Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fun, at home print project

I really wanted to put my printing skills to work for the wedding and besides our little logo, my big project was making the Thank You cards. I decided to try carving rubber instead of linoleum, which I'd heard was easier. Um, it's like carving room temperature butter... which is a little too easy when you're used to linoleum.

I used some grocery bags to ensure a non-oily surface and protect my kitchen table. Tools include rollers, ink, burin, glass slab surface, paper towels, and palette knives

 I bought some water based inks to use at home, since I'd prefer to keep things non-toxic if it's close to where I cook (okay, exactly where I cook). I found that the water-based inks dry fairly quickly, so I needed to ad fresh ink after ever couple cards.

Inking two colors took some careful application...

To keep things simple, I inked a single plate with two colors, since I two-plate registration was going to be a problem at home (actually, it's quite possible, but this was also faster when printing in the volumes I needed).

I found that using a paper towel allowed the burin to slide easily and not catch on the paper 

The obvious barrier to printing at home is having (or, rather, not having) a press. However, a classmate of mine informed me that traditional Japanese woodblock printing was never done with a press, but rather rubbing a burin. Although I never bothered to verify this factoid, the thought nonetheless encouraged me to try the burin method.


The end result was not a totally even print, but given the, ahem, rustic looking print, the textured inking seemed fitting.

And so, many cards were made. Now that my forearm has recovered, I'd like to try a new project...

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