Polypress Relief Printing: A New Discovery?

Sometimes it is quite rewarding to think outside the box. Today has reaped such reward and I’ve made a new discovery in the world of printmaking: Polypress relief prints.

This technique brings a whole new style of creativity to the world of printmaking! As the discoverer of this new technique I figure I get to name it and it shall be named… Polypress! Poly meaning many, and press because that’s what you do.

What are Polypress Relief Prints?

Polypress relief prints are made on a special type of PVC that you press with a nail, pin or similar object. I have also used lino cutting tools on it with great success and it holds an amazing amount of detail.  Even the smallest pinpricks show up in the print!

For my very first test of polypress I used a pen to draw and press on the sheet. Once I finished this sketch I inked it up with some oil based ink and made a few quick prints to see if it works, which it did!

Using a pen on the sheet for Polypress Relief prints

Using a pen on the sheet for Polypress Relief prints

First test results for Polypress Relief prints

Test results for relief print using Polypress.

A good proof of concept but this little sketch did not really test the substrate as a printmaking medium enough. I sat down with an A6 (148x105mm) piece and using a nail, I pressed an image into the PVC. There is a lot of fine detail in this that you would struggle to get into a woodcut or a linocut. Especially all the little dots.

The first polypress print!

The first polypress print!


This Process Really Works!

I am very impressed by the quality of the detail that shows up on the Polypress relief print and am very excited by the potential of this new medium. One more test proves that Polypress has amazing potential and is extremely easy to use. All you need is a nail or a pen.

“Even the smallest pinpricks
show up in the print!”

How to Start with Polypress Relief Prints

If your interested in trying out Polypress I have sheets of various sizes available to buy in the shop and will also be running classes in my studio and at the Printmakers Association of Western Australia. Please check the events page.

If you’re a teacher and would like to introduce this great new method of printmaking to your school, get in touch via the contact page.

Article by:

Marcus F. Napieraj

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  1. suemarshall4art on 19/09/2016 at 17:16

    Really interesting results with fine detailing. Congrats.

    • Psyconautika Art Studio on 19/09/2016 at 18:47

      Thanks Sue! I’m very happy with it too! It will be interesting to see what other printmakers do with it.

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