slightly wonky


Tiny prints
April 8, 2011, 4:30 pm
Filed under: printmaking | Tags: , , , , , ,

Today, I printed those tiny plates that I made.  I had moderate success.  It was amazing to me how difficult it was to wipe the plates well.  How it works: you smear ink onto the plate, in order to push it into the grooves/scratches onto the plate.  Then, you need to wipe off the excess in order to print it.  This final stage of wiping the plate is so demanding, especially with these tiny plates.  It was so hard to tell if I had taken off too much ink, and would end up with a pale print…or leave on too much, then end up with a dark print.  I don’t think that I “hit the nail on the head” with any of them, but I think it’s really interesting to see how differently a plate can print, depending on how the plate is wiped.  First, here is an image to give you a general sense of how small these plates are:

So, what is that…less than 2″ x 2″?  Something like that…it’s TINY.  So, here are the prints.  My first test print was of a building in Montreal…I wasn’t so happy with this print.  I took off too much ink:

It just turned out too faded.  Then, I printed this first “tractor” image:

I decided that the red was not good, so I printed it more monochromatically:

This was better, but I think that I overwiped the plate.  So, I tried again:

This seemed better…but I still wanted to try again:

This one was too dark.  Hmmm!  I think that I try to print this plate yet again sometime.  This plate is only around 1.5″ x 2.5″ big, so I’m holding this tiny thing in my hand…trying to be so careful as I wipe the ink off.

Here is the other plate that I worked on. I think that the best print was the first one:

I like how this turned out, even though his face is a little strange.  But, I thought that it was perhaps a bit dark, so I tried again:

This was much too pale!  Frustrating.  So, I tried once more, and got this one:

That was a better balance of light/dark, but I think that I overwiped some of the details.  I am using just the tip of my finger with a cloth on it to try to gently wipe away the ink.  I look sort of like King Kong tickling a triscuit.  Overall, I liked working with these.  

Anyone else out there print drypoint plates? Suggestions?  Comments?

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