Monday, January 30, 2017

(print) tile project

A busy week in Artlandia - the mission this week was an experiment with the modular tile I'd designed two weeks ago.  This week I carved, printed, scanned, and played with it.  

So the block is a quadrant that's symmetric along the x-y axis (so it can be rotated and line up.) To demonstrate in pictures:
Print of the block:

block rotated and printed 4 times:

Printing it multiple times showed me that it worked - it lined up to make a shape in the way I wanted it to, but...the registration on the first experiment wasn't acceptable. While I could think of a few ways to work on/ fix the registration, ultimately I decided that it wasn't the best way to go about it (I'd end up spending a lot of time aligning and printing the block multiple times, and each time through the press is an opportunity for something to go wrong and make the previous times unusable.)  Also, I'm not convinced that it would lead to a better result (for me.)

So...instead, I tried to print it as perfectly as possible once, then scanned that print and used the computer to copy, rotate, and arrange it:

side by side comparison of take 1 and take 2:

Having scanned the print allowed me to line up the parts on the computer, and now I can transfer the result onto a polyester lithography plate and print all 4 quadrants at once - thumbs up.   But that's not the only advantage - I also started to use it as a building block to make patterns:

And that's only the patterns that result from the unmanipulated block - I could also distort the block, for example, by stretching it into a rectangle. and then that could lead to another strain of patterns. So scanning it and using the computer takes a block for 1/4 of a design and helps turn it into myriad patterns.

I haven't printed these with polyester lithography plates yet because (shame face) I'm almost out of toner and plates, and starting to run low on paper (Eep.) I'm not sure how much it matters whether I print each of these - maybe it's enough to know that I could print them? But it brings us to another big thing I did this week, which was apply for a NYFA grant in printmaking and drawing - fingers crossed!!  

Applying for the grant and choosing the pieces for the application gave me a chance to review past work. It was funny because very few of the pieces in the application were from 2016.  I realized that almost all the pieces I included were 30 x 22" (the size of a full sheet of stonehenge paper). It wasn't because I didn't make things during 2016, it's just that I made big elements, like the wings, the Gothic tree, the unicorn, the fox, the figure that I feel like I still have more steps to make them part of cohesive finished pieces. It's like I know how to collage using a full sheet of paper as the support, and I know how to make parts that are bigger than a sheet of paper, but I'm still trying to figure out how to make finished collages that are larger than a full sheet... I'm pretty sure it has to do with changing the support and attachment methods, and I've tried a few things, but streamlining and refining that might be a good overarching mission for this year.  

...which will be interesting, because I'm also continuing to make new things too. This week I also kept working on the Phoenix.  It's slow going, but it's getting closer.

baby steps...