Sunday, October 23, 2011


Here are some quick shots of the prints drying and a close up of one of the two variants I printed. While these are small prints the beetle and grub are quite large and these are just over life-size.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Looking for defects.

Finished printing my Beetle print this afternoon. It took much longer than I imagined.
In this photo I'm looking over the nearly finished prints to look for any that need reprinting of the keyblock in the few prints where it didn't print dark enough and in the dozen or so in which I decided to print it last.
Each block took about 4-5 hrs to print so I spent the better part of a week printing-- one color by hand each morning. 5 blocks printed about 8 times for 80 copies=over 600 impressions.

No photos of the finished print tonight.
My camera batteries died and the scanner I have is so old it is no longer supported by my current computer.

But tomorrow I hope to upload some JPEGs of the finished prints.

Now it is just to let the paper dry; then sign, number, separate and trim the finished prints. But tonight I'll wash out the brushes and let the blocks air dry too.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beetle and Proof

This showed up in the driveway today.

I think it showed up to check on my work as I was proofing yesterday.

I think it is still a Prionus beetle but I am not sure.
It lacks the little spikes on the thorax that are quite prominent on P. Californicus.
But doesn't resemble the more common, local P. Coriarius beetle either.

This is a quick proof of my beetle print (tube watercolors/rice paste and sumi).

The beetle made little hissing noises and excreted a rather unpleasant-smelling I may have to adjust the colors.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

bug blocks

I finished carving my small-print, bug blocks.
There are five blocks total but I could have managed just four if I had planned better. There is a fair amount of redundancy of the information carried on each individual block.

Maybe I'll get to print tomorrow but I still have to moisten some proof and trial paper to check registration and color printing--I suspect I'll have to trim back one or two of the blocks but I am looking forward to printing this one. Hope it's not too blotchy.

Three of the blocks were picked up at a yard sale. They're meant to be used to plank-grill fish on the barbecue. At 1/2 " thick they're likely to warp during printing but they were cherry and really cheap (50cents each).
AND I'll still be able to use them on the grill once I'm done printing.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Printing Again

Prionus Californicus keyblock proof

I still don't have a dedicated work space.....I'm working out of a spare bedroom...but I got my keyblock carved and I was I was itching to print again. I found a small jar into which I had thrown a broken up sumi stick in December? so I poured off the surface water and it seemed good to go after a good stirring.

Turns out Arborio rice will work for rice paste and the kitchen table, once the kids are in school, will too.

I dashed off 6 copies of my keyblock for my small bug print. This is the hanshita, it is printed off the keyblock including the kento marks and will be pasted face down, one for each color.
So far it has two 2.5" X 3.5" prints on it printing side by side...
it will have color blocks too and I'm trying now to figure out how to combine the colors to get both printed simultaneously.

Due date for 100 prints is Nov 1.
I'll need to go back in and open up the "O" of "prionus" and the second set of legs are too long but I think I'll leave that alone.