Sunday, April 17, 2011

Adventures in Block Printing

This was a satisfactory experiment for two reasons: I've been wanting to try my hand at block printing, plus I've been itching to recreate this Herb Lubalin ampersand since I first saw a picture of it at Wary Meyers . Not having any luck locating on the internet an example of the type that I could print out and copy onto the block, I made an attempt to draw the ampersand myself. The outcome of my efforts isn't perfect, but after spending hours drawing and revising, I decided I was close enough. To my suprise, carving the block was far less time consuming.

Not having any printing ink at home, I excitedly broke out my stash of acrylic paints when I arrived at the point of printing. I watered down the paint to make it more ink-like, and not in possession of a brayer, I rolled it on the block with a foam roller. Well, the paint stuck a bit causing the paper to tear slightly, but the bigger disappointment was the realization that the printed image was backwards. Yep, it didn't occur to me that I needed to carve the image in reverse. Doh!!! Back to Hobby Lobby I headed. I returned home with additional carving material, a brayer, and some proper ink.

The second carving is actually my third drawn version of the ampersand. The first carving was copied from my second version. I'm thinking I like the second version better, so I might be carving another Lubalin ampersand. Regardless of subject material, this block printing thing could become addictive.

Dharma Trading Company Tutorial

I'm really wanting to print on fabric, and in researching for information on fabric inks I came upon this great block printing tutorial. As one would expect, there's a wealth of information on block printing to be had on the internet, but the Dharma Trading Company tutorial is one of the better that I've seen. As back up I've ordered Lena Corwin's book, Printing by Hand: A Modern Guide to Printing with Handmade Stamps, Stencils, and Silk Screens. I've been eying her book for a while now, and I can't wait for it to arrive.  I'm super excited to be delving further into block printing.

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