Friday, May 04, 2007

Final proof and on that paper!

I had an unexpected free day yesterday, so I cleared the decks in the kitchen, putting a big sheet of acetate on the worksurface along with lots of newspaper. Then I got out my inking slab (a big bit of bevelled glass taken from an old cabinet) ink and roller. Then I tore up some sheets of that nice Chinese paper. The idea was to do some final proofing coupled with minor adjustments to the block and maybe get one good impression at the end of the day.

It took me a good few minutes to roll the ink out so it 'looked like a mole's tummy' (thanks to Andy English for that description, I love it!) and my first impression wasn't inked enough. The next was better and I made some tweaks to the block, especially the background where tiny bits needed scorping back further. That was the real bugbear of the day. No matter how much I hacked the background away little bits printed on the next print! Argh! Next time remind me not to have a large expanse of pure white! It's bloomin' hard work clearing it. I think I may have a way round it though. If I cut a mask with a hole and lay it over the inked block I can lay the paper over it and burnish away in the knowledge that the paper will be protected from the background. Anybody else have any other suggestions?

I have to report that the Chinese paper worked a dream. I used the smooth side and it printed crisply. It has a lovely thin, crisp feel, with a gentle unobtrusive texture.

Printing with a teaspoon is very hard work. I was having a job to get a consistent print every time, there was always a tiny patch somewhere that was lighter; and I was very careful to burnish all over. I wondered if it was my 25-year-old ink, but it seemed ok. It must be inexperience, but if I make an edition of this block it'll have to be small and I expect a fair bit of wasteage. All good experience though.

Here's Charlie complete with background flecks....

11 comments:

groovyinclinations said...

Sue!! This is fabulous, you have so captured the character in this sweet poochie! Great work, just beautiful :)
Mindy Wilson
mwilson.etsy.com

Diane Cutter said...

He's wonderful... and it looks like you've gotten back into the groove. I hope to see more of your work soon!

Annie B said...

Charlie looks fantastic! Your idea of making a mask ought to work for the background flecks. You could also hug the design more tightly as you roll on the ink and/or wipe the background area well before printing. I don't mind the few flecks in this piece, but I know the feeling of battling them when you don't want them there.

Caroline B said...

Hooray, he's finished! It's lovely, you must be so pleased with the finsihed result. What are you going to do with him now?

PG said...

That's a pretty darned fine re-entry into the world of printing! I found my attempts were a bit rusty but it soon comes back, I had problems with little extra flecky bits too, in teh end I had to wipe the lino round the edge before every print with the rag. Of course the other less better option is to gently clean up the print when it's dry, with a very sharp scalpel, just carefully 'shaving'the paper.

natural attrill said...

Charlie is wonderful! I like all the little flecks and marks, but i hope you find a solution to your problem to it turns out how you want.
Good luck!
Will visit again soon.
P.

fhiona galloway said...

still loving this wee scruff!
Hope you're going to do some more Sue!!

Diane Cutter said...

Hey, Sue... This is just to let you know that you've been 'tagged'. It's a game going around the art blogs (if you want to play). Just list seven things about yourself, seven bloggers whose sites you visit, and let'em know about it. I normally wouldn't play but it's been fun finding new art blogs.

Click back thru to see the rules and learn odd facts about other artist folk.

janey said...

I'm very new to printmaking and I simply do not understand how you can get anything like this with so much detail from a block of wood. And of course this adorable. And I like the little specks. It says hey this is a print.

Pea said...

Hello, Charlie looks gorgeous!

YAri said...

Wonderful final output!!! It is very gaenerous to share the intermediate carvings!