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 image (which is blurry–I’ll replace it soon) is of my new curtain fabric; I dug out an old lino I’d used for a reduction cut handprint, and inked it up. I started by printing this fabric on the press, but it was just too much fabric and I started running out of time, so I just went ahead and printed it by hand (which still took some time, actually) and got adequate-plus results. I’ll run them up by the end of this long weekend, and they’ll be ready to brighten up the bedroom for the new week!
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.
Here’s the project I worked on the other day in the printshop: I’m a First Amendment ‘fan,’ myself, so I decided to make fans for the group I spend the occasional noon hour with in front of the Courthouse, advocating for free speech and our political beliefs. Another proof reading is needed and I still have a couple of decisions to make about text placement on the back–a little higher?–and about what kind of heart, and what color, to stamp on the front. It should be done by the time it gets really hot.
Here is the first batch of fans. They’re not quite perfect, so I’ll think on it (and see how they work) and figure out what approach I might be more satisfied with. Anyway, hoorah!
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
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!
Here’s my response to the lovely poppies crowding my tomato plant–a t-shirt! I did a quick stencil screen print and hope it’s dry enough to wear to my woodworking class tomorrow. (The shirt is from the thrift and I made the stencil from some old cut-price Contact paper. Worked okay.)
I was in the Atlanta area yesterday (for a NM green chile roast–Go Lobos!!) and as I walked around the neighborhood, centered around Decatur Square (old courthouse, bus municipal terminal, funky shops, etc), I came across this crosswalk treatment and was delighted! Not a typically pedestrian treatment. It is part of a project that replaced several old brick crosswalks with this colored thermoplastic–it’s easy to look up and will be an edifying search. The other picture is of a typical crosswalk on our way home, through Duluth, GA. This certainly is more typical of the pedestrian experience everywhere I’ve been. The flowered crosswalk shows that there are other possibilities.