Saturday, 14 July 2018

Oh my darling . . . !

reduction linocut by Teresa Newham

Like so many linocuts, it started with a photo - of my friends' chicken, in their back yard in Kerry.  And like so many photos, it sat on my work bench (and rattled around in my mind) for several months before I even put the design onto paper.

source photo and workings out
© Teresa Newham

I was trying to work out how to do it.  I decided there would be five colours, but five full layers of ink simply wouldn't dry properly unless I could hang the prints up for several weeks in between each one. I thought I might be able to speed things up by printing two of the layers partially.

initial cut
© Teresa Newham

There were other new ways of working to consider - I've abandoned the bench hook in favour of non slip rug liner and invested in a new registration device from Laura Boswell - so it all felt rather experimental. It was a relief when I finally had a dozen partial prints in blue drying in the studio.

the blue base layer
© Teresa Newham

The yellow was easily printed as a full layer with the registration device, the lino now secured in position on the base board with double sided carpet tape to keep it from moving around. I soon got used to cutting the lino on the board.

adding the yellow . . .
© Teresa Newham

I printed the red as another partial layer, although the narrow roller I used turned out not to be quite narrow enough.  With the best will in the world I couldn't help but go over some edges while I was working, so a lot of wiping went on . . .

. . . and a little red
© Teresa Newham

Being a full layer, the brown was again straightforward, and I was getting quite excited as I now had a dozen well-registered prints of four colours, all of which looked remarkably like a chicken. What could possibly go wrong this late in the day? I was about to find out.

printing the brown with the registration device
© Teresa Newham

To my horror the lino moved on the base board while I was cutting the black layer. Perhaps carpet tape doesn't suit soft cut lino, or maybe my tools weren't sharp enough to cut without dragging.  I spoiled several prints while getting the registration back, so the final edition totals an exclusive seven prints - one of which I'm keeping for myself!

the completed edition
© Teresa Newham

1 comment:

  1. I think this is just brilliant and our friend loved his copy for his 70th birthday!