Friday, August 26, 2011

more prints from recent experimentations with vegetable oil relief printing ink

I have been putting some of the samples of the Aqualine printmaking inks I received from Rudolph Faust Co. of New Jersey a while back to the test. These I am told by the manufacturer are derived from a vegetable oil base. They have been tested at Duke University and meet all the standards to be labelled non-toxic.In the website they are being called water based but make no mistake they are indeed waterproof once they dry on the paper surface.
The ink will remain open on the inking plate and block surface for quite a while. What I also like about them is the low odor and the easy clean up with a little liquid dish soap and warm water.  I found that they do take time to dry much like a plate oil base ink and factors such as humidity, absorbancy of paper and thickness of ink will determine that drying time.
I also learned that some of the pigments used in a few of the colours have a bit of a transparent quality and therefore had to add a little white to increase opaque factor.

I think these will work very well for some of my classroom based activities for the above stated reasons.
Students I work with have pretty much used Speedball water based to date for relief printing applications but there have been some frustrations that include uneven thickness of ink when it is applied to relief surfaces, ink not coating the brayers in some spots.The most irritating thing would be the ink drying too quickly before it is printed from the block surface.

The two example prints both used the Faust Aqualine Ink.

The first is a jigsaw block study derived from a Blick flexible printing plate. This material allowed me not only to cut it apart but also to carve its surface with linocut blades. It has a peel and stick backing for mounting onto a board, card or in this case a thick paper base sheet.
The print is fairly small in size and thus proved a challenge for dissecting (which I ended up using a sharp point craft knive to achieve).
This was printed on Somerset Velvet black 250 gm rag paper with the aid of my press.

image copyright 2011 ã

The landscape below was created from three separate blocks. The blue and pink were printed first off of an uncut rectangle of Easy Cut material. I blended the two colors together by placing pink in the middle and blue on either side then rolling the brayer on the inking plate until a nice blend occured. This was transferred to the block surface and printed.
The second block (cloud formations) was cut from a piece of  flexible printing plate that was pre-mounted onto a heavier piece of bookbinding board. The ink I used was a 50% white and 50% transparent base mix so that some of the blue background came through as a lighter blue.
The last block was printed in black and defined the trees, islands and ripples in the water. The block was cut from a rectangle of golden cut linoleum.
The image was printed onto a piece of thin bleached mulberry paper with the aid of my small printing press.

image copyright 2011ã