To those of us unfamiliar with printmaking, its technical processes can seem mysterious. Especially in the workshops of Kenneth Tyler, where 500-tonne printing presses were housed alongside antique Bavarian lithography stones; where staff in white overalls and rubber boots sprayed paper pulp from moving platforms above works of art; and where traditional Japanese woodblock and papermaking methods were employed in the same rooms as photo-mechanical techniques, the engineering of kinetic sculptures, and the making of vast, colourful mixed-media prints in three dimensions.

Since 2009 the Tyler Collection website has given visitors a unique, behind-the-scenes look at these processes through photographs taken in the workshop as artists created their prints. In addition to these valuable photographs, the Tyler Collection contains a comprehensive group of film and sound material. The International Prints department has been working with DAMSmart! preservation services to digitise the film and sound holdings, and the results so far have been very exciting. Rare footage of artists at work reveals in detail the complexities of printmaking processes, while candid discussions with Ken Tyler and artists offer new perspectives on the collection that we can’t wait to share.

Film and sound will be featured in exhibitions and published here on the blog and on our website as we identify and catalogue the material. Stay tuned for a sneak-preview…you can follow us on Twitter so you’re the first to know!