Saturday, 29 March 2014

second time around

A massive printmaking session this past week saw me going back to various pieces of work first created a couple of years ago.  I recently put some cards based on my piece Signs into the repository (shop) at my church (along with a couple of other designs), so I needed to make some more to sell at the various fairs and exhibitions coming up.

another card-making session . . .
© Teresa Newham
While I was about it, I decided to make some more prints of Signs  itself.  I'd previously made four separate prints and collated them in a mount but to make things a bit easier I hacked off part of the lino round two of the edges of each plate so that I could fit the four of them together to make the artwork, and still be able to use them separately for card-making:

the lino blocks for 'Signs' - newly trimmed to fit together!
© Teresa Newham
For the first time I was making the black-and-white cards and prints using black Caligo Safe Wash relief ink. The results  were excellent, as long as I managed to modify the ink correctly with tack reducer and Safewash Oil!  And I managed to position them in the right place so that they came out in the same order as the original, too:

'Signs' printed up as one piece
© Teresa Newham
Next I turned my attention to my most popular linocuts - the two Winter Birds.   Given my struggle the last time I tried to print them up with a background, I thought I'd be more scientific the second time around; so I part-inked each of the two plates with yellow . . . .


Winter Birds: part-inking a plate for registration . . .
© Teresa Newham
. . . which produced a ghostly image showing me where the background ought to be.  I should come clean right now and explain that if I was printing these properly, I would have made a background plate for each bird at the outset (ie two years ago), thus avoiding all this malarkey.  Another lesson learned . . . !

. . . which gives the ghost of an outline
© Teresa Newham
Next, I cut out a paper mask to fit  around the the outline, plus another circle of paper for the moon.  Then I prepared some red and yellow ink, rollering them together on the inking glass so that they blended in the middle, and applied the ink direct to the masked-out paper:

some backgrounds in need of a bird . . .
© Teresa Newham 
The next step was to print the first bird in black on top of its background.  The registration has worked OK for three out of the four, and even the one on the wonk isn't too bad (I need to keep at least one for reference purposes anyway!!).

. . . . which ended up looking like this!
© Teresa Newham
I did the same for the other bird, using yellow and blue ink.   One I can't use, because the colours are upside down and the moon got printed over when its mask moved during the rollering.  And the main mask moved slightly on the other three; next time, I will make the mask out of heavier paper, or thin card.  Yet another lesson . . . ! Still, I'm really pleased with the colours, and a bit of judicious mounting will conceal any blurred edges.

a different colourway for the other bird
© Teresa Newham
Now, of course, my house is full of drying prints.  And at last the weather is improving.  Just as well, because at this rate I think I'm going to have to start drying prints off in the garage!


2 comments:

  1. The Signs look really good as one block and the colours on the birds are hauntingly beautiful. Fascinating technique.

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  2. Thanks, it's relatively simple to do and really effective. Something I can build on!

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