Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 18 - Of the Sea

A little different post for today. I was busy yesterday pulling some prints from some of my linoleum blocks, and thought I would post a few shots of the process. 

First, and the most time consuming element is setting up the table where I print. I have a big piece of glass where the ink gets rolled out, and needs to be super clean from contaminants. Then there is a soaking tray for the paper, and all the necessary tools: brayer, baren, spoon and ink.

Since I am poor, and don't have access to a press, I print everything by hand (which is more of the traditional Japanese woodblock printing process as well).

I roll the ink out on the glass, making sure to coat the brayer with an even amount of ink, and then gently roll the ink onto the block. It takes a few goes to make sure the block has an even coat, covering all raised areas. Next, I take a damp piece of printing paper, position the block directly in the center, and lay the paper down on top. Then, I use the brayer, and spoon, and rub the back of the paper to transfer the ink. If all goes according to plan, the plate doesn't jump around, and there is the correct pressure and amount of ink, the image will transfer to the paper.

Linoleum on Paper

When carving the block, I also have to keep in mind that the image will be reversed. So, if I carve a wave for instance that is a right on the block, it will magically be a left. And I don't like that, since I am regular foot. So all waves I carve are lefts, which turn into rights in printing. 

And, after a short while, this print press churns out a stack of little beauties.

Keep in mind this is the quick and dirty version. Its a very detailed and tedious process, and I even struggle with making prints that are consistent with each other.

Linoleum Print on Gampi
3x4" pictured

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