Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pleasant deflections

The best laid plans ....  I had intended to split this term into two lots of five weeks: first working on the polyester plates, and the second pursuing my experiments with carborundum.  The first week went to plan, and then somehow I was deflected onto embarking onto a monotype exercise in the second week.
I had already prepared something in case I was not able to work on the litho press in the first week.  Having done some intaglio trials with carborundum last term I wanted to try out relief experiments.  I had had some success with stencils and monotypes with perspex plates previously (as the example below),
so thought that I would try that approach again.  I prepared a piece of perspex with mix 4.  This time I used a fine sandpaper to prepare the perspex surface so that the carborundum mix would stick better.  I also drew a body outline of which I cut several stencils - this time I used a thicker paper, almost a card to cut out the shapes, because the inked roller can destroy the paper shape in just one roll.  This thicker paper in its turn may have caused further 'interesting' effects!
Where in previous uses of an outline shape the ink has been kept away on the initial roll, this time the presence of the carborundum mix kept the stencil up also, and thus the ink did not roll on evenly as I wanted.  I could have stopped, and gone back to thinner paper, and cut out another stencil - but I just wanted to see what I could do with the materials I had to hand.  I decided to use the stencil as a guide for hand-drawn lines - and because it was to be of a figure in water, that seemed perfectly OK as an idea to me.
I used the shape as an outline for removal of ink, and for the addition of another colour with a brush where there was carborundum - the brush used as for traditional stencilling.  This was all experimental after all.  The results varied, and I am happier with some more than others, but collage is largely what I do, so everything has potential!
In this second one, I was particularly pleased with the effect of the roller offsetting the ink from the carborundum area.  I always think that if I find myself in a position where things are not working the way I initially largely expected, then I should try different things just to see how they turn out.  I keep a notebook of all of this with illustrations, so that I can return if I want to duplicate (or attempt to duplicate) an effect.
Then came the second deflection towards lino printing.  Well, I have never formally been taught, and the new teacher was keen to teach, so I thought - why not.  Especially as there is now a new material which makes the cutting so much easier.  It is Japanese vinyl and is incredibly subtle - also one can use both sides of the block to make two plates of the same size.  You will have to wait to see the results as I am still cutting, which means that I shall not be printing until next week, and not pick up the prints until the week following!  Long drawn out process this, but I am after used to that.
This all keeps me sufficiently busy to be too disappointed in not being chosen this time for Quilt National 2013.  I am delighted for those whose blogs I read who have been chosen.

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