Monday, December 15, 2014

Cabbage Butterfly (relief ink)

Wood engraving, olive wood. Oil relief ink on Japanese paper.
Thanks to the folks over at Intaglio Printmakers in the UK. I got a small package this week of some Japanese papers and a tube of Graphic Chemical Black Relief ink.

As I expected, the difficulties I had printing my little wood engraving were due to the etching ink I was using (too soft) and the poor quality relief ink I had tried that didn't have enough pigment or body.

This rolled out easily and was easy to print with a baren onto a variety of dampened printing and Japanese papers.

I'll print up a few more copies before retiring this little trial block.
I'm sharpening my burins and spitsticker for the next project and ready to try another block.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Class Planning

I'm getting ready for this weekend's woodblock class and that means getting out tool sets and brushes, nonskid mats for carving and leather belts for stropping.
I have several cartons of blocks I brought over specifically for these classes.
They're made of Japanese Linden--called Shina--and are easy to carve and print.

This weekend's class will have two block sizes of Shina plywood available; 8"x10" and 4"x6". The big block can be printed on both sides so 2 blocks will yield 4 surfaces (allowing up to 5 colors). The smaller block will make use of a floating kento--a jig that allows the whole block to be used and you'd be surprised how "big" an impact you can get from smallish blocks-- My "Fulcrum" print was printed from these small 4"x6" blocks.

The bigger blocks are easier--if more time consuming--to carve but allow for more detail since the scale is bigger. The smaller blocks are quicker to carve and allow for more layering/playing with the surfaces.
I'm hoping to teach the traditional method--a "black line" keyblock used to define the color areas of the other blocks--but direct carving and printing are also possible.