Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Camera Crippled!

This whole not having a camera around to document what I'm doing is driving me nuts! Poor little camera wants so bad to take a picture but alas his little mechanism is broken so he just clicks and clicks photos of black. My mom did what all moms do and is insisting that I use HER camera in its place... except for the fact that she has no idea where the USB cable ran off too. She just pops the memory card into her printer slot. We tried that but for some reason it won't register in my husbands printer and I just don't feel like playing network tag every time I want to blog. Luckily, seedy New Jersey is there for me and a hot little USB cable is on it's way to me from Ebay. Anyways, I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to update you guys on the Limulus block because it's turning out nicely but alas we must await the arrival of the cable.

Although my camera is out of commission, my scanner is not! I have a total of 22 drawings to complete for stage two of the Limulus print (whew!) and I am learning things about trilobites that I didn't think I would even need to but soak up I shall! (I have since learned that my rendering of trilobite legs in my future watercolor is all wrong AND I need to add two antennae!) Above is an example of creature from the Corynexochida family. It looks more like your "average" trilobite except for the half moon fused shell on his rump. It's kind of like the curvature of an old WWII American soldier helmet.

Through most of my drawing trilobites I notice that a face shield is what comes natural when rendering these animals. This is guy from the Harpetida family is pretty much all helmet! I would usually find a lot of varieties within the families and only choosing two from each is hard but pretty much all the members in this family look like this which is probably the reason this will be the only Harpetida member you will find in the final Limulus print. Something about the shape reminds me of a Trojan helmet.

Remember WWII Helmet Butt? Yeah, this is a distant cousin from the same family. This seems to be the "catfish" in the family. Its wide angle face spread out like an old vacuum cleaner and three prominent whiskers leaning back over it. The rump has shrunk and grown a feathery tail feather that shifts with the currents of the waters.
Zach asked me what kind of wood the Limulus print would be and what kind of ink I was going to use. I think the label at Home Depot said "Cheap ass shit you ought to know better than to buy but you're broke as a joke so buy it anyway". Seriously, I have no idea (don't remember!) but it sure carves crappily. I have to constantly be aware of the grain and the finished places receive a total of three wood glue washes if not more just to shore everything up. I took a proof on a different carving that I'm using the same wood with and it seems to print okay so I'm just crossing my fingers!
About the ink, it's going to be printed Moku Hanga style and I'm going to try using ink made from dirt from my back yard and ashes from my sister's wood stove to make a chocolate colored ink. It will be interesting because my dirt is a heavy iron oxide. I need a hot day to cook out the microorganisms and so far that isn't happening so we'll see.


Annie B said...

Sorry to hear about your camera, but wow those trilobites!! I sympathize with your carving trials. I often contemplate buying plywood at my local lumber store in the interest of saving some money, but I keep chickening out cuz of the glue and voids issue. My last batch of shina was far from perfect, though...

Pistoles Press said...

Shina....imperfect? Hmmmm...that's too bad. What was wrong with it?