Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Fever Dream part 18


We got my father up and out to vote by late morning, and were back home by noon.  So my parents decided to go out shopping, and I decided to take advantage of the day to get to the Studio and pull a proof of my new block.  I had determined that I had materials and tools for printing so it was just a matter of loading them in my car and taking off.

I got up there about quarter after 2, giving me a few hours to work on it.  First proofs are always the most difficult, as I believe the wood absorbs a bit of ink on that first attempt.  I had multiple cans of ink, but I decided to go with the Outlaw Black.   I knew from experience that it's a bit stiff, kind of like a litho ink, but it gives a very dense black and picks up lots of detail. It was a brand new can, unopened but probably a few years old, yet once I cut through the top layer, the ink itself was just what I expected.  I did spend a bit of time working it to loosen it a little, but that is what this ink always needs.

I had brought my larger book of discs today, and from that selected a copy of an album by Hobex, a project from Greg Humphries (best known for his time in the alternative rock band Dillon Fence) that was a very traditional soul/R&B band.  I don't have access to the original disc anymore, but I do know it was called U Ready, Man? and seems to be an hour of people singing and playing instruments, as it used to be.  I have this album because one song, "Baby's Gone Away", got a lot of airplay on Brookdale's radio station when it was new, and that was good enough to check out the album and eventually buy it.  When that ended, I went with another traditional soul/R&B album, 100 Days 100 Nights by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, which I wrote about back in June, 2019.  

I had torn a half sheet of Rives Lightweight in half, which I had measured would be large enough for the new block, giving me paper for two prints.  As I inked the block, I liked what I saw.  The black was deep and enhanced the drawing as I expected.  Then I put on a sheet of paper and tried to hand rub a print, but there wasn't much ink on the paper. Unfortunately, that was also expected, that first proof thing. So I had to spend a lot of time re-inking, so that the resulting print would look as good as the block had.  Eventually it did, but it took about 2 hours to complete.  If the print was perfect, I'd be tempted to pull a second copy right away, but I could see there were some flaws in the block cutting, enough that I will want to do a little more cutting before I print it again.  There are a few chunks of wood that were missed originally, and not noticed until I rolled some ink on there.  As Molly had predicted, the fire turned out quite well, however the castle they were engulfing needs more cutting. I expect a little more cutting within Tinkerbell, and a few lines to better define the helicopter nurses, though I do like the effect of the dark uniforms.  I will let the block dry for a few days before I try that.  I did blot it before I went home, which should speed the process.  Meanwhile, I brought the proof home to study.

Since I still don't have my old camera, or a replacement yet, I have taken a number of photos of it using my phone, but I still haven't figured out how to get those photos from my phone to my computer.  When I do, you can see what this thing looks like, from the pencil drawings to the final print, but for now you'll just have to be satisfied with my words.


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