Drypoint & Monoprint with Kathleen Piercefield

Kathleen Piercefield's image "Yarrow" including drypoint elements.

ARTIST STATEMENT — Kathleen Piercefield

Years ago, before I had any personal experience with printmaking, I was drawn to the mystique of the process and to the richness of line that I saw in prints.  I was doing a lot of pen and ink drawings at the time, and some friends of mine were taking a class in etching.  Looking at their work,  I marveled at the intense blacks they were achieving, and the quality of their lines — not just lying on the surface of the paper, but embedded deep in its fibers.  I continued working in pen and ink and watercolor, but a fascination with printmaking remained in the back of my mind.  When I finally had the opportunity to take a printmaking class myself, I was hooked. I love the way printmaking engages all the senses, and requires both hard physical work and minute attention to detail.  I also find a  great generosity among printmakers — rather than maintaining an air of secrecy about their methods of working, they are usually excited to share when someone asks “How did you do that?”

My chosen methods of working at present are collagraph, monotype and drypoint.  My imagery hovers between several themes:  the written word, the surreal world of dreams, and the natural world, each of which opens broad fields for exploration.  In any printmaking endeavor, the process itself becomes part of the exploration; in the transfer of image from matrix to surface a new element is introduced, an intervention — call it chance, chaos, or serendipity,  it makes printmaking endlessly exciting to me.


Kathleen is teaching a Drypoint into Monoprint workshop at Tiger Lily Press on Sunday May 7 from 1-6pm. All seats are currently filled, but you may contact us and express interest should a second session be offered, or to request that your name be added to a waiting list. Other classes (such as Simple Silk Screen, Silk Screen with Stencils, and Experimental Monoprinting with Watercolor and Gouache have open seats as of this writing; these classes are in May, June, and July, respectively).

drypoint of a cicada: "Big Noise"


Drypoint is an intaglio printing process similar to etching, but more direct. Marks are made with various tools directly into the plate, raising a burr that, when inked, results in beautifully expressive lines and rich tones.  The process works well by itself, but it can also be exciting to use in combination with other printmaking techniques like collograph and monotype.  The resulting images are monoprints  –  they incorporate a repeating element along with many possible variations.

Traditionally copper plates have been used for drypoint, but other materials can also work, including plexiglass and even thin cardboard with a sealed or laminated surface (like a cereal box!)  In this workshop we’ll start by creating an image on a piece of plexiglass — by cutting, abrading, scratching or gouging the surface.  Drypoint lends itself  well to either detailed line work or bold abstraction, so you can use whichever approach suits you best.