Friday, September 21, 2007


I decided to deepen the cut-away background on the doggie block...unfortunately the chisel slipped and gouged into my forefinger. Argh! That put paid to doing any more for a few days till it healed sufficiently (and stopped bleeding everywhere!) to hold the block again, but I'm very wary of it now. But better the finger than the chisel had hit a bit of the image! Phew! I wish I had an electric router or something to make short work of it. Anyway, I'll cut a bit away every day and it'll soon be done. In the meantime I need more paper. I'm experimenting with some zerkall scraps and newsprint to get to know how to pack for an optimum print.

The 'walkies' block with the sky is also on hold as I changed my mind in an arty-farty moment and now can't decide how to engrave the bottom bit. I'm in the process of trying different approaches on the computer.

In the meantime I'm experimenting on a few endgrain offcuts which are small and quick to do. I love the fact that these blocks are a bit irregular and they're cheap enough to make mistakes on and not worry about the cost too much. First one is a 60mm x 35mm ( about 2 1/2 "x 1 1/2") clifftop cottage.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Trevethy quoit

This was an engraving of Trevethy Quoit in Cornwall, cut some 27 years ago and printed on an Ullmers table top Albion (see below), a pretty little press.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Advice welcome!

I've been having a great time getting to know my press, I've only been able to get two evenings at it so far, but now I'm at the stage that I know what questions I need to ask to improve my impressions.

Here are 3 impressions. (This is from a 3 1/4" x 5" engraving.)
A is on newsprint and crisp with good blacks.

B is on Zerkall, I had a problem getting the black rich without the fine detail filling in.
C is on Zerkall too, but shows the fine detail, although the black is a bit spotty.

I made 40 impressions, adjusting the packing to get a consistent result, but it was still hit-and-miss.

I wonder if my inking isn't consistent, rather than the packing and impression? I do try to roll ink onto the block evenly and lightly, but it varies widely. Also I seem to need to keep topping up the ink on the slab every 10 impressions or so. I didn't roll out a massive amount , just an area a bit bigger than the block. Tried to keep in mind the advice of making it hiss slightly and it should look like a mole's tummy (I do like that expression!). So I think I'm asking for any ideas, advice, thoughts that could help me.

Should I concentrate on getting consistent results with newsprint before I try more expensive paper?