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A Week for Experimenting.

My “day for experimenting” has turned
into a week + of experimenting with
moku hanga & chine colle.
I had some very unexpected, but pleasant,
surprises as I worked through the process.
Since I’m using a water based glue (methylcellulose),
I had assumed that the chine colle
paper would have to be applied during
the last run of printing due to the possibility
of it coming loose from the print paper.
I was very wrong with that assumption.
Long story short, after applying
the chine colle paper (Sekishu) early in the process,
I allowed the prints to dry and then re-wet
them at least 7 more times (without any overprinting).
I had fully expected the glue to reactivate
with the dampened paper and then fall off, but it didn’t.
Encouraged by this, I continued
printing over the top at least 7 more times
using the reduction method.
Since I was just playing around with this, I wasn’t
too concerned with registration. I used both sides of the
block here. You can see an unsightly edge around the profile due
to my inaccurate carving. That’s something
I’ll need to work on, but I feel confident
enough to begin work on a “real”
print using what I’ve learned so far.
29 Jan 2012

A Day for Experimenting

Finally, the holiday hoopla is over
and I can re-focus my attention back to printmaking!
For a while now, I’ve been itching to experiment
with woodblock & chine colle combined.
I’ve used chine colle extensively with etchings,
and it works beautifully, so why wouldn’t it work with woodblocks I wondered??
So today I hastily started to experiment, first starting
with a photographic image printed (from my computer) on Sekishu paper.
Sekishu is a thin Japanese paper that accepts inkjet
quite well, and holds up when dampened
with the methyl cellulose glue that I use as an adhesive.
I didn’t bother carving the block now
 since this is
“experiment day”. I simply brushed on the ink & nori
onto the block.
I’m using a new ink as well, Gamblin dry pigment in
raw umber. Weird stuff, I don’t think
that I mixed it properly as it kept separating
while I was using it…will have to work on this!
Once the block is inked, my image is cut out of the Sekishu,
backed with glue and placed face down on the block.
then on goes the print paper on top
and the baren is used as usual.
To complicate things, the print needs
to be stretched on a board with
watercolor tape once printed.
Otherwise, the Sekishu would pop off as the
two papers dry. This will make it
a bit difficult when printing an edition.
So was “experiment day” a success??
Not entirely, but it’s opened the door
for further exploration.
7 Jan 2012