Monday, February 22, 2010

Finished Squids

Scanners never seem to do some images any justice and of course this scan doesn't really portray the soft blue glow of dots when viewed from some angles but I'm posting about the completion of my Bioluminescent Squid edition. I did the last run this past saturday and dusted the prints. The photo below better describes the effect of the interference powder.

Also finished and flourished with my asian chops are the Anti-Squids!

There was a flurry of activity at VABC this past saturday. There is a Vandercook press that is getting worked on and Garrett had all his tools out to do the job. It was neat to see the inside guts of the machine.

Josef was pulling some etchings off of a really neat material he found. There were no acid baths necessary. Everything was done in dry point and he did some really beautiful proofs of a gnarled and winding pine tree, a sitting bear, and this wonderful mushroom seen here.

Not pictured was Frank who was busily sketching at a nearby table. It's nice to work with peers on similar ventures. You can take breaks from printing to see what everyone else is up to!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Balizoma Prints

This stony faced fellow is another in my trilobite series. His name is Balizoma and I printed him up this afternoon. I carved him one orientation on the block and then decided at the last minute to print him up another way. I hope it will create more interest in the final image when I add in the letterpress.
I got lazy saturday night and ended up paying for it today. I dampened the paper with my misting bottle instead of waiting for my dosa brush to soak. When I went to check the paper before printing it was dishearteningly warm. The was JUST enough water (we're probably talking microns here) to allow for a print run but I was still chasing the paper with misted newsprint and holding my breath when burnishing. Since I print on my desktop upstairs now, the upper part of the house is warm and dry in the winter and just breathing on the paper while printing (when it is this dry) can dry it out. They came out okay in the end but I learned my lesson and will be patient enough to use my dosa brush next time.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Parade of Ghosts

This past friday saw the completion of the last reduction run for the bioluminescent squid. I did not have time to do the anti-squid but he will catch up soon enough. I would like to complete them in their entirety next weekend but I'm not sure they will be dry enough. The above picture is in VABC as I was pulling them off the Vandercook. I let them cure like that for about 8 hours and then came in to take them down to make room for another potential artist to hang. I was thinking about stringing a line of clothespins at home upstairs so that they can cure for a few days in the air. There are a total of 4 reduction layers of ink on there and it must be completely dry before I do the last pass of tintbase with luminescent powder or everything will turn iridescent. Pretty but not the desired effect.

Here is one of the squids hanging to dry. The registration holes are taped to the back with easy remove tape. To make it "easier" I carved the registration pins into the block and once they were finished and I was heavy into carving and printing the reduction work, maybe they did make registration less painful. But they were a pain in the butt to carve. I'll probably begin the Bioluminescent Octopus print and use the regular registration pin jig and with I had hand carved them instead. LOL!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Spots and Templates

Snow in the wilderness is a beautiful thing. Snow in the wilderness with adult obligations such as a day job, lack of a wood stove, an untrustworthy heater/power source, and a looming deadline for show.....I'll have to think of an appropriate word for that...when I have time.
Complaints aside, spots are done! Here we have one spotted squid suit ready for the final run of the reduction process. After that comes the pretty tint base and interference powder dusting and then both the bioluminescent squid AND the anti-squid are done!! It will be nice to add two new editions of work to the completion list and feel a sense of victory. Finding perfect frames only enhances the experience!
In other pursuits, I'm cutting a special jig for the letterpress on my Harpetida print. The poem talks about our little specimen basking in the warm shallows on an afternoon four hundred and sixteen million years ago. I wanted to print up the text in waves that lap past its shell. I kind of wish there weren't seven waves to cut but I'll just hang out with my little jig saw and a hot cup of tea one afternoon and get it done like always. I just know it will print up great. I also found some stars to accent the type and it will be really beautiful to see it all done!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Closing in

The skin patches on my squid continue to spread like an infection down the length of the color block. My poor little gouge is starting to tell me more and more that honing is not enough anymore. I keep telling it that if it holds out until the end of squid's little tentacles I will sit down with the water stones for a proper session of blade restoration. This carving is tedious but not as bad as the first block done with teeny tiny spots. The larger spots make for faster coverage. It's nice to sit back sometimes and survey the progress one has made with carving. Now to rest the eyeballs before trotting off to the day job...