Tammy Ratcliff was born in Toronto in 1966. She studied printmaking at BealArt in London, Ontario and has been printing since her first class in 1990.
She lives in Guelph with her family and works full time at her practice in her own studio.
Her work has shown extensively in group and solo shows, most recently SHIFT: Environmentally Responsible Print Practice exhibition at McMaster Museum of Art in Hamilton, RED at Renann Isaacs Contemporary Art, Guelph, Print City: Detroit, Art Toronto with Open Studio, World Washi Summit and Printopolis, Toronto.
Tammy has received provincial grants and various awards for her artwork since first exhibiting in 1993 and was awarded third prize in Open Studio’s National Printmaking Awards in 2010.
Her work is included in numerous private, public and corporate collections, Dan Donovan Collection at St. Michael’s, Stratford Gallery, Art Gallery of Guelph, Ernst & Young and Idea Exchange to name a few.
Tammy has travelled with her work, notably to residencies at Frans Masereel Centrum in Belgium, Spark Box Studios in Picton, Ontario and most recently enjoyed a month working at Prima Ink in Tromso, Norway.
Through Intaglio and mixed print works, I find a means to explore my continued fascination with the natural world—its strength and beauty—while drawing attention to the ‘imperfections’ and impermanence of all living things. The elegant asymmetry in nature, the odd shaped spaces between branches, or the awkward curl of a petal on a flower is where my curiosity takes root.
The process and materials I employ are as important to my practice as the subject matter, and my love of printmaking and fine washi (handmade Japanese papers) informs how I work. My recent body of work is composed of multi-layered etchings and relief prints on semi- transparent washi.
Intaglio can be simply described as drawing or etching into a metal plate (in my case, copper) to create grooves and depressions which hold the printing ink. This ink is then transferred onto the paper through the pressure of an etching press. The etched lines in the plate allow for the process to be repeated until the plate’s surface has worn down to the point that its ability to hold ink has been affected.
The number of identical prints created in the same manner is called an edition or the bottom number you see on a hand pulled print (ie 3/10). If a plate has been printed only once, before the plate or ink is altered, then this print is unique and is called a monoprint (1/1).
Many of the works in my shows are monoprints created from various etched plates, combined with parts of other prints to make new and completely singular prints. Chine collé (‘pasted tissue’) is a printmaking technique that I have used in my work for many years, and find it allows me lots of room for experimentation and discovery when assembling printed pieces of washi into new compositions.