Wednesday, December 5, 2018

I may never finish my novel....

The blue-gray of the ferrule isn't showing up in the scan.
  This print began as an etegami--another of the small Japanese mail-art cards I make.  It was done during my first Etegami workshop, where I used a small pencil stub to make 3 different simple sumi ink and watercolor drawings, with added text.  I knew right away one would become a print.
I also have a novel and probably a few short stories in me--although I doubt any will ever get written.

This is a simple image, but getting it carved and printed has posed a few hurdles.
I enlarged the size of the work from postcard-size (3"x5") to an easier to carve 8" x 10" to make it less likely that I'd have too much trouble cutting the text but I still had the top half of one of the "e"s pop off;  I had to re-glue and re-cut a repair 3 times due to glue failure the first time, wrong glue (too elastic) the second time, and (fingers crossed) the last repair seems to be holding.  Mostly I've had a hard time getting into the studio with enough protected time to just get it done.

The above copy/proof is on Fabriano Artistico--a thick, Italian watercolor paper but there are still a few things to work out:
   The original drawing was done on a postcard--so it had a natural boundary (the paper edges) and the drawing "happened" with that scale in mind, but printed on a bigger sheet, it now has a much larger outer border of white paper--and I can either leave it like that  or print a very faint rectangle of very pale color (it's called a Beta-ban block)--that would recreate the original horizontal, small format on the bigger sheet.  This variant still needs to be finished as well as a few more that have a different block order to see if it changes the final look.

Here's the original etegami watercolor and sumi ink postcard.

This print, is pretty close to recreating the original--I did tweak the pencil in a few places, lessening the slightly phallic droop of the point. I also pushed the text over a little bit, and reversed the chop (white letter on red field).

Tomorrow, I'll finish printing the rest of the proofs. That will allow me to see what they look like with the background block before I cut down the rest of the paper and print the final version or full edition.

This set on Japanese paper is almost done. They lack just the two yellow layers of the pencil wood and the sumi ink "keyblock" and text.  I'll post a finished version of these too as soon as they're done.

You can't see the beautiful gray-blue of the metal ferrule--it won't pick up with the scanner but it really goes well with the orange-y pencil and pink eraser.