Thursday, December 29, 2011

First Color Ready to Proof

I had some time to start carving the latest bottle cap project.

 Carving the first color was rather simple yet not without error. I recently acquired a new tool that makes these huge macaronis and I'm still getting used to how it handles as you can see below.

Oops. It works wonderfully for large areas of clean up work but using it to clear uncut material is a bit difficult.

Printing the first color to come soon.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Some Updates

So I went a little crazy printing a bunch of things recently and here's the run down:

For the final color on the bookmark lesson I added a yellow-orange:

"Shop-cat" Crosby decided to show his appreciation by sitting on one; can you tell? I liked the way these turned out, especially on the right reading side. I'll definitely continue to explore printing techniques and ink characteristics with these blocks!

The latest Magpie was proofed as well:

I'm pleased with how it turned out but I will be making some changes to the block prior to printing a run.

I have some new ideas for the Humulus Lupulus block and will be experimenting with papers and colors.

Thanks for lurking and stay tuned.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Some Progress

Printing time is at a premium these days. So I'm trying to fit in some quick prints when I can. The bookmarks are proving to be perfect blocks to make some quick prints and experiment with.

Here is the continuation from the previous mistake lesson. I'm trying to experiment with overprinting, color combinations and inking different areas of the block.

 The back is not quite finished. I'm planning on adding one more color to try and cover the areas that currently are not inked; perhaps a yellow to brighten it up.

In other project news, the Magpie project is getting the next block carved.

The bottle cap project has been mounted to a base and carving will commence shortly!

Photos of those and more to come!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Next Cap

I'm starting the next bottle cap print. A two color cap but I'm currently thinking of making it a three or four color reduction; two or three levels of white/greys (we'll see) and the dark red and printed on Neenah's Desert Storm 80# cover, 12.5"x12.5".
I made sure to double check that the type was backwards before starting to carve this time!
Also, have a continuation of a previously started project on deck...more to come.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Some Lessons Learned

I recently found out about McClain's sale section of their website with many options of odd sized linoleum! A great way to use up those odd sized scraps of leftover paper, I thought. So, I ordered up a plethora of odd sized linoleum.

Upon receipt and opening the well packed box, I inspected the linoleum and thought "hey, this is nice stuff!" and got to work straight away on a simple design sketching it out right on the linoleum, no computer involved here. I was just going for it. It seemed like I could immediately notice a difference in how easily it was to work with. I easily got into a groove when carving. After finishing up rather quickly (it was just a small side project, anyway), I thought I'd pull a couple proofs just to see what needed to be adjusted or cleaned up prior to printing the run. Before I even entered the "shop", picked colors or rolled out any ink, I noticed ...
 Yep, it's backwards to print properly. Uug. What to do, what to do...I know! Print it onto another block and it will be backwards reading and when carved, print properly!

Yes, that worked! So, I think this will turn into a two sided project; one side right reading, one side wrong reading.

Prints to come.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

First Bottle Cap Finished

I finally had a chance to finish the first in the bottle cap series(?) project! This felt like a long time in the making but came out decent. We had and are still having a good amount of rain and humidity which, I think, played a roll in the registration.  Some are better than others but the mis-registration kind of gives it a pop-art feel.

Overall, I'm pleased and will continue with the next couple in the lineup/series(?).

One thing I'll probably change will be mounting the linoleum to a backing board to help registration and eliminate any changes in the linoleum itself but the paper is harder to predict how it will react to the changes in weather and humidity.

There are eleven total in the print run. Two color reduction (purple/silver), 12.5x12.5".
Cheers! Thanks for looking!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A look at my set up

So here is a couple of pictures (again, sorry for the crummy phone pics) of my work area.

The homemade registration board:

Constructed of 1/4" plywood, 1/4" square dowel and some 1x2" pine! I also use 1/2" square dowel if i need a wider border.

The press and work area (currently with the bottle cap project back on deck!):

Merry Christmas in September...continued

So I finally had a chance to finish printing this year's Christmas cards (the green as I mentioned previously). All went well despite having made some changes to my press.

Sorry for the cruddy phone picture but you get the idea...right?

Some were printed on other left over paper I had waiting for a random project but most were printed on 80# Neenah Woodstock Smooth. Three colors: light blue, red, green. The typeface is Zigarre Script from Rimmer Type Foundry.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Merry Christmas in September

I've started working on some Christmas cards. I know if I don't start now, they wouldn't be finished in time or they wouldn't get started at all (currently putting the bottle cap project on hold).

Printing two colors as the same time is a first for me and an interesting (yet successful) challenge. I had to used the spoon/barron method due to the lack of a large printed area.

The third, and final, color will probably be a dark green. Hopefully printed soon...stay tuned.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Next Project

I've been collecting beer bottle caps for some time and have been trying to think of different projects I could do with them. Some got turned into refrigerator magnets, others (most) are awaiting their demise.

I have quite a few collected and quite a few given to me by friends (thanks for the inspiration, guys!) over the years. Some I haven't even seen yet.

So, what to do with them? Try some linocuts!

Here's the first one I'm attempting:

At this point, I'm thinking a two color reduction, 12.5" x 12.5". The first color is down and drying. The second color will be a silver of some sort.

So far, I have a line up of caps that I'm considering for this project. Perhaps a series, if you will . . . we'll see.

P.S. These are printed on a Neenah Paper Environment 80# Woodstock Smooth.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Den

Here's another print from a little while ago; The Den. Two colors (silver and red(ish)), one block, 12.5"x19". A fun part of pulling this series was that I was mixing the red(ish) color as the print process went along. Therefore, coloration from print to print varies.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

El Fuerte!

This was one of my early prints. A one legged bird we called El Fuerte (the strong) due to it's "handicap". The first round, I made a stencil of the lettering and spray painted that down first before applying the print. Then ran the print over the spray paint. The second run, I just printed a solid orange background and printed the lino-cut over that.


I'm trying to do a series of simple one color Magpie prints. Here is the first one. I think it turned out pretty good. The second one I wasn't pleased with how it came out and am in the process of re-working it (photos to come soon).

6.5" x 8.5" printed on French Specketone Madero Beach 140# Cover.

The Tree

I made this three color linoleum print a little while ago and finally bringing it to the light of day. When I was first planning the print, I had not considered how overprinting colors would turn out. As it turns out, printing green over black does not work. Not wanting to abandon the print, I hand painted more leaves on the tree and gave it a fuller appearance. The branches are still visible through the leaves but are not so prominent as they were previously. Unfortunately, I do not have photos before the hand finishing.

The run was only five total, all of which will receive similar hand finishing.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Happy Birthday!

If you haven't heard by now, House Industries launched their Photo Lettering site and I must say, it's pretty awesome!
I made some birthday cards with some type set from Swiss Interlock, printed on various leftover stock (probably French Speckletone Madero Beach (and no, I'm not getting anything from French Paper for using or mentioning their products)).

Happy Birthday Bro!

The Tree

I had taken a picture of this tree a long time ago and just recently decided to make a print of it. Unfortunately, I do not have a scan of the actual photo to show. It was a bit cooler in the shop during printing and the background started drying on the block as it was being printed and created an interesting modeling pattern. The tree image was printed using "mud bucket" ink (left over ink from other prints put into one container and mixed together). Printed on French Speckletone Paper Madero Beach (I've got a ton of this stuff).

Pick Up Truck

I drive past this truck quite regularly and it has always caught my eye.
After doing some research, I found out it's a '55 Ford. So I thought I'd try a print of it. I tried to keep it simple, just two colors, two blocks (not a reduction), on French Speckletone Paper Madero Beach (again).