Thursday, July 23, 2015

Experiments (printmaking)

I have been experimenting with a couple of images printed from two sides of a block of vinyl.  The first is Scary story - here is the block before I decided to carve away the hair.
I have been experimenting with printing on different papers, mostly tissue, either altered by me, or pre-printed, as in gift wrappings.
Below I've printed on this last: a white and silver unobtrusive floral pattern, which I think worked rather well.  I have used this tissue before, and like the way it takes the ink.  I also pasted the tissue onto black khadi paper so that the silver shines - unfortunately not visible in scanned reproduction.
I have also been experimenting with using digitally printed patterns which I have designed.  I made the background the wrong size in the one below, but went ahead with the trial anyway - not only because I wanted to see how the ink sat on the paper (I used printable lokta paper), but I liked the idea of her hair extending beyond the background.
I also like to try out different papers - such as scrunched up and then ironed brown wrapping paper.  Although it does not work with this print, I do like the effect of the ink on the scrunch edges, and would consider using it with a larger scale shape.
On the other side of the Scary story plate is that for Jazz flute.  First I tried a textured tissue - a coarse-ish fibrous tissue with bits in it.  I like the result, and am now thinking about what paper I might mount it on.  By the way, creases such as the one bottom left will smooth out in the pasting.
The digitally printed paper has also pleased me, and despite the rather faint inking on this print I do think that the dark-ish background will work.  I have also designed some lighter coloured versions to use.


  1. These are fascinating experiments. Do you have a press or are you using the wooden spoon method of printing your carved block of vinyl? I would think the latter would be difficult to not smudge with tissue papers. What do I know, not having tried it myself. I know you have been doing this for some time and have mastered the techniques in your home studio. Bravo!

    1. Thanks, Marja-Leena. I am hand burnishing - and have no press other than a small hand device which I have not had much success with anyway. I use a baren, sometimes a wooden spoon (or rather a carved wooden butter/dip knife with rounded handle), and sometimes my fingers. You are right that the tissue can be tricky, but I put a sheet of paper towel, or tracing paper on top, and work on that. The ink tends to make the tracing paper stick enough otherwise.

      (See the small press here:*8/product_info.html)

    2. Thanks for the explanation, Olga. That's what I thought you were doing, and I've done that long ago when printing little linocuts at home. And I remember you writing about that small press and how it wasn't very satisfactory.

      I'm happy fro you that you have found a solution that works so well for you! Are working on more of these?

    3. Yes, it is a good solution for me. Going to the print studio was fun, but it did not give me the immediate combined use of my computer with the printmaking. I want to explore this combination more, both for making prints on paper, and thence on fabric to stitch.