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.