Richard Watkins is a sculptor and a printmaker, working iron in a forge and paper in the studio. There are many differences between these two materials: how they are approached and how they respond. Iron is hard, heavy, rough, dirty and physical, whereas paper is soft, light, and clean. However both become malleable, iron with fire and paper with water. These materials yield under the pressure of the hammer and of the press. It is his sensitive approach that creates for Richard the subtle results to be seen in his work. His training as a blacksmith has directly influenced his exploration of printmaking.
In this way, Richard uses the language he developed in his sculpture to inform the works on paper, the balance of scale, space, tone and surface treatment, transposing these directly into the two dimensional plane. As a result the embossed paper works are in the third dimension. These compositions in turn inform the sculptures and visa versa.
Although most of his paper pieces have been created with the aid of an etching press, only the etchings are in editions.