Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sometimes



...you're the Roadrunner and sometimes you're Coyote.  No, you're not seeing double.  This little detail view of the upper corner of my woodblock shows lack of good judgement.  I was making a great trial proof on my woodblock when ....BAM... !!   The misjudgements of Wylie, cliff edges and gravity flashed before my eyes.

I underestimated the dampness my paper; that little dance between too wet and too dry.  Controlling the dampness is also key to maintaining the size of the paper. If the paper dries out and shrinks then suddenly all your work tuning up the blocks to register properly doesn't matter.

I'm running a series of trial proofs now and trying to work out my colors. This particular piece is made from five blocks.  Four with color and one black key block.



My trouble began with the black key block.  I inked it up using lamp black which was too transparent and I decided to re-ink with carbon black, a denser more opaque black.

The Japanese paper I use is stored in what's called a damp pack while printing. A stack of moistened newsprint separates each print and the whole stack is wrapped in plastic sheeting. After a color is printed, it goes back in the pack until I'm ready with the next color. It stays damp and dimensionally stable.

After inking up the black for a second time I realized I hadn't returned the paper to the damp pack but decided to print it despite my inner voice screaming at me to stop.

BAM...Splat...  paper dried a bit..shrank a bit and I'm seeing double just like Wylie after one of his falls.

At least I'm still in trial proof mode with some more color decisions to zero in on and perhaps unconsciously I needed this reminder before I begin printing the edition.
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