Skip to main content

Roger Harris

Roger mezzotints are created on copper plates that he hand rocks with a tool called a mezzotint rocker, a curved blade with up to 120 sharp teeth along its edge, these throw up a tiny burr when rocked into the copper plate. Each little burr will hold the ink to the surface which gives a deep richness to the image when printed. An image is achieved by the drawing being scraped and burnished into the plate with a small knife and round burnisher to produce the lights (whites) and half-lights (greys) in the work, into a black ground. With coloured images Roger does a separate plate for each colour, up to four plates. When the drawing is completed on all the plates and ready for printing, the plates must be steel faced to give them strength (as copper is soft) before the edition can be made.

Roger has always drawn and is in awe of artists who have taken a delight in drawing such as Picasso, Hockney, Leonard Baskin, Ben Shahn and the naïve artists, Edward Hicks, Alfred Wallis and Bryan Pearce, for their mastery of line and strong sense of design. He finds them all inspirational. For him, mezzotint is the most beautiful form of printmaking with its deep rich surface, and drawn images can in some lights appear and disappear giving a mystery to the work. These are the things Roger likes to explore, to give the viewer many levels of experience.