Sunday, May 20, 2012

A short experiment.

Today I decided to expand on the last post with a short experiment printing the reverse side of the wethertex woodblock used in the workshop. Not wanting to cut into it yet I inked it with two brayers
and two colours and applying light and heavy layers of ink.
This is the reverse side of the woodblock free of ink.

I like the two colours I mixed and it has possibilities for future use as a background or in collage.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Woodblock Workshop with Jill.

A small group of five ladies united for this workshop. Jill travelled from Townsville ,about a four hour drive north of Mackay to conduct the two days .

 We started at ten am both mornings and worked through until 3.30 at least before cleaning up to go home. I went home very happy with my efforts , I had muddled around with woodblocks at home previously but it was great to have a professional "on hand". Everyone had either a drawing prepared or at best an idea to work with. Books on printmaking were readily available to peruse while enjoying a break. Stories about our experiences and information was swapped as we worked alongside each other.

Jill describing many ways on using the Wethertex woodblock. Apparently it is made in Tasmania ,the only place in Australia to manufacture it. It can be used inside or outside the home. One side is smooth and the other was in it's natural state re texture which you can work both sides.I have wondered about a pin press and had researched it in the internet and there it is in the foreground. Very good tool for printing on fine papers and it will give you a bit of a workout too! Getting the pressure right for each type of paper is essential for a good print.
Another new experience was the use of the Dremel, an electric drill and Jill is demonstrating it here. I
found it to be a very concentrated exercise and the use of a mask is advised , you know the usual "drill" for health and safety. Different types of drill bits will produce varying marks/lines and handy to have around especially for large areas.
My drawing on the first block. It was of a local creek I had visited years ago and thought it would give me the chance to develop different marks.

The "nest" for the woodblock to sit in to be printed. The block needs to be supported in this way so that the pin press has an even surface to roll over. The paper of course is laid carefully over the top and a gentle but very firm pressure applied to the pin press, working from all sides and checking as you go. (This is where you get your workout).
Printing with the pin press.
My first pull of the creek and now I can make changes to the plate.
After discussing this print with Jill I cut more out of the creek. I was pleased that I had thought to not cut too much away in the first cutting as this gave me the chance to change the image.The image was growing on me a bit more now as I am not a landscape artists. 
This is the print from the changed block, much nicer!!


I took the block home on Saturday night and changed it yet again by cutting away the small rock in the right hand front corner (of the block) and accidently removed a part of the larger rock too! Oh well , it happens... I do like this and can now handpaint the creek with watercolour in the next edition run. I could make the block as a jigsaw too but I managed to ink the whole block using two rollers.
Sunday 's effort.
Being one who likes still life I had this next image drawn up ready in case I didn't like the creek image, nothing like being prepared.....Ther block is very easy to draw on with pencil and easily erased with an eraser if need be.
Second drawing for Sunday's session. I started cutting a border around it early Sunday morning as had to work out my light next to dark routine.
Partly cut block for Sunday which I finished in the morning.This particulr woodblock has a tendacy to chip so the reverse side wouldn't have that problem as it doesn't have a coating but you would need to work with it's texture.

We all feel in love with this particular colour, apparently the ink is 40 years old and is called champagne ink whic is very silky to use , a bit thicker than what I am used to using so another skill was learnt to be more light handed.I like this block and has future potential too.
Sunday mid-afternoon playtime.I had pine block so played around with that and to use up the excess ink we enjoyed  playing with our blocks on brown paper. This is on white and have definate ideas about this image. In the end my style of cutting was more suited to the pine block  than the wetherboard as I like the clean cuts in produces as with lino.