09 April 2012

Book du jour - using lots of ink

 All weekend I've been investigating graphite and ink (again; still!) - and getting back to the "journey lines". First is the large sheet of black paper which was splattered with some india ink that was left to dry, and then I put some lumpy things - actually cardboard letters saved from another project - under it. Top left says 11.45 and by the time I got to bottom right, 12.28. If the paper had been any larger, drawing a line across it would have meant moving my body, not just the arm. The letters made lumps in the lines, but not discernable shapes.

Seeing how the graphite slid over the ink, I wanted to see if ink would slide over graphite. On the left is a lumograph (china marker) crayon, covered in ink; on the left, rubbing with 9B graphite. These are on a smaller scale and more densely rubbed, so the letters do "read". Both are covered with ink and the ink rubbed off before it dried, as it looked as though if the ink dried it would completely cover the marks.
 The china marker looked ugly but the graphite shone up a treat against the dark background. From then on it was a matter of trying out various papers and removing the ink from the graphite before it dried. This is black paper - well, actually grey - showing unremoved ink on the right -
 Rather than drawing horizontal lines I found a piece of fabric I'd printed last year with journey lines in puffa paste. The raised surface was great for rubbing, and letters could be put on top of the fabric. Once one side of the paper was inked and polished, I did the other side; by then the graphite was "harmless" - it didn't come off and make the fabric dirty.
 To protect the fabric around the paper edges I put down a layer of tissue paper - this didn't interfere with the impression of the lines. After some happy hours listening to Radio 4, I had samples on black (grey) paper, white paper - both about 90gsm; the tracing paper that comes in a pack, which is more like onion skin; tissue paper; moon palace paper (bottom); and lower right, pearlescent paper rubbed with wax candle ... not exactly a mistake, but something I probably won't repeat -
The ink makes the paper look burnt, especially the thinner paper in the way it goes crinkly - and it feels like stiff, thin leather.  Either the ink, or the graphite, or perhaps the frequent washing, is hard on the hands - makes your skin too feel like stiff, thin leather.

The playing with "technique" [let's call this repetition  Process...] is fairly mindless - apart from needing to be on the alert for unexpected things that could lead elsewhere. I could have been more deliberate about forming words with the letters, or making the papers of a size to use for a book. Perhaps that will come next with fresh paper and more ink (my supply is now used up!), or perhaps these papers will undergo further punishment and turn into something else ... something as yet unimaginable.

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