02 January 2019

Woodblock Wednesday

Starting with this idea...
 ragged edges in grey with a red centre, I wanted to make it wider (30cmx40cm) and without a fold in the middle, which meant doing an entirely new middle. I played around with zen circles but didn't want to get a complicated as this -
 So while ideas for the middle were percolating, I cut the edges -
Lots of lovely curly wood shavings!
For the second edge, instead of using the big round gouge I used the smaller one, hoping that there would be slightly more wood between the cuts. Taking a rubbing meant it could be a template and the two could be overprinted.
This time I remembered to use a thin watercolour wash ... did it make the shavings curlier?
 Taking a few tracings seems to have got the ideas flowing, and I came up with this -
 The overlapping item needs two blocks -
This birch ply (some of Tom's offcuts) isn't wonderful wood, in fact it's messy to cut no matter how sharp you try to keep the tools. So I started experimenting with non-standard ways of removing the wood, in an attempt to be more efficient (ie, faster!) at getting the job done. Two possibilities arise: practise and practise  (Forschprung durch technique); and, use better wood. Wish list: superb hangito, or failing that, this one from Intaglio).
 A change of activity - the edge block soaked overnight, and the damp pack was made. Paper was cut and set to get damp -
 First effort - too green, and darned if the red watercolour on the wood didn't lift off a little -
Inking up, phew - I tried various unorthodox things with my unorthodox woodblock -
Too much watercolour "ink"?

Better! (this is the big-gouge pattern)

Uh-oh, the dreaded blob...

Some improvement (this is the little-gouge pattern)
How long can a printing session go on? I had printed both edges on all four sheets of paper, and overprinted one sheet, and then the nori ran out and that was the signal to STOP. Which was rather a relief - it felt like I'd been doing this all day. I haven't set foot out of the house (fitbit reading, 7.45pm: 1400 steps; "must try harder").
Time to pack up for the day
Prints du jour -
Three types of paper were used - ordinary Chinese roll, part of a Chinese paper for scrolls, and "grass paper" - I've had the papers for a long time and they probably all came from Guanghwa Bookshop.

Much more experimentation and better technique is needed. At lower left, overprinting -
 I think it's making progress, though -
Before ... and during ...

1 comment:

patty a. said...

It is hard work to play! LOL!!!