My husband pointed out to me that the marks/indentations I got from these eyelet spreaders weren’t great because I was working on a table instead of on a more solid base. As the punches hit the lino the table absorbed some of the shock and may have jumped imperceptibly, so reducing the effectiveness of the procedure.
Today I placed the lino on my garden steps – made from lumps of rock – and had another go. Using the other end of the punches, which is designed to cut circles in paper, I released the spring action and got some superb cut circles, which had not worked at all last time. The punches are different sizes and the smallest one actually removed the lino as I lifted it from the surface, giving me not just round outlines but fully removed shapes. Fantastic.
I also used two small saws on a previous wire brushed area (which didn’t work at all). I started with the narrower blade and was thrilled with the build up of very fine lines I could make. What would be the difference between this and the deeper blade as they both have the same teeth?
Wow, the deeper blade was dangerous. It slid across the surface and didn’t bite the lino very well and was much less controllable. I was seriously watching finger-tips. Trying to saw back and forth I managed to get shallow scratches which went wherever the blade decided to travel because it just wouldn’t sink into the surface. In fact, the photo shows clearly where the lino dust is still on the blade edge. Changing back to the narrower saw I was able to make some good deep cuts and control where I wanted to go much more easily. I’m very impressed with this tool.
Both above samples are on Kozo extra heavy paper. I mixed a red/purple (quinacridone red and ultramarine) + 40% extender for these samples. The first print doesn’t have a lot of ink rolled onto the lino so the marks show up very well but coverage is marginally soft. Some of the marks from the first mark-making I did on the same piece can be seen coming through slightly. I liked the colour so for the second print I extended it over the previous soldering iron cut section. This deeper, rich colour has the marks ‘popping’ from the surface, whereas the sepia samples feel much more muted and understated.
These prints are both on 125gsm Bamboo paper. The first one is on the flatter but slightly ribbed side. Obviously this is where the bamboo fibre was against the mesh in the deckle when being made. I’m not a fan of this look. The second sample is on the other side of the paper, a slightly more fluffy side. I added more quinacridone red to one side of the rolling plate to get a variation in colour on this one. It’s created a faux shadow effect across the left hand side of the print where the red doesn’t fully extend. Great effect, so I kept it to reprint my other tool marked lino piece.
The left hand print is on Kozo extra heavy, whilst the other is on Elephant dung paper (what will I do when I run out of this?). The second paper is a little spongy and has a somewhat hairy surface (let’s not speculate!!) so the print appears soft and slightly hazy compared to the absolutely smooth surface of the Kozo.
So how can these marks be included in my lino designs? My next design is underway.