slightly wonky

Technical difficulties…
March 15, 2011, 4:57 pm
Filed under: printmaking | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Today was a day of mild frustration.  I have finished carving a woodblock to print.  It will have two colors.  I was kind of excited about it.  I couldn’t decide what ink to use.  Unforturnately, I am out of the fine, mulberry paper.  I only have Arches 88, which is thick, but absorbent.  I ended up deciding to try using my oil based relief inks with a lot of transparent medium.  WELL.  It did NOT print well at all!  Here are the hideous prints:

See how blotchy the prints are?  Here is a closeup:

Depressing, isn’t it?  I’m not sure if I needed to sand the wood before printing, just to remove any possible residue on the surface, and to make the surface slightly rougher to accept the ink.  Well, I didn’t do that.  IF ANYONE OUT THERE IS A WOODCUT PRINTER, COULD YOU OFFER ANY SUGGESTIONS?  I have now cleaned the block, and have put on a thin layer of shellac.  I’m not sure if this will help.  This is odd and frustrating, as I never had any problem in the past printing with those inks on wood.  Granted, I typically use a shina plywood, not this solid piece of wood.  Hmmm.

I also did another drypoint to print, hopefully on Thursday evening.  It’s impossible to see, as it’s on plexiglass, but here it is:

The grainy white area is where I’ve added some pumice medium.  I am hoping to get the carborundum effect here.  I am also hoping that this medium doesn’t wash off when I try to print it!  Seriously.  As if it isn’t hard enough creating an image that one is happy with…then one has to contend with technical struggles.  I know.  Most printmakers get help with this in school.  Well…I’m here with no one to ask!  I may try to bring those ugly prints in to one of my classes, to see if the teachers can provide any insights.

Lastly, I am going to try to do a larger relief print.  Who knows how it will turn out…I’ve only sketched on the surface…no carving yet:

On Saturday, I dropped off my two Regent Theater prints to the Arlington Center for the Arts, to submit them for an upcoming show.  I asked the person who took them from me about the open studios in the fall.  She said something to the effect of: “Oh, it would be great for you to participate.  We need more printmakers.  Do you know so-and-so?”  Me?  A printmaker!  REALLY?!!!  I know how silly this is, but it felt very good to be treated like I WAS something that I WISH I was.  A printmaker.  Coincidentally, I discovered that one of my teachers used to be a landscape architect in Paris.  Seriously! 

I also went to a printmaking exhibit at Laconia Gallery in Boston.  The show is titled, ” Guanajuato: Boston Printmakers collaborative workshop in Mexico.”  It was SO amazing.  Beautiful, vibrant colors…tons of relief prints.  All of the artists collaborated on a long, accordian fold book.  They all worked within the pages in such a way that one could tell which artist did which parts, but the whole was still very integrated.  I was also so lucky that one of the artists was there monitoring the gallery.    She was so nice, and answered my multitude of questions.

It might just be Spring here…I don’t want to speak too soon, as it has snowed in April before…but I’m seeing little flowers coming up!  YESSSSS!


2 Comments so far
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A printmaker you are!

Comment by Caitlin

Thank youuuuu!

Comment by slightlywonky

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