Pat Prosek is an artist who was born in Philadelphia and attended the University of the Arts before relocating to the West Coast. She is now a San Francisco-based artist living in Lafayette in the East Bay. She works predominantly with etchings and monoprints in the art of printmaking and has her own press studio named Under Pressure Press. She was a founding member of the Lafayette Art Gallery and is now a member of the Moraga Art Gallery.
Her work is included in many private and public collections including the Fine Art Archives of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; The Fine Art Museum of San Francisco; Portland Museum of Art, Portland, OR; White House Millennium Council, Washington, D.C., and the permanent collection of the Florean Museum, Baia Mare, Romania.
MONOTYPE VS. MONOPRINT
A Monotype print is when ink is applied to create lines and images on a plate and then the plate is run through the press, producing a one-time original print. The plate is then wiped clean.
A Monoprint is similar, except that one or several of the components applied to the plate can be used again in other prints. For example, I design and texture many of the cranes in my prints, cutting them out from varied materials, like plastic or textured papers, and then use them again in subsequent prints.
What is an Etching?
Traditionally, etching consists of carving a metal plate using hydrochloric acid and then covering it with ink using a brayer. Next the artist will wipe off the ink from the surface, pulling away everything except the ink in the incised lines. The plate is positioned on a printing press; wet paper is applied on top, and the plate is run through a press. This process will produce a mirror image of the etching.
However, my process is slightly different. Because of the caustic chemicals used for etching, I joined a studio that used alternative non-toxic materials. When etching, the surface that I use is non-impact plastic, similar to thick mylar. Just as if I were carving into metal, I use a burin to create my design on the surface of the plastic. No acids are needed because the plastic does not require it.
When my drawing is complete, I apply different media to the plate to accomplish the shading and get the effects that I want in my print. These media are permanent to the plate for consistency in printing. Unlike traditional etching, I refrain from wiping off excess surface color and run it through the press. Sometimes a print runs through the press more than once when adding the foreground or adding small details.