Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Land Of The Blind


Land of the Blind

"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king"

Linocut, 105 x 150 mm

I have not yet decided whether or not to add a second or third colour block to this. I probably will, eventually.

Later on...

I bought myself a little Esselte lino cutter and a couple of blades, because I wanted a narrow U-gouge that I didn't have amongst all my other cutter profiles. It was cheap. Something I didn't anticipate is that the blades for these are sharpened with an inside bevel, unlike my woodcut gouges. That makes them quite a bit harder to sharpen, and also they tend to dive into the carving block rather than rising out of it — something to watch out for.

Next Day...

Starting to play with colour blocks now.

The registration isn't great, but that's not hugely important for this purpose.

Next Next Day...

I decided that I want the body of the king to be a different colour than his crown. But rather than cut a whole new block, and cut out the body area on the crown block, I just cut out the body with a jeweller's saw to make a sort of jigsaw arrangement.

This way I can ink up the two areas separately and then reassemble them and print them simultaneously, or else I can glue the body bit to a piece of paper the same size as the other blocks so that it will fit into the registration jig and be printed separately.

The jeweller's saw gives me a kerf of about half a millimetre, which would be enough to show up in a print as a perceptible white line, but it will be underneath the key block so it shouldn't be too obvious.

I transferred the image of the key block to the colour blocks by means of the offset transfer method, which is quick, easy, and effective. However, the black ink I used for the transfer is reactivated by the coloured inks on top of it, and a shadow image of the key line is printed along with the colour.

I expect that if I waited long enough the ink would cure enough to not be reactivated, but that would be a faff. Alternate strategies might be to do the transfer using a very light, transparent mix of ink, just visible enough to act as a cutting guide, or else to do it using an oil-based ink that would not be affected by the water-based inks going on over the top.

In truth, the shadow printing shouldn't affect the final print to any great degree, since the key block will be printed over the top of it. But I would quite like not to have it happen at all.

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