Friday, January 6, 2012

Swapping prints.

I belong to a group of printmakers and each year one member of the group selects an idea or subject , there could be a variety of choices and a vote is taken to decide on the subject. This  is to be printed by the end of January for presentation at the AGM in February. For a small fee to help the group financially members are required to print an edition of as an example 13 prints which includes the first of each  persons print going to the group's own collection. It was agreed to keep the size to A4 each year.
For as long as I am prepared to continue printing in this manner I will always collect number 8 and should I decide not to participate each year then my number goes to someone else. As we break for two months over the Christmas period it is good to have something to work on and to keep the hand in.

Our first swap , year 2009.

Printbank Mackay Inc. first swap collection and edition of ten. Portraits was the chosen subject and I eagerly awaited for my collection and it is interesting to see so many different styles and mark marking.

YEAR 2010

First bundle for year 2010
My subject choice was voted in this year so I decided to present them with a challenge of sorts.  Naturally the size was to be adhered to but colour's and medium were a free choice of the printer.
To help create interest I limited them to three objects from the kitchen only with my choosing one item that was to be included somewhere  with the other two as their own choice. My choice was a grater as  I like the shape and every possibility of texture could be applied. I have photographed these in three bundles due to more participating.

Bundle two and it is nice to see plenty of colour.

The final two for this year.

YEAR 2011
First bundle.

This year tree trunks was the voted subject and once again great one for texture. So many different shapes to trees as well.

Final few for trees. I like the colours , shapes and the embossing on some is a nice touch.

And for year 2012 we are all working on a tribute to Margaret Olley. More on that later.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A brayer has two uses.

In response to a question of how I apply ink to the plate here is I hope some helpful information.
I have set out the tools etc in an effort to make it a bit easier to follow.I thought it might be better to approach it from a "starting point".

A variety of spatulas  or palette knives for smoothing the ink on the glass plate.

Two brayers I use a lot. These two are strictly for inking the plate as I have an older one for "printing".

Three tools I can use to print with. Left to right ,my brayer for home printing, top right a proper baren metal base and lower front a bamboo baren. It depends on the paper quality and weight which one I use . For Japanese or lightweight paper I use either one of the other two and heavier paper  (like photocopy, cartridge drawing paper and lightweight Fabranio papers)  I use the brayer as I can get more pressure with it. I do have the use of  friends press for exhibition pieces.

The glass palte , from an old unsed fridge! any glass will do so long as it it reasonably thick similar to plate glass available from recycling centres.

From left to right ink, bottle of burnt oil for thinning the ink, in very small amounts while mixing on the glass plate. Talum powder can be added if too oily and runny to thicken the ink, again adding very small amounts to get concistency right. Vegetable oil to clean everything , knives, plate, glass, brayer  etc. with newspaper followed by a clean cloth. Some times I do a final clean down with turps but I like that the oil keeps materials soft.

Palette knife ready to spread and smooth the ink prior to inking the plate.

This what to expect your brayer to look like when you start picking up the ink.

A fully loaded brayer with ink. Listen for the soft whisper as you roll the brayer if it sounds heavy and feels sticky and forms little peaks as it rolls it's too thick.

Inking the plate in layers of ink and taking care not to overload the ink as it will fill the grooves which will print as white.Make sure the plate is covered evenly and corner to corner, edge to edge depending on your design.

The end result and this plate is showing cuts in the lino and a piece of cotton thread glued onto it which will print differently to the cut line. Because the thread is raised it will pick up the ink off the brayer and prints with a white edge around it rather than a fine white line with a nice sharp black outline. I haven't printed this plate .