Interview with Digital Studio Technician Constantina Riala

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We would like to introduce our Digital Technician Constantina Riala, Constantina completed her MA in Visual Culture from the University of Westminster in 2006.

We talk to Constantina about the projects she has been working on in the Digital Studio and some of the services she offers as a technician.

The Digital Studio recently introduced new Japanese paper*, how have you found it?
I’m  excited to work with new  Japanese paper- our users are always keen to experiment and try out new media. The Kozo has a beautiful texture with unique characteristics to create a handmade look and feel. It’s extremely lightweight at 70gsm. I found printing hand drawn, black and white and vivid colour images works really effectively.   If you   frame a handmade paper, I think it’s important to expose its delicate torn edges and natural curves .

Who has been using the Kozo Thin White?
Last week I printed a series of hand drawn maps for Deirdre Kelly. She is a London born artist now living in Venice.  I have also worked with Jacqueline Pruskin who creates drawings using an app on her Ipad. Jacqueline’s images look great and I will be working with her again  with  drawings  on Kozo.

Have there been any interesting developments in the Digital Studio?
Last month I printed on a different handmade paper with artist and printmaker Maaike Anne Stevens, one that wasn’t part of our permanent stock. At 19gsm I wasn’t so sure that the paper would feed through our large format printer. To our surprise we ran a successful print and the quality was fantastic. I think it’s important for customers to share their experimental ideas, and I work hard to source papers that we don’t have in stock. If one of our users has something particular in mind they would like to try out,  I try my best to find a solution.

Maaike’s beautiful print on the handmade paper can now be seen in her current exhibition ‘Black Sea’ in the Acme Project Studios throughout April!

Tell us a little about some of the projects you have been working on recently?
I had a busy start to the year working on a variety of projects with artists, photographers, galleries and design studios. Recently I worked with photographer Ed Browse, printing photographic works on the Ilford paper for his new exhibition ‘pop star dyed his hair’, soon to open at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill.

Last month artist Farina Alam used the studio to print a series of drawings which were photographed in the studio last summer, we then spent time colour matching the photographs ready to print. Farina will be one of our upcoming londonprintstudio featured artists, so expect to see some of her digital prints in the studio later this year!

Bob Geers has been regularly visiting the studio since the success of ‘Nine Printmakers’, printing multiples of his drawings and paintings. Most recently I worked with John Phillips who does the studio’s   support photography to capture one of Bob’s paintings from 1978. We replicated the canvas as a digital print.

I enjoyed working with Ronald King from Circle Press too! We scanned and adjusted an image to reproduce a missing page from one of his wonderful publications.

What additional services do you offer to users?
Bookings can be varied; I offer individual training sessions, image retouching, printing film for screenprinting and photopolymer printing, reproduction assistance and advice and support.

Some customers may not be aware that we are in contact with a fantastic laser cutter for whom  I prepare the digital files and print the design ready to be cut. I worked on   ‘Blood Lines’ by artist Susan Stockwell and Naiza Khan’s series of prints ‘Secrets from the Nautical Almanac 1966’. Both projects demonstrate this technique.

Are there any changs due to take place in the Digital Studio?
We will be introducing two new papers to our collection,  the Hanhemuhle Photolaste which is a fine, smooth paper suitable for smaller prints and for larger images  Canson Baryta Photographic paper. This a superb  paper which has similar elements to traditional photographic paper. I will update all with the prices soon!

To make an enquiry or a booking with Constantina please contact her directly on digital@londonprintstudio.org.uk

* Awagami Inkjet Paper ‘Kozo (Thin) White’?

Image: Susan Stockwell, Blood Lines

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