This is the image I practiced with yesterday on the proof press. The one on the left is good (!) and was what I was going for. But, as the other two prints show, I still need more practice: The middle one isn’t the worst one I did, but I think a sloppy insert to the clamp before rolling skewed it just enough to preclude a clean print. The one on the right was even more sloppy, but I trimmed off the edges so some of the ‘slide’ is gone and I think is less obvious. It’ll be a postcard, so that’s okay. Then, since I had the ink on the rollers, I made a couple of postcards:
Okay, I know these fotos are sub-par in quality, but they do show what I was trying out yesterday in the printshop. I applied the last two layers of ink, an opaque light blue and finally, a dark blue. The image on the left is what I was starting with, the yellow and green (which was actually a layer of transparent blue) inks, and the image in the center is close to what I had planned in the first place, with the colors I was interested in and the use of/practice with opaque and transparent inks and, mostly, registration. This print is the second-best version of this plan and it’s clear I didn’t get it perfect. sad. The print on the right is pretty cool-looking, but not what I’d planned. A couple of things I do realize after this project: I should consistently use good quality printing paper; I think that my too-varied variety (lots of construction paper of different qualities and some very nice printing paper) precluded my getting just one good registration position because some of the paper stretched (I think) and messed me up. etc… Another thing is that I should prepare for the project much more thoroughly, from start to finish. Seems obvious, right? Well, I’ll try. Anyway, I’m still pretty tickled, but I know I have a ways to go before I’m satisfied…
This is the stuff going on in my scene: Here are the paddle fans I’m almost done with; this is what they’ll look like, mostly (I’m still figuring out the heart–a lino stamp, or a block on the letterpress, or maybe a cutout heart of other paper? hmm…). I’m pretty tickled so far, gotta say.
The two prints are from some letterpress practice as mentioned below. The purple one will be a book cover, I think. The blue and mustardy one I think can stand alone–I really like the accretion of ink and textures there and will pursue that effect some this summer.
The little flower picture shows what I was treated to when I opened up the kitchen door this morning–Huzzah! The first poppy on that side of the house. Lovely!
I had a few extra minutes in the printshop yesterday and the type on the bed was for the First Amendment paddle fan I’m working on, so I quickly dug around for a few large letters and some cut-offs from the local university’s copy shop and got to it! It took a bit of time adjusting the spacing, but I find that, just a couple of weeks back in the shop, I’m getting faster and more accurate, comfortably.
I’ve spent a few hours in the print shop of a local community college and have been, slowly, getting back into the print groove…It’s a very different feel from my woodworking classroom and it’s a real relief to be in a bright, spacious and sawdust-free workspace. It still takes a lot of energy and focus, but the reward is almost immediate and the ink smells like home.
printmaking classroom, press furniture, Challenger letterpresses, Cherokee syllabary type
Once again, one of my favorite radio shows, On the Media, talks about something vital in my world; the other week, it was mass transit and this time, it’s gorgeous, illuminating, exciting art! On their December 21st program, OTM discusses the fabulous Guggenheim exhibit of the mystical work of Hilma af Klint, “Paintings for the Future.” This OTM segment is fascinating and informative about an artist I’d been hearing/seeing things about here and there for a little while–I regularly listen to On the Media, and, amid the expected stories on politics and media, there was this gem! This segment explores not just the art itself, but how it was positioned in history and how it came to be in the Guggenheim. I urge you to listen and be inspired! (The first several minutes of the segment is solicitation of donations, but at about 4 or 4.5 minutes, the segment about af Klint starts.)
1/18/19Hey, here’s another radio show on af Klint! Studio 360(PRI.org) has an exploration of her work and its place in (art) history. It’s a nice piece about the history of af Klint and her work and it also mentions some of the work artists have done in response to her work.
These are a couple of calendars I made as examples for a class I’m scheduled to lead: quick intro to letterpress using a calendar format. The images are two-color lino block images printed on half a page, the other half left blank to staple a 12 month calendar to. Left, it’s about 9″ x 12″, right, 11″ x 17″. Then, fold the whole thing in half and slip it into a manilla envelope and mail it off!
This is my current work space, at least some of it. I do a lot of work at the kitchen table, the sketching, the carving, the laying out, etc, but the inking and printing I do on these mobile carts. The inking cart is a rolling delight I designed and built in my woodworking course and my little press is currently resting on a metal tool cart I got a few years ago and have since dedicated to printmaking. The shelving on the right is half storage and half art supplies; I often use the top shelves for drying prints. I can roll the carts into the kitchen when I start getting sloppy and when I’m done, I can roll them back into a corner of our small living room (which is actually devoted to storage and studio space). The setup is imperfect, but it works.
==>I really enjoy looking at other peoples’ workspace–I happened across the site Hyperallergic and their occasional entry “A View From the Easel.” It’s helpful to see how other people find ways to be be successful in seemingly less-than-ideal spaces.
I’ve got another layer of color to add and some trimming to do and then, postcards. And, a change of palette! These cards have used up the last of my old ink remnants and I’m looking forward to some blues and bright greens!