Jesmond Vassallo

Supported by the Research Support Grant - Malta Arts Fund

Lithos proved to be an innovative and ground-breaking printmaking research that located and tested local limestone to substitute the Bavarian Solnhofen limestone, which is exclusively used for lithography. 

The team consisted of Maltese geologist Saviour Scerri, Moroccan master lithographer Elkahfai Moulay Youssef and three Maltese intaglio printmakers Lino Borg, Justin Falzon and Jesmond Vassallo. 

"Lithos gave me the chance to undergo a challenging research project in lithography using a type of local stone. Among the benefits of this collaborative project was the acquisition of knowledge about Maltese geology under the guidance of Mr Saviour Scerri. Working on these tests closely with two other local artists and the international Moroccan master lithographer was also a very enriching experience; the sharing of knowledge was an important aspect as was working with geologist Mr Scerri whose scientific approach was enriching and reassuring.

"The fund gave me the opportunity to embark on an otherwise unthinkable research. Since the results were positive, this gave me confidence to acquire a lithographic press and start my own workshop.

Besides acquiring the techniques of this medium, working alongside international masters such as Youssef and Robyn Smith and Saaid Tazi (a professional photographer and etcher who we met at Youssef) proved to be a long-term benefit." - Jesmond Vassallo.