Experimental Series of A1-A2 Sized 3mm-5mm Recycled Cardboard
From experimenting on newsprint and other paper types using a range of screen-printing processes I progressed onto recycled cardboard. Several different types of A1-A2 sized recycled cardboard was used with varying thicknesses and surface finishes. While the aesthetic focus of this series of cardboard was to experiment and to explore the effects of print, pressure, and squeegee technique with the screens with and without the use of exposed imagery from prior and ongoing artwork I was also keen to generate art from waste. Different waste materials continued to be used as complementary and contrasting forms of resist including different forms and weights of shredded paper and card of which some of the waste had already been printed on to create additional effects in print. The cardboard acted as an additional recycled material to investigate through print. From using such a mix of materials and techniques so many varying outcomes could be realised. The experimentation processes continued through using up left over colours from previous art projects within the studio space. I selected from colours which offered the most information concerning contrasts, the effects of the resist material, layering and distortion effects as well as investigating how the different surface tensions and finishes responded to different printing inks. The use of the materials reinforced and connected with the context of environmental sustainability and minimising waste. I particularly enjoyed using recycled materials with waste products, it supported the core purpose of my artwork.
Through using mixed imagery and techniques with varying sizes of squeegee and pressure with single pulls interesting and impactful outcomes were created. Different screen sizes were selected to vary the perspective of the imagery alongside working to disrupt what was on the screen through print. I sought to articulate my narrative through using recycled materials with waste products in innovative ways. I wanted to create using recycling and minimising waste. I wished to capture the beauty and strength of something recycled with waste products to promote their usage and dispel their inferiority. I enjoyed exploring this concept of reuse and repurposing throughout this series of screen-printed cardboard. I enjoyed investigating the surface of cardboard and its response to printing inks, of how the different types of cardboard and surface finishes reacted differently in how they held or repelled the printing inks.
From a series of cardboard prints especially A1 size I felt the more successful outcomes centred around the use of black and brown-red-orange colour schemes with the mixed imagery in use. I felt that the overall size worked well with the scale of mixed imagery. This was helped by the natural brown coloured cardboard and the complementary and contrasting tonal range. As often is the case I naturally gravitated to a more paired back colour range in keeping with the cardboard material. I enjoyed relating with and respecting the physical qualities of the materials I was working with. I felt that I was responsible for promoting the cardboard materials to shine a light on materials which are so often underrepresented in the art world. The surface quality and feel of the printed cardboard surfaces was altered significantly through print. The cardboard distorted fractionally but held its overall integrity which created more impactful results.
It was interesting to see how the screen-printing processes affected the surface of the cardboard. The white cardboard appeared to be more affected with the addition of printing inks as crevices developed through the natural drying processes which initially sunk down then popped up. This effect was in keeping with its construction and the underlying and internal corrugation. Through the drying processes unique patination was created on the white cardboard which was further played with through print and colour.
Such screen-printing processes have helped to inform my sampling processes and of the creation of a series of screen-printed textiles on recycled and repurposed muslin. I aim to return to using larger-scale cardboard as one of my preferred materials given its endless design and construction options, environmental credentials, strength and uses across a range of disciplines.