John Mackechnie

Working with editioning printers and artists in Ingram Street
Clip Title Working with editioning printers and artists in Ingram Street
Interviewee Name John Mackechnie
Interviewee Role Director of Glasgow Print Studio, John first joined the organisation as an etching technician in 1979 before becoming Workshop Manager and then General Manager.
Interviewer Name Kerry Patterson
Interview Date 9 August 2018
Clip Length 3 minutes 16 seconds


JM: Well certainly the ones that were doing etchings I would work with them because I was still Workshop Manager, I was still the Etching Technician as well, so I was still doing all that. Much to [his wife] Sue’s annoyance cause I don’t think I saw her or Kirsty [their daughter] very often. So I was doing that, so- so I certainly worked with Elizabeth Blackadder, all the early etchings I did with her. I may not have printed the edition but I took them all to proofing stage and then we would get different printers in to do the edition. I think Stuart was probably one of the ones early on, Stuart Duffin and James MacDonald was another one. Erm, I’m sure there were more than that, but we had different people. David Palmer did some, there was loads of people did them. Erm, but I would kind of work on them and, you know, show her how to do sugar lifts and hard grounds and soft grounds and so on, so actually etch the plates and take it to the final proofing stage. So anybody who did etching basically at that time. Erm, I think probably Dominic Snyder probably worked with Barbara Rae on her first lithograph. Er, which ended up having a little bit of a screenprinting on it as well, just one colour screenprinting. But it took so long that Barbara Rae didn’t like it. Well, she liked the print but it was just too slow process for her. So we did, so that’s only lithograph we ever did with her. Erm, just trying to think, Bruce McLean. Again, I did this amazing big etching with him, erm, which was a lot of fun. It’s called Thin Red Pipe Smoker, I think it’s called. That’s a three plate etching and I’d seen his exhibition where he’d been working on old photographic paper and there was a kind of slippery quality to the paint on, eh the marks. So for him to draw on these plates I knew that lipstick would work as an acid resist, and went out and bought some lipsticks and got him to draw up the plates with lipstick. So that was quite interesting. Also, to create an effect, there was a point where we used neat acid, poured it on the plate in a way that it instantly etched into the plate. It was quite dramatic and very- not very health and safety conscious. But it worked. It got the desired effect - he loved that etching. Erm, so that was one of the early ones as well. Another one that was an absolute tour de force… The Bruce McLean, I’m talking about a big etching as well, it was three feet by four feet, the plate. And we did another one three feet by four feet with Roberto Gonzalez Fernandez, erm, which is called… what’s it called… don’t remember. Erm, in fact I’d done a couple of prints with him before. He want- he liked the way I worked, er photographically, and he was quite keen to do a photographic etching. But he was a fantastic drawer so… I was kind of- didn’t really want to do a photographic etching but we did this one with- and it’s a bunch of bananas I think, part of it, which was fine. But I was keen to get him to do something else and so it literally is a tour de force he did tw- three plates- or four plates, all drawn by hand using soft ground techniques with a little bit of aquatint and again just a fantastic classic etching, like nobody else has probably done since, so that was quite amazing.