Sunday, September 11, 2011

More Old Business

Another task on my list for a while now was to pull a full size properly inked proof of my smoking block. The hurricane set everything back a bit, and I don't need this for any immediate upcoming show, but I did want to have it to show at our next critique group, and that will be tomorrow. I had bought some large heavy western print paper (don't remember what exactly what type, but about 50"x 38") about a year ago specifically for this purpose and have stored it in the Studio ever since.

I was there for about 5 hours overall, though that time included bringing back some of my mat cutting supplies, eating lunch, and an investigation into a burning smell (microwave popcorn in the ceramics studio) that had filled the building. I cleared my table and put out the block, long dry from the last printing. I made a few minor trims along the shoulder/neck area, to help the value separate a little better from the window behind her. Basic inking took about an hour, and a little more time for taping. Since I didn't have a lot of margin for error in placing the paper (only 2 inches longer than the block itself), I used tape marks to measure paper placement. I rolled the page out over the inked block- not perfect, but good enough. Printing was a bit more difficult. Heavy stiff papers have the advantage that they don't pick up as many stray marks in the rubbing process, but they do require more ink and more physical exertion. Just about all of it need some re-inking, but there was enough ink on the block to begin with that the paper stayed in place as I lifted one side or corner after another, over and over. Just as the Giants game was about to begin, I pulled the proof off the block.

I had to fix a few flaws related to the block itself, and did some minor touch up, but otherwise the print looked just as it should. There's a little bit of grain mark showing in the solid black areas, but I don't mind that in these large figure pieces- this is a woodcut after all.

I hung it up on the tack wall to dry, which is also a good place to display it for the purposes of tomorrow's critique group. After that I cleaned up and headed home.


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