Michael Atkin Printmaker
etcher - block printer - wood engraver
Michael is convinced that etchings and lino - prints and wood engravings which are hand made and hand printed using traditional methods have a bright and prosperous future with discerning collectors.
Founded Bracken Press a 'private press' in 1974
Michael is an artist-printmaker who creates limited edition etchings, lino prints, fine art books and wood engravings at his home based workshop and ‘private press’ Bracken Press, which he established in 1974 with the purchase of his first Albion Platen press from a printers in Wensleydale. Images are figurative, narrative and located in the Yorkshire countryside.
It is an imagined or remembered place. In the more vigorous of these country idylls; opposites are composed, reconciled: shadow and sunlight, water and woodland, valley and hillside.I have a blurred map of connections, of things seen, things read, places visited and other things, which once amalgamated form the imagery I conceive and commit to print. He often bases his personal images on what he sees on his regular walks around the village and describes his work as “ rural, autobiographical and often imagined.”
The landscape is imagined as an assemblage pieced together with vivid elements. People are dwarfed by the landscape.
Images evolve from brief outline sketches made in sketchbooks. The desired composition is etched with nitric acid onto copper plates or cut into lino-blocks or end grain English boxwood as wood engravings.
The variety of mediums used by Michael requires a constant reappraisal of the image to be portrayed. After years of lino cutting and always being aware of the limitations the medium has and wanting far greater detail in his work he enrolled on a wood engraving course with Edwina Ellis. Wood engraving is not the person who hurries, being patient helps and soon the resultsf his labours were evident. Now with the addition of wood engraving, Michael can add even greater detail to his work.
Michael is a member (since 1996) and Secretary (since 2006) of The Fylingdales Group of Artists (founded in 1925) who hold an annual exhibition in Pannett art Gallery, Whitby. He is also an exhibiting member of the Leeds Fine Artists (fiounded in 1874) and The Oxford Guild of Printers and a subscriber to The Wood Engravers Society
The various printmaking processes involve lots of equipment, Michael was acutely aware of this, since purchasing his frist Albion press in 1974 he has slowly managed to amass a formidable collection of presses and ancillary equipment to produce etchings, engravings, woodcut, lino and letterpress.
As a student his major dissertation was completed on William Morris (artist hero) the 'private press' owner of Kelmmscott Press. Morris produced all the books printed by Kelmscott Press including manufacture of the paper, design and casting of the type, in-house printing and book binding. His books were impressive to say the least. Although Michael cannot make paper ( not in suffiecient quantities for his books) but just abouth everything else need to produce a limited eiditon book can be done under his imprint name 'Bracken Press' , which was founded in 1974.