Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Cheer

Merry XMAS, Happy Hanukah, Happy New Years & Festivus for the RestofUs.
Christmas is almost over and we have had about 18 inches of snow which is now melting. Last year in December I printed a simple linoleum block print called Cold Fish, a fish with a scarf. He sort of looks like a bottom feeder, doesn't he? I traded some of these prints in a swap on Wet Canvas.
Enjoy the holidays and remember that your friends, family and memorable experiences are the important parts of life. Take time to do things you enjoy in the new year. Make a resolution to set time - say 15 min - every day aside just for you! Paint, write, read, think, travel (if only in your head), etc. Who loves you, make a mental list!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gelatin Printmaking

When I first moved to my present home I didn't have my press available so underwent printmaking withdrawal.
I started using gelatin plates to make monoprints as I could do this in my kitchen.
Here are some tips:
  • Use unflavored gelatin but double the amount of gelatin to water that the package states. You don't need anything but your palm to get good contact of the plate and paper.
  • The paper used for Scallops is I think Arches 88 which was the best of the stiffer papers for picking up the ink. Thinner, flexible but strong papers such as mulberry work well for gelatin plate printmaking.
Nautilus is another monoprint and as you can see you can combine gelatin printmaking with other methods such as xerox transfers. Both Scallops and Nautilus are examples of layering of inks, even with Speedball water based inks you can layer colors quite well. Because the ink dries fast you don't have to wait long to add another layer.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Intaglio Etchings - FeCl & Cu Plates

The question of wiping plates came up on WetCanvas so I was thinking about intaglio plates. I have, over the past few years, been trying to do some intaglio etchings using ferric chloride solutions and copper plates rather than the old nitric acid method with zinc that I used in college. I have had some success but I find ferric chloride more difficult to get going, the solution bites so slowly plus with the formation of bubbles on the plate you have to have the plate upside down and I haven't worked out a good way to do that. I have tried to speed the process up using Edinburgh Etch solution, but my EE solution didn't work well - it didn't seem to bite deeply into the plates. I hear I must add some copper to the solution to kickstart the EE solution, but my FeCl had already been used so it should have had copper in it. The print shown is a proof using FeCl and hard ground/line etch as well as an aquatint etch, printed using oil based ink. I made this in 2005, you think I should get to printing the edition soon? I guess I have been distracted! If you read this and have any pointers on the FeCl bite issue, please leave a comment. I had a little trouble with paragraph spacing. The Preview is different than the edit and the BLOG is different then either although I save edits so please excuse until I figure this out. Thanks. blr

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Clay Relief Etching - My History

The first clay relief etching I made and printed in 1997 in Linda Neely's workshop in CT is Trumpet Shell. Oil based Graphic Chemical (GC) inks are used, mixed with EZWipe. The plate is printed in color in a single printing. The intaglio is printed with burnt umber GC ink, the relief is a la poupee* with GC oil based inks. The same method was used on my second plate, also created during that first workshop. Scallops. Linda said this wouldn't print well as it had too much "architecture". The plate did print although it did crack under pressure of the press. I think that adds an old world flavor and I love this print. Some people believe that if prints are not identical these should be called monoprints. With new and different materials and printmaking methods the lines between what you call the method and how you number it are blurred. Hope you liked this, more to come in the future! * a la poupee means that the ink is applied to the surface of the etching plate prior to printing.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

OMG - Here I Am!!!

I am always two steps back one step forward - now that Twittering (whatever that is) is the latest thing, here I am posting a BLOG.
I hope the US contingent had a great Thanksgiving. OMG (another one) it is December 1st already. This morning the water from yesterday's rain was frozen in pools on the sidewalk. Disheartening. It is hard to believe I didn't move south when I could, but here we are in the frozen tundra for yet another winter season. Ah well, it is beautiful here up on the coast.
Please visit my Photobucket site (see links to right) and poke around. Here is one of my monoprints/chine colle' prints from a Ron Pokrasso workshop Revised Ductwork for Water Treatment: