Sunday, October 5, 2014

Lino Printing Day

My cluttered work space made even more cluttered with fresh prints!

My day job makes it rather difficult to keep up with the lino printing, or anything else, really. Sometimes, though, you've got to put your foot down - and so I've designated today Lino Printing Day (I've been meaning to get to these for a month now...and is it wrong of me to be singing "Lino Printing Day" to the tune of "Weasel Stomping Day" from Robot Chicken? I want you to know I wholeheartedly disapprove of weasel stomping). 

Then perhaps next weekend I can work on something new, Hoorah! Sometimes the fact that I know I need to make more lino prints prevents me from starting something else...a bit of human psychosis I can acknowledge but can't seem to work around. Brains are strange things. 

Today I will print from four already established blocks. I begin by setting up all of my inking "plate" (a sheet of acetate), a tube of printmaking ink, a brayer (roller), pre-cut mulberry paper, my "baren", a damp towel and screen to help keep the ink from drying out, and of course the blocks I intend to print.

The ink is rolled out on the acetate so that it is in an extremely thin layer. The consistency of the ink matters greatly, if it isn't right I will end up with ink caked into the lines or the print will be too spotty. A little spottiness is normal, however, and gives the prints a nice "vintage" feel (like a well worn design on a T-shirt).

The ink is rolled out in thin layers onto the lino block using a brayer. 

The block is then placed firmly on the paper, so the ink sticks a little. Then it gets flipped.

Using a "baren" (my baren is a rounded plastic magnet - by far the best thing I have ever used for this purpose), I rub the paper into the block to transfer the ink from block to paper. I have used a real baren and a press before, but find this method gets the best results for me, perhaps because I consistently work on such a small scale.

...slowly peel the paper off the block...

...and here's the Peat Weasel taking a nap next to the butterfly magnet that serves as baren. The only thing left to do now is to stamp it in red ink with my signature seal.

And this is the real Peat Weasel. Photo courtesy of J. Peat Weasel has the right idea, it's time to be lazy now.

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