Monday, December 17, 2007

'Rare Capitol Blizzard'

WHEW!!! I finally finished the printing for the Print Exchange Project that I volunteered for. It was hard work! I did over thirty prints, 'cause ya never know! The most difficult part was deciding on an image that I wouldn't be embarrassed to share. This was not my first try; not by a long shot! Once I started to receive some of the other participants' prints I realized that the bar was very high indeed.

Below are the three different plates that I used for this print.
Plate #1, on the left, is the sky. It's two pieces of soft wood from a dis-assembled Clementine box from Spain, which I abraded with a wire brush to bring out the grain. I glued the thin planks onto the back of an old block, so as to raise it to, more or less, the same height as the key block. Then I drilled some holes in it, for the blizzard snow flakes. I printed this in a very light gray, which was a mixture: of one dot of DSmith Lamp Black, a lot of Titanium White, and some Transparent Medium.

Plate #2, in the middle, are the shadows on the dome. This plate is made from Scratch-Foam, also mounted on an old block. I had to mask this one carefully for every pull. Yuck. This was printed in a darker gray, which was: two dots of Lamp Black, a lot of the Titanium White, and some Transparent Medium.

Plate #3 is the Key Block! It's the building detail. This is done on a mounted lino plate from McClain's. I printed this with two parts DSmith Lamp Black mixed with one part Transparent Medium.

I used DSmith Water Soluble Relief Ink for the whole project. I printed on Magnani Pescia Paper, plain bright white. I used the 'Andrew System' of registration and was delighted with it, pending a few small tweaks. I hand burnished using a soft Speedball baren, after masking strategic areas of each plate.

All in all, I am happy with the outcome. And not ashamed to send a copy to each of the other participants. Now I just have to wait until they all dry. I might be waiting until Valentine's Day!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Etch a Bungalow

This monoprint is the one of the results of my Jumpstart in Printmaking workshop last weekend, with Penny Barringer. Relief printing is my favorite of the many techniques. But after that I enjoyed the intaglio(1) techniques etching and aquatint. I was happy with this etched bungalow. The idea of combining intaglio with monotype techniques has interesting possibilities. And easily applied to relief plates as well.

Alas, the downside is that you need a press to do intaglio work, since the process requires that the damp paper be forced down into the incised lines (or etched areas) in order to pick up the ink. Hand rubbing lacks sufficient power.

The most mysterious technique that Penny showed us was lithography. The process is remarkably complex and the result isn't all that 'printy'. For me there is not enough of a payoff for all the trouble involved. Oh well. I'm a naive printmaker for sure.

Next stop: A lino workshop with Penny in March.

More on printing techniques: MOMA!

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(1) Intaglio, n. (From the Italian intagliare to cut in, engrave.) The process or art of carving or engraving in a hard material; incised carving as opposed to carving in relief; the condition or fact of being incised. Chiefly in phrase in intaglio, as opposed to in rilievo or in relief.