Sunday, March 20, 2011

Continuation of printing an older block onto Bamboo paper

Moon and Forest
linoleum block print
Image size: 10 x 10 cm (4 x 4 in.)
Final trimmed paper size: 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 in.)
open edition

This study titled Moon & Forest is the continuation six years later of a linoleum block print that was started back in 2005. At that particular time I was printing only using hand burnishing and using water based inks. I couldn't really achieve a good solid print then and so I put the block away after getting frustrated and producing only a handful of prints on paper.
Last night we were viewing that once every 18 years supersize full moon through the fir trees in my yard (it was a bit obscured by clouds so didn't really see much of it here). Somehow it reminded me of this image and planted the idea to try printing again now that I have better inks and a press.
This morning in the studio I dug through drawers that contain old blocks that have not been cancelled.
Lo and behold the blocks were still there and in good shape (I had protected them in a small box).
The background block incorporates a slight jigsaw option, for the details in the moon face are a circular shaped piece that pops out and is inked independently of the background square. I carefully set it back into place using tweezers after applying a light blue-gray color of ink with a small 19 mm (3/4 inch rubber brayer). For the blue background I put a little Daniel Smith Pthalo blue and titanium white side by side on my inking slab. Using a 6 inch brayer I continuously rolled out the ink until the two blended together. The gradient blue blend came out very subtle (in the first image posted at top) and although I would like a bit more of a lighter blue horizon towards the bottom, I am content with the first few proofs that were printed.

The second block (keyblock) had Daniel Smith carbon black oil applied with another brayer..

This print used my 3 hole punch registration board system and was printed using the slight pressure from the top roller of my printing press. I set a piece of  6 mm (1/4 in.) tagboard over the printing paper and ran it under the roller once the proper pressure had been set with the turnable pressure gauge handles. I did a test print on newsprint first to make sure the blocks lined up on the registration board.

This is also the very first time I have printed onto Awagami Bamboo paper. It is recommended for letterpress and relief printing so decided to see how it handled. I quite like the end result and although it is a stiff 250 gsm paper it performs well when using a press for printing.

Don't think I would want to hand burnish onto this as it is fairly weighty and stiff in nature and needs a bit more pressure to give a good solid and even transfer of ink.
To achieve this I applied a very light mist of water before setting the paper on to the inked block.

It will take a few days to dry but  have the few I printed hanging on a line in a warm and dry basement.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Printsy - Printmakers of Etsy - Interview with yours truly

I have been given the honour of being this weeks featured Printsy artist
if you would like to read the interview and view of some examples of recent work you can click the following link: