I'm ready to print!
In case I haven't said it before, I really love printmaking. I find the physicality involved in so many aspects of making a print really rewarding. The only problem is I don't have a press at home and I love making things at home.
laying out the paper
I've been doing printmaking off and on for years, but I decided I wanted to hone my knowledge so I'm taking an introductory level printmaking course at City College of San Francisco. While my sketches are amateur, I'm loving it and yesterday we went over lino carving. Being mainly a letterpress printer, I have a particular fondness for relief printing, plus, you can carve lino blocks and print them by hand at home.
pressing the plate
I decided I just had to try it today. So, after I finished studying for my French test, I set to work carving a 4x6 inch block based on a photo I had taken of my birthday cake. After about two hours of carving (hey, I'm new at this) I had a block that was ready to print.
Luckily, I had some water soluble (aka super easy to clean) block printing ink at home from a previous lino carving endeavour (which ended when I put a carving tool through my finger), and one of those bamboo covered pads similar to what they use in traditional Japanese block printing.
3 semi-successful test prints
I quickly realized that humans are not presses, getting good, even pressure is not easy. After 3 partially successful prints on thicker paper stock, I switched to the trusty, text weight Mohawk Superfine and finally got a good print.
yay, a good print!
While my drawing skills may still need some more work, I have to say, I am thrilled with this new process and quite proud of my work!
ink roller and plate