Monday, November 17, 2014

combining techniques

Inspired by Howard Hersh's work in Julia Ayres's Monotypes, I spent an intense morning trying to put together my skills and knowledge to date, to produce a satisfying print. I wanted to try blending, masking, multiple runs, and chine collĂ©, all together.

First, I got out my AKUA Intaglio inks, and and blended four warm earthtones. Next, I planned a composition for two passes through the press, dividing the square 8"x8" plate with vertical pieces of tape for an effect of panes. I rolled on patches of the colors I had mixed in a random manner, blending edges to create a soft multi-hued surface, then removed the tape. I scattered pieces of dried grasses and leaves fairly randomly around the surface. The final plate is at left.

I cut and moistened a piece of Japanese rice paper, sprinkled it with wheat paste powder, laid it face down on the plate, and put the whole thing on the press bed. My grid paper for registration shows around the edges of the plate in the photo at right.

A well-moistened piece of BFK Rives 250 gm paper went on top, and I ran the ensemble through the press. The result was a clean but rather uninteresting print, which I'm not bothering to show here. The chine collĂ© process went perfectly smoothly, though the rice paper is not obvious on the print. Also, as it dries, the print is wrinkling; I'll have to research how to press it flat, if possible. The rice paper must have inadvertently gotten stretched, and is contracting as it dries, causing the support paper to wrinkle.

For the second pass, I simply removed the plant matter from the plate, turned it 180 degrees so that the pattern printed differently, and ran the ghost plate on top of the original print, which I laid face up on the press bed to make placement of the plate easier. Some of the remaining ink covered what would have been white paper from the first pass, and other ink transferred to the print and added complexity to the composition. The effect was subtle, but very pleasing. The first pass may have been too densely colored for the full effect of the ghost to come through; I'll have to try more transparent ink, perhaps, or work with ghosts on top of ghosts.

I am pleased with the result, though I think it needs to be fine-tuned. In fact, I was so pleased that I repeated the process for another, slightly different print, left.

No comments: