Saturday, March 17, 2012

More Maple Proofs

The troublesome block that was printing the seams remained troublesome so I bit the bullet and recarved the background on a spare shina block.
The new block is now registering better than it's predecessor,
but with the multiple printings--especially large color fields on a 14" x 14" square--registration is still off enough to be discouraging.

I've underprinted with a yellow beta-block since if the later leaf and twig blocks are off just a bit it will show through and give the effect of back-lighting.
There is enough play that overlap will/should just heighten the edge contrast.
But in too-many places it still just looks off-register.

The real problem remaining is the little rectangular chop cut into 3 blocks that ended up on the far corner and isn't reliably in-register drop-after-drop.

But the funniest thing I discovered it that if you really want a deep, dark, midnight blue.....try spilling a bottle of Prussian Blue pigment dispersion on your block.
(The dark versions are all the fruits of that spill....I had been tinting the background with glazes of blue trying to tweak it toward grey-green until the big spill.)

Below are two of the better versions. The dark one is on Magnani Incisioni and the tan one on my home-sized Hosokawa washi (39g/m2).
I was pretty happy I was able to print on it. It's definitely thinner than I'm used to but it's strong and now that it's sized it took 10 impressions without any problems in the proofing stage. I used a carry sheet--a similar sized sheet of mylar to help stiffen it enough to allow me to register it into the kento and lay it down. The paper's thinness is also an unexpected boon; I can see through it well enough to be able to rub with the baren just where I want to so
printing errors are less (the heavier papers aren't see-through and I have to press harder.)
There is still lots to do though.
The prints up-close are all rejects: there are too many ink splotches, misregistered edges, some smears, etc.
The leaves looked pretty saturated until I printed the background colors and now are clearly too pale and pink instead of vibrant red and orange.
I have by now at least 20 proofs but none that are good enough to call "finished".
I'm not sure how much time, energy, or paper I want to devote to this idea.
Still, I will give it another go with a dedicated try with at least 10-15 sheets of decent paper once I clean up the blocks. I'm hoping that if I know I'm printing "For Real" and not just proofs I'll get a better ratio of unmarred copies.