John Brebner – Home Print

Hi All,

The next installment on the Adana Press…

Through a contact at EIT I contacted John Brebner of Home Print, a small family run, printmaking studio based in Fielding, the following is a link to his home page.

John and Alison practice and teach a range of printmaking techniques but their specialty is letterpress so I was in the right place. John graciously extended an invitation to visit bringing along my small portable flatbed Adana press featured in my previous post.

About three hours later after much talk and browsing of his fabulous collection of presses, paraphernalia, including hundreds of different types of paper and some of the amazing books he has we finally got down to examining the press. Immediately finding a small error in the previous restoration and some advice on cleaning and getting rid of some surface rust we managed to get a print done!

The print was just a blip on the page, three letters ‘eit’ but it was very exciting and the potential for future use immediately filled my mind, it was all worth the trip.

A big thank you to John who spared so much time with me I learnt so much about my press and about the industry in general, it was great.

Rather than go into too much detail I will save some of the more technical stuff for my next post, after I have had a proper play with the machine and for now here are just a few photos.











And finally the ‘print’, ink less and embossed.




Photo polymer prints

At the beginning of term we were lucky to be invited to discover the technique and process involved in photo polymer etching, always looking to increase my knowledge in technical processes I happily joined up.

To begin with we powered our way through the stages required but due to a technical hitch we were forced to put everything on the back burner while a piece of the exposure unit was replaced.

A few weeks on and we have the machine back up and running and I have some prints to show off, I’m undecided as to whether this technique is something I would use a lot of but it’s always good to have tools to dust off and use at a later time.


Raven. Photo polymer print using black ink on heavy duty paper. Note the pressure from the press has embossed an outline, the ink has a stippled effect that is interesting and the way the ink is confined or looks almost trapped within the confines of the plane makes this print work for me.



Close up of the Raven. This print was pressed onto tissue paper, black ink on white. The tissue lends a delicacy to the image and highlights the detail of the wooden stump the raven is perched on.



Raven in the Forest. The Raven on its own has limited appeal so I started to play with combining different plates and this is an outcome that I think works. The Raven has a strong outline (less intricate detail) and goes well when printed over a more detailed plate. It helps that the images are compatible but I would also like to look at unlikely matches, the juxtaposition of images married together.


Close up of the forest plate. This print was pressed onto brown craft paper using black ink. The eerie feel of the image has come through very well, the brown background is covered in a thin layer of ink giving it a atmospheric look.



Forest. Printed with a residue of black ink covered by red onto heavy duty white paper. There is depth and definition and the two colors mingle and give the image an edge. I particularity like the embossed edge, almost giving a 3D aspect to the image, on the other hand I think the containment of the image within the plane is arresting.



Forest. Using yellow ink and pressed onto tissue paper the image changes as you look at it. I had fun using tissue paper and to further this process I am thinking about collage, and layering multiple prints onto each other. You may notice I have again focused on the edge of the plane, the way ink has pooled and has a very solid/physical effect.


To summarise I enjoyed the process of preparing the plates immensely and experimenting with different inks and materials as well as combining plates, in the future I would like to push the boundaries on how far I can take this process in my own practice.



Adana Printing Press

Hi there,

I have stumbled across an old Adana Printing Proof flat bed press with a rotating ink plate and thought I would like to get it up and running and see what kind of printing I can achieve…

All very experimental and I have had to put a call out to people who may have used or know something about these printers as my experience and knowledge is pretty much zero. If there is anyone who could help or point me in the right direction that would be great!








A New Year

Five weeks into a new school year and to put it mildly, it has been challenging! Challenging in the most positive and exciting way, and rewarding when I finally got into the groove and was able to think creatively about the coming year.

More on that later but for now I wanted to share a couple of images of some ‘play’.

At just the right moment, just as I was starting to panic and toss my toys out of the cot our lovely paint tutor reminded us/me that play is a very important part of the creative process. Giving myself permission to let the creative process happen and enjoying the things that work and more importantly the things that don’t really helped me to start to sort through a whole lot of other things. One of my class mates (Tara Cooney) wrote a post that explains far more eloquently about ‘play’, so I have provided a link to her post but check out her blog also, very talented.


This image is a close up of A4 photocopy paper, I have taken a piece of carbon paper and scrunched it into the paper, using a hot glue gun I then decided to drape hot glue onto the scrunched up carbon pattern. This outcome is successful for me because of the texture, different tones of the carbon and the transparency of the glue. I particularly like the way light reflects onto and through the many facets of the image. For me the abstract nature of the image is at the same time organic and man made, a juxtaposition that I think is relevant for our times.


This the whole image to give you an idea of the very casual and playful nature of the exercise that created such a beautiful piece of work, particularly in the close up shots.


My other piece is a combination of media, again it was an experiment that ended with an interesting outcome. Using six different media, blue biro, red biro, violet felt pen, yellow colouring pencil, graphite powder and hot glue, I used all three to ‘draw’ a seed pod. Without thinking too much I started to outline the seed pod by blind drawing, which I love because of the random interesting outline you can achieve with this technique.

Then, quickly without too much directed thought used the other pens and pencils to ‘fill’ in the object giving it an illusion of layers and depth, for the final part I heated up the glue gun (I love that glue gun) and placed random lines and puddles of transparent texture. Lastly because I still wasn’t satisfied I sprinkled graphite powder onto the whole image.


And finally another angle.


Over all very happy with how this went and the most important outcome was getting my mojo back! Onwards and upwards.

Here is the link to Tara’s post, hope you enjoy.

Summer project – 10 December 2013

So back into it and decided to keep on the eyes, practice makes …, well anyway to mix it up I attempted to draw from a photo, a representation of an eye, and to start adding other features as I feel comfortable. I choose a cover for an autobiography on Sting.

First up, I choose this particular image because it appeared relatively simple, black and white tones with a side on perspective, in the photo Sting is looking upwards and a light is shining down onto his features adding lots of highlights in his iris.

What I like about this exercise is that I’m becoming more confident with the detail involved in drawing an eye and outside of that it makes me aware that I need to study my subject longer and in greater detail before I even start to draw, this I think applies to anything you are drawing. For instance I had never really looked at an eye, broken down the three distint areas in the pupil and iris and then the layeres of skin surrounding them, the fine blood vessels and the shading that gives a 3D look to the eye ball are crucial.

  1. know thy subject
  2. layer, layer and layer
  3. subltlety
  4. dont be rushed.

I’m not as happy with this drawing as the previous however I felt I tried something new and learnt by making mistakes what to avoid next time (maybe).


The photograhy is a bit bright which takes out some of the finer lines but to start I didn’t quite position the pupil right so the angle of the line of the eye is a little off, the corner also presented a few problems for me but overall I am happy with the result.


enter the eyebrow! and a few wrinkles… work in progress.


Hi ho onto something new tomorrow.

Summer project – 4th December 2013

Well school is over and one of my biggest regrets for this year is not practicing my drawing, umm I want to say to improve my skills but that would be going a step too far.. i’m just a beginner.

So this Summer I have decided to draw, sketch and generally just take a line for a walk! Here is my first attempt at some close up detail work, ‘the eye’, and I must say I was pretty wrapped with the result :-).

I’m planning to post one sketch a day until school starts again but there may be times I aren’t able to post straight away, theres my job and,… gasp horror… my ipad mini packed up yesterday! Yep i’m back on the old PC and it’s pretty slow.

So anyhow let me know what you think, advice is welcome, well constructive advice, Thanks.

This picture shows the exercise on the left and my attempt on the right plus some of the tools I used to re-create the image, I splashed out and got the special drawing pencils etc.. its worth it.


Here is a close up of my effort, it’s not perfect but I’m happy with the end result, hope to get better with the next one, so expect an eye a day for the next … days. Just joking.


Presentation WAAS


“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

 Steve Jobs

 Retrieved from

Brief  for WAAS:

In this brief I am using biculturalism as a platform to explore my identity as New Zealander, a first generation Pacific Islander on my Father’s side and on my Mother’s side Scottish ancestry.

The project outcome will take the form of a two dimensional painting/drawing in an abstract style. My aim is to paint/draw an object or symbol that reflects my view of my identity as a New Zealander growing up in a multicultural family.

The va.

Untitled-16                                  Untitled-15

Untitled-11                                                         Untitled-8



Set up a studio area with research visible.

Media skills for paint and drawing


DSC00419                                  DSC00424

DSC00421                               DSC00420

DSC00450                           DSC00451

This is when I discovered that I could perforate the paper and create a pattern as well as texture. At this point I decided to change the surface material from board to paper, reducing the size so I could produce more experiments in a shorter amount of time.

Untitled-13                                   Untitled-12-final


Personal development statement, the outcome is a visual journey of the previous year. As I became more professional with the small samples it made sense to keep developing the idea and the many could become a complete piece. Something similar to Richard Killen’s work with his aluminium cut outs.

A conversation started to develop between the pieces.

DSC00432                            DSC00436

DSC00437                             DSC00438

IMG_1462                                       IMG_1476


Layering pieces to create a conversation, complexity and depth.




Set up was complex and time consuming. I changed the design twice from both white windows to one white and one black. I hadn’t strung enough strings to begin with so that took time and then changed the strings on the black window from white nylon to black.



Composition was also complex, I needed to construct it directly on the window to gage the amount of light that filtered through. The pegs were a problem to begin with but this issue worked itself out as I adjusted the composition.