Sunday, 18 May 2014

Unit X Post 6

Printing Lengths
Printing first length on the Columbian press
Second length drying - busy at the bottom, more minimal at the top
Third length on the bed of the press - printing over blocked off circles
I thought about making a wallpaper book to show samples for the degree show, but I decided that I wouldn’t be able to show the different layouts I have tried in such a small space.  For the degree show I am aiming to have 3 floor to ceiling samples with around 8-10 variations on these prints to accompany them.  Some will incorporate more or less elements than others, some busy and others less so.  

blocks with ink/no ink
I have found it extremely challenging to join the blocks up perfectly every time.  It is a really delicate process placing the block on the paper, there is only one chance to get it right, because of this every print is slightly different in the way it joins and the thickness of the ink sometimes varies.  I tend to be a perfectionist by nature and I am learning to embrace the imperfections that come with this hand process, I have been gradually realising that the quirks and imperfections that happen along the way are all part of it and only add to the handmade feel.

Tools used to hammer, scratch and mark the wood to build areas of texture
working on side of cupboard

Working on this carving alongside printing my other blocks has been satisfying; I have really enjoyed it because it has been more like working on a painting or drawing, building areas of texture.  It has felt more immediate and there has been the opportunity to be more flexible, I was less worried about keeping it as precise as my other carvings.  I will be using a burnishing technique to take a print from this carving, the same process I saw Merlyn Chesterman demonstrating at Art in Action in Oxfordshire.  She vigorously rubs the paper onto the print to pick up the ink with the back of a wooden spoon or her Japanese bamboo burnisher.

Merlyn Chesterman burnishing her large lime woodcut

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