Monday, August 29, 2016

Fun times with polyester lithography plates

 A busy week in Artlandia!   My press date to print the fox body is next Friday (! :) !); so, in preparation, I scanned, made a polyester lithography plate, and printed the mirror image of the fox's head (- the body block coordinates with both - one is posed looking forward and the other with the neck turned looking out.)
relief print left, polyester lithography print right
I am eager to continue refining this part of the process, matching the polyester prints with the relief prints, because it would give me more options for every block I have and will have. I picked up where I left off with the lorikeets - where the polyester lithography prints matched the relief prints in quality, but there were (I felt) too many misprints of the lithography plate.

Having thought about it some more - there were no misprints with the polyester lithography plates I used to print the landscape elements for the unicorn installation, and those were very difficult plates (lots and lots of very thin lines). Because those are light ink on dark paper, I realized that I used a different ink than with the lorikeets, so I ordered that ink in black to try on the fox head.

Result - I think it's an excellent match.  Even side by side, they are a little hard to compare, because I reduced the background noise for the polyester plate. Also, because I purposely individualize each sheet of paper by adding a wash of black paint (the edge of which shows in the photo), a little variation is built in to the process. That in mind, my conclusion is that they are as close a match as two relief prints would be.

Thumbs up!...but with a few caveats.  The plates wear out quickly (this was the third print from the plate and you can see how much scumming there is around the edges.) By the forth print, the whites inside the fox were just starting to fill a little. Having a very high standard on the clarity of the print may mean going through the plates quickly; however, since I'm not using it to print large quantities, that may be fine ? (Hmmm.) Or maybe the mixture I'm using to wipe the plates could be tweaked?

I got 3 usable fox heads. The first was a misprint, but I'm ok with that, since these types of plates do often seem to need one "warm up" plate to absorb the ink - one is acceptable - one.

While obsessing about these details, I started carving a new owl.  As I mentioned, my favorite blocks were discontinued (sadness).  I called the supplier and they suggested a replacement product, which I'm testing out on this. Reserving all judgement until I see how it prints.

photo by Dave Schwing

In other news, Tom McGill and Gallery at 46 Green were kind enough to include my work at the Hillsdale Arts Walk.

Preparing and packing the work, I really got to look at some of the older collages (older - as in from 2014 ;) ) with the new digital collages.

I can definitely see the relationship and recognize them both as my work, but the processes are completely different (one's analogue and one's digital). Very weird.

Speaking of digital collages... work continues on the raptor collage.  I decided it might need a vehicle in the turquoise sky, so I printed and scanned all my transport machine blocks. Who knew I had 15 of them? Not me.

In pet news, Jr. decided this week that the press bed is a nice kitty napping spot (doh.) So, Lucille will be getting a new dress (i.e. some kind of cover) ASAP.

"Oh, did you mean this lovely elevated spot in front of the window with the nice soft blankets...?"

"Here, let me rub my face on it, just to be clear." 

In puppy news, Rocky IV is dead, long live Rock V

 Flowers, bring on the flowers!

Especially into the mono-style arrangements this week;
no color correction - they really do look like this :).