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Monday and a couple of questions …

August 24, 2015

Having completed the sketches and first drawing, on the lino for my latest assignment , I have begun printing.  Today, I will reduce the lino again. Not wishing to upset my son-in-law, he will understand I hope, but already I am having difficulties.  As artists, we work to please ourselves when the work pleases others then it is a big bonus. So when we are asked to make a piece of art for another person then our responsibility to another person’s pleasure increases the pressure to please.   

I am a self taught printmaker, my work is usually the result of many happy accidents.  Over the last couple of years I have learned to smooth out the errors or incorporate them.  In other cases I have sought advice and begun again. Pretty much a normal learning curve, no gain without a bit of pain.

So when I began this last project, there were certain complications, because I could not decide between reduction, multi-print or screen print, but that could only be solved by doing. Here, I am with reduction, as I said earlier,  even that requires some thought; with that sorted, What else could go wrong?’  I hear you ask.

Sadly, the most fundamental and the ones most silly to admit. First, why don’t I remember that a Sharpie is not permanent and very ugly on a print?

Secondly, little flecks of dust in the ink are a nuisance; no matter how careful one is to protect the ink they ruin a print.  

For a reduction print we always make provision for error but yesterday I did more than a dozen, not one was perfect.

This is frustrating, wasteful and worse, takes away the joy of happy accidents!

So, I feel the need to incorporate a couple more routines to protect myself next time.

How do I mark the lino permanently or is it enough to remove the sharpie with spirit?

Keeping the inking area free of dust seems obvious but easier said than done. How do you do it?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2015 8:50 am

    Hello Nela, Looks like a fun design. I can’t answer the sharpie one, I tend to clean the plate of all guides before I print and then reapply for the next cuts from a paper master.

    As for the dust – possibly tiny lino crumbs picked up in the ink from the cut surface – try brushing hard with a toothbrush, rinsing under water (and drying!) and/or rolling some blu-tack over the cut areas to remove as much as possible before inking.
    Happy printing 🙂

    • August 24, 2015 12:16 pm

      Thanks Alison … You are right of course … note to myself about good house keeping …

  2. August 24, 2015 10:55 pm

    I don’t have that issue with sharpies – but the. I’m using oil based inks. I didn’t see if you were.
    As for dust and ‘bits’ in particular, yes that is a problem for us all. I often use rubber based ‘lino’. It doesn’t crumble like regular Lino. It doesn’t always cut clean, but that may be my less-than-perfectly-sharp tools.
    I totally understand the pressure of working for others – but thankfully it’s always a labour of love.

    • August 25, 2015 6:43 am

      It seems to be a ‘good housekeeping’ issue. So I am looking to improve those; so thanks for (too all) for kindly pointing this out. And yes the labour of love always ! thanks again Helen

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