Thursday, December 21, 2017

We're Not Done With Christmas Yet

Back to the Studio today to continue work on the cards.  Had a few ink knives this time, so I was confident of getting some ink from the can to work with.  I had three pieces of paper the correct size, bristol board left over from my 3D class, where we used it in some constructions as part of different projects at both colleges I had taught it.

Bristol board is a relatively stiff paper, which gives it the strength to function almost three dimensionally, and I have used heavy stiff papers for my cards because I want them to feel like standard commercial greeting cards.  I'm sure there are differences between different brands and types, and I have no idea who manufactured the sheet I cut up.  The pieces still had a hint of the curve from being rolled up the day before.  Stiff and somewhat slick.

Got out a small pile of ink, and worked it with the knife to warm it up a bit.  The block rolled up nicely, showing all the detail I had carved yesterday.  Tried printing the first one, but not so good- the paper shifted on the small block.  The second piece did the same, as did the third piece.  Cut another chunk into three more pieces, plus added a previously cut piece of paper from another year.  Fourth attempt still not good.  Fifth attempt was still not usable.  Each time what was happening was in the vigorous process of hand rubbing the block, the paper would shift slightly, resulting in a double printing, smearing, or other such problems, making the unsuitable for cards.  Small piece of paper, small block of wood, very little space to hold it in place.  Softer and/or thinner paper would print much easier, but wouldn't work as a card, and in any case, this was the only paper I had with me today.  My best solution was to use push pins to anchor the other side of the card to the wood block and then to start the process of hand rubbing.  And it seemed to work.  At the end of the session I had two usable prints of the card from image.  Cleaned up my mess, and brought all the cards home.  The blurry versions I will use to experiment with colors (brought my watercolors home, too) and two good ones that can serve as the one that I photograph for the blog in a few days.  After I am done with school tomorrow, I can think about paper options.  Have other print papers left over from my summer class- maybe one will work.


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