Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Printing on Fabric

I’ve been experimenting with gum arabic transfer and text recently with the aim of making a small book but last week I decided to try floating the text over the image rather than setting it into it.

I considered different types of paper but decided that they were too opaque. I had been reading Sue Brown’s blog and she was talking about printing on fabric so I thought I’d see if printing onto gauze would work. While I was digging through the fabric remnants I found some shiny organza and some fine gauze. I also found some lovely lightweight shiny stuff (I’m not good at fabric) and some old cotton sheeting that I thought might work for the background image as an alternative to paper.
I enlarged and re arranged the text and re worked the images so that they would balance. I didn’t have enough of the remnants to do the full set so I’ve only printed some samples (using blue, brown and silver ink) to see if they would work. It looks promising

On paper
On sheeting

 On  shiny stuff
On gauze
On organza
And layered in various combinations

I went to  to see  if I could get some more of the same fabric but no chance. The woman said she hadn’t seen any of the ‘shnny stuff’ for ages and the gauzes they had weren’t quite as fine as the one I’d tried. But I bought half a metre of a couple of things and I’ll see if they’ll work.

The layering looks better in life than it does on the screen

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Holiday books

We’ve been away for the past couple of weeks visiting friends in France.
It was a lovely quiet visit with large parts of it spent in Mary’s studio.
I took the gelli plate with me and made books.

A double sided palm leaf book using lace and letter stencils...
 and one using lace and leaves from the bushes around the studio
An interlocking double sided accordian book
A piano hinge book using my cleaning scrap paper for the pages and adding some of the leaves I used for stencilling and texturing prints
Two woven books using leaves as stencils and for texture

Friday, 14 April 2017

Etching experiments

I am working at the moment on a book that I'm hoping to print using gum arabic transfer. I’ve written the words and worked out a provisional layout. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on the images.

These are some of the earlier thoughts.
 I took photos of them to use to work out the layout and for some reason the black and white drawings seemed to have developed a slight colour cast. I exaggerated this in photoshop and like it so much that I’m going to try and replicate it for the final images.
I’m struggling a bit at the moment though because the words need a landscape format but the images for the individual pages want to be portrait.

I’d spent so much time working in charcoal that I hadn’t anything worked out to take to the press this week so I decided to crop a section of one of the charcoal drawings and try to translate it into an etching. 

I used different tapes, lipstick, marker pen, oil pastel and Vaseline as resists. I’ve only just discovered Vaseline and it’s great for making brushstrokes. Because nothing needed to dry, unlike traditional grounds, and because I only put the plate in the copper sulphate for a minute at a time the image developed really quickly.

The two proof states aren’t good finished prints but I’ve enjoyed just playing and seeing what happens. It's ended up more painterly than my prints usually do. I think I’m going to do more with this in between other projects.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Butterflies and Shells

As part of my attempts to put hand printed text into my books I have gone back to exploring gum arabic printing.

I started playing with images, two of my husband’s ancestors combined with clocks and butterflies, to relearn the techniques and explore registration
 The butterflies look too cut out next to the figures and I should have  introduced more contrast into the images before printing them with the laser printer.
I do like the ghost that has printed from the paper onto the second printing plate. 

These were made by overprinting colours on plates that were printouts of a black and white image

The next step was to try colour separation and text. I put Ariel’s song onto some images of shells that I made a while ago. I used a cmyk separation to print the plates.
Spot the not so deliberate mistake.This was printed with prussian blue, burnt umber and yellow
ochre litho ink

Next session at HBP I explored process coloured etching inks with cmyk separations.
I'm happy with the registration and printing now I need to go back to the drawing board and work out the images to go with the words I want to put in the book.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Circle Book Finished

I had an idea for the circles book, necessary opposites, yin and yang. I printed paper using bubble wrap, sequin waste and a lot of stencils cut with my new toy.  My black/white colour scheme needed greys as intermediate printed layers.

When I cut and assembled the book I realised that the pages were too busy to take text well so I decided to let the book dictate the direction and this version is just patterned.

I used a red thread for the closure as a hint of colour and a reference to the Chinese influence on my original idea.