Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Farm People in Ink

Well, the print came out well but the journey there was hell. In shopping around, I decided to support Graphic Chemical as opposed to just an "art" store. What I'm about to say will amount to a fluke in production that is not related Graphic Chemical as a company, rather, shame on Speedball. I transferred a few of my drawings onto lino-blocks and began cutting away at the work horse one. While carving, I began to get a funny sensation when I carved in certain areas. It didn't take long before I would start to hear a fibrous pulling sound when revisiting these areas. I stopped carving and held my block up to eye level so I could see the sides. Sure enough, there were little dark gaps riddling the burlap layer around the entire perimeter of the block. I tugged at the sides and both ends of linoleum popped up from the block. The middle remained somewhat fixed to the block but in hind site I should have pulled the whole thing off. I was afraid to at the time because I wasn't sure I could get it registered on the block right. Apparently, there was too little glue laid down to adhere the linoleum to the wood. In some places, there was simply none. I slathered the ends with wood glue and let it rest under some books for a day before I resumed carving.
My original intent was to use these sets of blocks to print on the blank sides of envelopes. Why oh why did I ever come up with that idea. Trying to set that up on the pilot was a nightmare. (Anyone who has ever run a platen press will tell you that they hate broad areas of pigment and they hate multiple layers of opposing paper.... like envelopes.) Anytime I would go to print the layers would hazily read through the image. I had three options: 1. unfold a few hundred envelopes, print, then re-glue 2. adhere tiny registration tabs to a few hundred envelopes and then run them through my hand roll Vandy 3. abandon the project for the moment and just do a straight collectible print edition. Option 3 was looking better and better since unfolding and re-gluing a few hundred envelopes was hardly worth 1.50 an envelope and I'm not even going to address hand rolling and registration tabs on that one. In the end, a lot of sweet talk to the Pilot press yielded my Work Horse in print. And, boy, did he make me work for it. Now I'm going to go enjoy a nice hot cup of cocoa with creme de menthe.


Ellen Shipley said...

This is great. ;-] I love your horse critters.

Eli Griggs said...

I like this image, it reminds me of 'heroic' workers posters made last century in this country and in Eastern Europe, especially in light the recent talk of new public works projects.


Zach VanDeHey said...

Freaking awesome image!