Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Printing in the Rain

This last month was probably the wettest May on record here in Western Oregon.  The mountains are still full of snow and the ground has reached a saturation point here at Stonewood.  The slugs are teaming in the grass and the snow peas are flourishing.  At least now it is a warmer rain, with temperatures around 65F.  The gray skies have provided lots of printing time and greenhouse time as well.

This is one of the tents for seedling starts.  We have been keeping them inside much longer than usual.  There are basil, cucumbers, summer squash and peppers. Slower to start it gives us a chance to keep up with the tomatoes.

In the studio, I started the print for May, it is a black suede purse and I wanted to play with the idea of making an interesting translation of that fabric using an interesting technique.  I thought that this would save a little carving time -- not that I am trying to skimp, but to find a balance between the really complex items and the more simple designs in the overall set of twelve images. So I traced the image of the bag onto a piece of 100 grit sandpaper.  I cut it out and placed it on the block.  I ran the block through the press, impressing the sand into the wood.  (I did several test pieces for the right pressure and texture, to see how it would print before I settled on this combination).  Well, you might say, that is an easy one step way of treating this purse with texture -- it is not an easy purse to print however.  The borders are a rich black and need an even amount of coverage while the sandpapered purse needs a light and carefully applied ink as it could easily fill up with excess ink and print a solid black.  There are, with any handmade print, many variations among the 30+ prints. Finally, here is the block for 'June'.  This little straw bag is a delight with its straw embroidered flowers and fun to carve and print.

These three prints, April, May and June all need their background color and they will be ready for the collectors.  This is the last month to purchase the prints at $25.00 each for the whole collection of 12 -- this will change soon as each print will be $35.00 per print, for new collectors who subscribe after July 1st.

That marks the first half of the year.  The second half has many wonderful pocketbooks -- lots of texture and creative opportunity.  Will be looking for sun!

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