8 March 2019
I contacted The wallpaper history society, then they connected me to Matthew Meadows who is a committee member of the society and has his own studio/ company ` Brixton Print shed’ in London where he prints most of his wallpapers.
I wanted to visit a studio and see myself and learns the technicality and methods print makers uses specifically for wallpaper printing. I met Matthew at his studio. The studio has a long table suitable for wallpaper roll printing and lots of printing tools, mediums, paper and colours. He specializes in handmade prints.“Hand-done processes make a difference, even if you can’t quite put your finger on what makes it special.” All my conversation with him were very informative involving types of prints he does to how to source materials for wallpaper printing.
He mostly screen print wallpapers. Flat bed hand screen printing is ideally suited for lower volume production and
sampling. In screen printing each colour is printed using a separate screen, and the paper is hung to dry between each stage in the process. This is why patterns which contain several colours are more expensive than single-colour prints. In the larger scale of hand printing processes – both screen and block – allow for more complex designs with longer repeats. While in block print, large sheets of German lino is used . This material offers flexibility of handling, and has been used for artisanal low-volume production wallpaper printing since the 1920's. The third type of printing is Irise print which he has used recently to produce a two colour version wallpaper which is imbued by his days spend working in prison. The print is called Razorwire, inspired by the wire fencing around the huge tall walls of the prison.
Irise printing is not that popular and easy to go technique for handmade printing, Conceived to imitate the moiré effect of Lyonnais silk textiles, Spörlin’s copyright designs did this by creating an extraordinary optical trick of imitation. First the hand-brushed ground and then block-printed design each blended contrasting colours smoothly together, the design printing dark-light-dark on top of the background blended light-dark-light – or vice versa.
The process combined a divided, gradated paint trough feeding specially arranged brushes to meld colours on the wallpaper, both for the hand-brushed ground and across the wood printing blocks, so the design itself could also be iriséd.
In wallpaper printing the paper used should be allotted from the same roll of paper. Each paper roll is different as it get manufactured separately. Colour are not always stocked for months rather are made and stored only to do the specific job in the printing. But its is important to note that every colour mixed are weighed and calculated in percentages, it is hard to make the same tone again therefore, it is ideal to make a colour tone and store it in the plastic boxes. our conversation ended by few books suggestion that are very good for learning the techniques, sources and history of wallpaper.