Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Japan Relief print

I'm ready to start the Japan Relief print - I think.  Hopefully, all the layers have been thought out and will come together as the brain pictures them.  This is the drawing, which is loosely based on a greeting card image by a Yoshi Watanabe who is/was chief of business administration in the econ department at Japan's Josai University and who gave permission for his image to be used by UC Riverside.  I've tried to find a way to reach this gentlemen & asked his permission to take off from his work, but to no avail.  Well, we'll see - maybe he will materialize and I can ask and, I hope, he will say yes....  If anyone knows how to reach him, would you let me know?
Mr. Watanabe's work had cranes, where I have swans, placed a little differently, too.  One of my swans will be black, and all of Mr. W's cranes are gold.  Mr. W. had all the same flowers, where some of mine have taken on the shape of the "radioactive" icon.    Mr. W's swans and leaves are metallic gold and I hope I can do the same with mine, except for the black one, but we'll see.  They may take on a different color depending upon the luck I have with the gold powder...

So, here is the block with the image transferred:

I wanted to show you this image because I've used the  "Studio Paper" sold by McClain's.  You just print the image onto a sheet of this paper using an ink jet printer.  Then invert it and rub it lightly onto your block.  The ink sits on top of the paper long enough for you to easily make the transfer.  As you can see, every detail transfers beautifully.  No toxic chemicals were used transferring this image.  And, the best part is that you can use the sheets several times.  Just wipe the remaining ink off the paper after your transfer and it is ready to go again.  I love it.  Now, all I have to do is learn to make my own transfer paper.  I have an idea.... we'll see if it works.  Maybe tomorrow... but, now it is time to carve.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Caer & Angus

After several weeks of carving (I'm neither speedy nor tenacious) and a solid week of printing, the work for the Mythology exchange is done and ready to go into the mail and wing its way to IL.  Carving the line print on a piece of cherry plywood from McClain's was pure joy.  I think I only had one spot where a piece splintered and took off on its own and that was easily repaired with the fake wood stuff.  In addition to the line block the others were yellow, blue and red.  The final block was for embossing the swan's heads, necks, and wings.  I think it was a successful print, but I, of course, had to run into one pot hole along the road to completion.  I read David Bull's entry on embossing in the Encyclopedia at and he cautioned to dampen the block to keep the paper from slipping.  I guess I overdid the dampen part and the sumi, which had been printed the day before, blurred and ran in places of its own choosing.  Finally, I quit the dampening and had no more problems.  The paper was still damp enough from printing, I guess, that it didn't move.  I confess to cheating - I used the etching press to do the embossing.  It wasn't particularly faster, but it was a lot easier on my elbows, which is what David recommends!  He is just made of sturdier stuff than I am, and besides, he's younger.
Enough good things can't be said regarding Guerra pigment dispersions.  They are just truly fabulously fantastic.  Such nice rich colors and so very little ink used - they are amazing.
The story of Caer and Angus was told on the previous entry, so I won't repeat it here.  Here they are making beautiful music together.  Listen carefully and you may be lulled to sleep for 3 days and nights. (Or maybe just reading this entry will do that.....)