I am really enjoying a little side track from the beads and jewelry. I have been making linocut prints, and even doing some printing on bags and purses that I hand dyed. It is a really fun process.
I have always found the carving very zen. And I keep learning more and more about how to block my color to make a bold and clean print (black and white, and the correct balance is key).
What I did not expect, was to LOVE pulling prints. There is a great rhythm when you ink up a block, press on your paper, pull it off and hang it. Then, do it again. I love seeing the prints on different papers and various colors. (seeing them all hanging makes me happy, reminds me of prayer flags!)
Hand pulled prints refers to any print that is replicated by hand, whether it is block printed, silk screened or otherwise. It means it is NOT printed from a machine. I thought I would take you through the process I used as I pulled prints over the weekend.
First, I inked up my block using block printing ink. I use a soft roller, I have found I like them MUCH better then some of the others.
I ink it in both directions side to side and then back and forth up and down. I got into a great rhythm doing this and found myself happily going along in an inking pattern.
Then I move the block to where I am printing. I don't ink where I print, because I am messy, and I don't want the edges of the paper to touch the ink on the table.
Lay paper on top and press.
You can use your hand, or a barren. I use both. I really like this thin Mulberry Paper, not only can I see when the print comes through, it is earthy, and soft and has inclusions in it.
Then "pull" (which is where the term comes from).
I love to watch the mirror image as I slowly pull it off the block
Never gets old.
Then, I hang them or lay them out to dry.
That is it, hand pulling prints.
Now, since I don't have anything fancy made to center my prints on my paper, I then have to go and trim them before they get signed and dated and framed or put into bags for sale.
I hope you enjoyed a little side trip with me, away from jewelry and beads. I know I always enjoy learning a little something new about a different art form.