Planning the print process
I really enjoyed Project 13 despite the length of time it took me to get through it. I’m going to build on the techniques I used to create the carousel horses prints. Some of the points that particularly attracted me and that I am continuing to use during this project are below:
Base print layer – 3mm foamex board:
- Very easy to cut to size with a Stanley knife
- This product has become a favourite of mine. I can set particular detail in place by either incising or embossing into it as per intaglio printing, or I can build the surface using low-relief items such as masking tape and texture gels to form a collagraphic print.
- Both intaglio and relief printing can be achieved simultaneously using sturdy damp paper.
- Selected areas can be coloured in the style of a monoprint, so forming infinitely changeable effects.
- It readily accepts oil based inks rolled, brushed, dragged (as with a credit card, forcing the ink into intaglio sections) or dabbed.
- As it has a slick plastic surface, ink placement errors can be cleaned away very effectively with cotton buds, tissues or cloth without leaving any residue (if done immediately).
- Fairly robust although definition slowly compresses after multiple prints.
- Easy to register as it is rigid and so not too hard to align multiple layers.
- Quick clean up.
Second print layer – silk-cut lino:
- Since buying good quality lino cutting tools and learning how to sharpen them properly I’ve found a real liking for lino cutting.
- The design transfer from tracing paper is efficient and doesn’t smudge when cutting.
- Mark-making with a wide variety of tools is very successful.
- Cleaning with specialist products instead of water stops the hessian backing becoming wet and causing the lino to warp and bend. This means multiple registration becomes more accurate.
- Quite a lot of detail can be achieved.
- Quick and easy clean up.
- Has longevity so many prints can be taken.
- Can be lightly heated to make cutting flow better. I have a 50x50cm electric heat pad in a sheepskin cover that I can slip the lino into if it is particularly cold. This softens the surface and allows easier cutting. Extremely useful.
New techniques I will be using:
- The base layer will be a monoprint with collagraph aspects. I will be adhering and sealing wispy scrim fabric to my base. I haven’t used fabric before and hope to be able to leave white areas showing around the open weave.
- So far nearly all my lino cuts have had a good ‘frame’ or surround to them.In other words, the lino edging has remained in place to give stability when rolling inks and registering multi-layers. It also gives the fingers something to hold on to. However, for this project I will be cutting away the vast majority of the lino, leaving very specific small areas to print with barely any edging and background.
- Chine collé. I have a range of very light Japanese papers to incorporate. I will try both precise placement and also more random effects.
- I will experiment with printing a second lino-block as a blind emboss. I’m sure I’ll have to use damp paper for this.
- I am also considering some raw edge prints as opposed to my usual rectangles.
- Whatever else I can think to try before and during the process.
Embossing picture from http://www.artscrollprintingnyc.com/embossing