Conclusions and Recommendations
It was pleasing to produce two editioned lithographs during my month at Editions Atelier Clot, especially as the prints successfully combine stone lithography with digital technology, yet the most lasting benefit from my Fellowship will be what from what I learned working closely with Master Printer Christian Bramsen. The clarity of his belief that the new digital equipment is simply no more than another tool to assist artists is the key factor to the studio’s success in integrating the new technology into its’ existing operation. Even with Atelier Clot’s rich history, which includes collaborations with luminaries such as Degas, Renoir, Rodin and Munch, the studio is not a museum but a productive and still-evolving workspace.
Digital technology is constantly changing. I have personally witnessed its’ popularity grow and costs reduce, making it an increasingly attractive option for print-based artists. When one considers improvements in the range of digital papers, which are available as 100% archival rag paper, and highly-pigmented inks which are UV-resistant to a standard equal to traditional media, the allure to artists and art students is understandable.
The cost of producing print-based artwork will always influence how the work is created. This should not mean, however, that the cheapest method is the determining factor in every production decision. As I experienced in the making of my prints, one method in the overall process may be time-consuming and costly, but this expense can be offset by savings in other stages of production.
Bramsen’s basic philosophy is that the artist and Master Printer should discuss the proposed project with the resulting production plan based on achieving the best possible result. Circumstances may force a modification of the process – the sky in my print Monument being a perfect example of this – but with a wide range of equipment and knowledge, making adjustments is not a daunting prospect. The process is all about interaction between artist and printer and a melding of old and new technologies. With a thorough working knowledge of the available tools, the limits to what is possible are set by the artist and not the equipment.