In July 2016 we were thrilled to welcome to the studio Debbie Lee; winner of the 2015 National Original Print Exhibition, Badger Press award. Taking her prize in the form of supervised access Debbie spent 4 days with us in the studio developing and proofing her new copper plate etching with aquatint.

An experienced printmaker, with a CV embellished with an envious list of achievements and studio practices; Debbie’s work tells a haunting illustrated narrative of childhood and character interplay coupled with unnerving symbolism. 

After a brief introduction to the space, Debbie was soon at home in the studio using our Edinburgh etch solution to bite the line work, ahead of preparing the plates and carefully applying an aquatint. With an ambitious project to create a three plate etching, printed alongside each other in a single print to form a triptych ‘altarpiece’. Debbie hand shaded and tinted early proofs to develop the application of tone, with progress leading smoothly to the stage biting of the aquatint revealing the full complexities of the image.

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Working to the very limits of our etching press, the completed plates were inked and laid up against each other on the bed; the paper was laid on top and the blankets rolled over. With Debbie at the wheel and pressure set, the plates were passed through the rollers to reveal the final print. We’d done it! The result was a fantastic print bringing together fabulous detail, in line and tone across the three plates into the final image.

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‘Aquatints have been my passion in printmaking, so I Jumped at the opportunity to make 3 good sized plates using the substantial aquatint box and press at Badger Press. ‘Family Matters’ combines imagery from my recent work. Sinister adults are appearing and disappearing into cupboards. Children’s worlds are turned upside down. It was a privilege to get to use the workshop and have the assistance of Adam Eager [Studio Director], to facilitate the process.’

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The final print titled ‘Family Matters’ has been submitted to the Royal West of England Academy open exhibition this year where Debbie will be exhibiting as a shortlisted Academician Candidate.

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For more information on Debbie visit www.debbieleeart.co.uk and don’t miss her appearance at the Royal West of England Academy open exhibition from Sunday 9 October to Sunday 27 November 2016. The National Original Print Exhibition is an annual international open submission and exhibition celebrating the best of contemporary printmaking, visit www.nationalprint.org for information on this years activities.