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?


6 Comments so far
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I am always looking for a human element, a visual image that will really pull things together for me “King Kong tickling a triscuit” was it!

As a big fan of things tiny, I loved the tractor in red, I like the contrast and the vintage feeling it evoked. I wished you had pursued a few more tries. I think the second blue one was the sharpest and would have liked the deeper contrast red would have given it.

The baby is superb…a Liliputian being tickled by King Kong…it looks like it needs a Happy Meal. These would be so neat bound into one of your tiny books.

Comment by growingmuses

The tractor plate was very tricky to do, so I’m sure that I’ll try it again. The baby just seemed an appropriate image for a tiny print!

Comment by slightlywonky

And even worse, try to get the same amount of ink on each one for an edition. ACK that would be hard with such a small plate.

Comment by lisa foster

Yes, I would definitely NOT be able to be consistent about inking for an edition. I was amazed at how different it looked each time!

Comment by slightlywonky

Hi, lovely work – I think that small prints are really perfect for etching, and I would agree with a previous comment about more tries; my own effoerts wer rewarded as I persevered. You can see my prints here:

I intend to continue with my series of small prints, and hope to get enough to frame, sell and some left over to bind into a little book!

You are very productive which I find inspiring. Please keep it up!


Comment by lestaret

Thanks so much! I took a look at your work…it’s sooo beautiful! I’m amazed at how detailed your images are. I look forward to seeing more of your prints. I love the idea of making a little book. There’s something nice about that, as one can actually touch the prints, right?

Comment by slightlywonky

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