I’ve got the preparation and rolling of the oil based inks and mediums fairly under control now. The keep it thin motto from Tony is constantly in my mind and his advise has served me well.
I’m now preparing my inked working area correctly and making numerous passes over the ink: back, front, left and right. This ensures the working base is covered smoothly and the roller picks up the ink evenly.
The roller is passed over the lino multiple times in all directions, having picked up new ink when necessary. The lino is then held up in the sunlight where I can assess the evenness of the coverage. I now understand that inking properly and taking the time at this point is essential to a good print. I thought I could just run off loads of prints quickly and get a good result each time. There is much more to the rolling and checking process than I had realised before meeting Tony.
I have 3 quality rollers of differing sizes and for this project I’ve used the largest which spans the width of the lino. I can, therefore, roll in all directions finishing with a covering across the narrower width, so avoiding any ink seams or lines within the print.
And what about my new roller stand? Superb! Does exactly what it is designed for and I no longer have to worry about my rollers resting on the table top between prints.
This does remain a bit of a headache but I’m determined to see this project through using the OCA recommended method. Reassessment of this will come after this section.
Having dropped and / or misaligned almost every print I took a bit of time out to think how to use this method but improve it. In my previous post I’ve written about the issues involved with holding an inked lino block over paper in the correct place.
I decided to try to add a ‘handle’ to the back of the lino, just for when positioning it. I took a small piece of wood and attached double-sided tape to one side. Once the lino was inked up I placed it over the wood and pressed it down (using a non-inked section of the lino) to stick. I then picked it up, turned it over and used it to help position the lino. You can see from the photo that the lino still bends a little but it’s less than when holding the sides of it in my fingers.
Once in place, I carefully pulled the piece of wood off (luckily the double-sided tape stayed on the wood not the lino) and then I was able to turn the rest over and print normally. This did improve my registration but stopping hands from shaking and the foibles of a human eye remain.