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?


ainesse said...


Hello there from Aine a fellow printmaker up around the Edinburdh's nice that as a member of the "' that you have a blog. Blogs are so much more friendly than formal websites. I use mine and my Flickr site than any of my other urls.

Anyway.......I am afraid I can't offer you any technical critique in relation to your current activities but just thought I would say hello. My work is a very different 'kettle of fish' to yours but we do both have a 'connectedness' to printmaking.

Cute little doggie....I was thinking it would be good to have a blog with the details/links to all the printmakerinfo dot nets printmaker/blogers. Currently though I have too much on my plate or I would do it myself.

Anyway Sue keep up the good work


cpierson said...

Hi Sue,

What a great image of your Jack Russell! Too cute!

I have a couple of questions.
What do you use for packing?
How much, if any, resistance is there as the roller passes over the block? I have a similar press and I love it. I like doing experimental printing on it too. Take a look here:
I have heard it said that if everything seems correct with the press it is probably ink that makes problems. For me it works best on detailed images if I clean my block frequently. How frequently depends on the ink. Although too often means trouble I think.

It is great fun working it all out though!


cpierson said...

Hopefully a link that works :o)


Anonymous said...

a couple of suggestions

make the ink a bit stiffer and try to apply it to the block in very thin layers details fill in because you are putting too thick a layer of ink on the block, or it is a bit runny, or your packing is to soft.

newsprint prints very nicely because it does not have any sizing most western papers have some sizing some more than others.

try a nice japanese paper and see how it works.

john c.

Sue said...

Hi all, thanks for the advice and thoughts; I'll have another little play and see what I can do.

PG said...

Oh wow, it's a proper print! Doesnt' he look super! We do have the same presses, I have a tray which attaches to mine, must compare notes on how to use it, I simply haven't had time to play with any of my toys yet. :( I did at first wonder where the ink should go, I think it might go in the tray...