Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Print Work

Most of the time I am making prints that I want to make, and I have devoted a lot of time in recent years to teaching, whether it be in a college classroom or in a workshop. But once in a while it is straight art for cash, using my skills to make a profit.  That could be commissioned work, or it could be pure labor.  Today was more the latter.  My most loyal student's oldest friend hired me to produce an edition of relief prints, pulled from linoleum plates.  The plates, paper, ink, and a press were provided.  The rest was to come from me.  

I've done this kind of thing before.  Several years ago a college student hired me to pull editions of 4 blocks (lino, wood, and MDF) for a show she had coming but due to an injury would be unable to do the task. At first she wanted large editions of each, then I explained to her what it would cost to make all those  prints, and it became 7 of each.  Since a press would speed that up, I brought Molly onto the project, which resulted in her getting almost half the money, but we got it done in a single day.  This time it was only 3 each of two linoleum plates, and I did it at the home of a former student who lived in Bradley Beach, and was able to have her small press moved downstairs.  Molly was not involved.   A price was negotiated with the artist, and a date negotiated with my student.

Today was the day.  I had my printmaking go bag sorted and in the car, and got up there on time.  She had everything ready, and air conditioning, which is very important today, as we are in a bit of a heat wave right now.  I started by making a template, a large sheet of paper on which I marked the size and shapes of the paper and plates, to make it easier to line everything up consistently, which is expected with editions.  Paper was sorted and marked.  Mary had a new can of Outlaw Black, a quality oil ink I have worked with before.  One thing I wasn't sure of was the paper.  It was a Japanese paper, with one side very smooth, and one more natural.  Which side to print on?  No clue given.  I decided to go with the inside of the roll, which was the smooth side.  I didn't like it, so I tried one on the rougher side.  Liked that better and decided to go that way.  Just then the friend called and I was able to ask her.  She said she didn't care. Rough it would be.

So we ended up with 4 copies of the first print.  Later prints went much faster, as the block had a bit of ink on it from the earlier prints.  Then we jumped into the 2nd print.  As with the first one, that first proof was the toughest.   The second was better, but the paper had shifted ever so slightly at initial application, and I decided it didn't meet the standards.  I had prepared 6 sheets of print paper, which we had used to that point.  My assistant was getting tired, and my back was starting to tire, so we decided to clean up and call it a day.  I took most stuff home, but left a few things there, as well as all her stuff.  Two more prints  to go. We have no real deadline here, so waiting a few more days won't hurt.  Driving home it was so hot I did something unusual- I actually put on my car's air conditioner.

Also got news that her friend may be coming back. She lives in Portland, which is having an even worse heat wave than we are, like 115 degrees and up, and no one has an air conditioner.  Her family put her up in a hotel, but it might be cheaper to fly back here and hang out with her friend in NJ.  Meanwhile, I'll set up another date to finish this one that is started.  No photo available today, as my camera is probably still in storage.  I'll try to come up with something for the next print session.  


Post a Comment

<< Home