with etching you have to get lots of plates and
register them up and print them one on top of the other and you've got
heavy thicking and it all tend to get a bit muddy and stodgy if you're
not careful. The great thing about lithography is that you can then
transfer your drawing to lots of different stones so you can one for
blue, one for red, one for black, one for yellow and keep printing
different layers off different stones...
Student: In different colours.
Andy: In different
colours so you can actually create photography images with Lithography
because you can print in those different colours, and that's why it was
used in things like newspapers and so on.