Monday, April 14, 2008

This is the kitchen pressurizing sprayer I use to apply an acrylic type aquatint.   I believe it's intended to be used for cooking oil.  You put the liquid in and screw on the sprayer top and then you slide the pump top onto the base and pump it until there's enough pressure.  I do this outside and use a dust mask to avoid breathing the aerosolized acrylic (Future floor polish or Lascaux hard resist).  I stand where there's a darking background so the droplets are visible and I spray up high into the air.  As the droplets fall I slide the copper plate horizontally into the cloud of descending spray and it settles on the plate very nicely.  I do this repeatedly until I have what I want, using a magnifier loupe to check the progress.   Windy days are a problem but I've managed to deal with even that

ot the patience to wait for the weather to cooperate!  I rinse out and pump and spray water through the sprayer as soon as I've finished applying the aquatint.  If I'm worried that some acrylic may have dried on it I put some ammonia in it and spray that but you need to hold your breath in that case.

Here's the sprayer taken apart--the top piece is the pump.  It's a pretty simple device.  There's a gasket you can't see that ensures that the sprayer makes a tight seal and holds the pressure.  I have another one that's all plastic and it has a crack in it but will hold the pressure pretty well in spite of that.

The last photo is of the pump on top ready for pressurizing.

If you look on my Etsy site you can see some aquatinted etchings I made with this process.

So here is the "Rats!" print.  I had to start over carving which is not something I like to do so I got to know this image very well.   I tried to use MDF and it carved really well but the minute water got on it the surface swelled up.  Perhaps if I had varnished before trying to print I could have avoided it but once it became uneven there was no remedy.  Well, it gave me a chance to refine the image...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Here are my prints all laid out to dry for the Barenforum's Chinese New Year exchange.  This is the year of the Rat.  I had a hard time warming up to the concept of rats but then I discovered all the people online who have pet rats and are apparently very fond of them.  VERY fond!   Do a Google search and you'll see what I mean.  So my rats are very well fed like pet rats and only a little bit mischievous.  I guess they're celebrating their year by nibbling on the calendar!  

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Here's a print from the first block I printed.  This is on an interesting paper from Indonesia someone gave me.
Here's one of my favorites--I like the way the pears glow.  It's so different from how I originally envisioned it but it doesn't matter!

Reduction Prints

I've decided to blog more regularly so today seems like a good day to add something--I took a two day workshop with Chuck Miley today and yesterday.  We worked on making reduction relief prints with  emphasis on drawing with our gouges.    It was liberating!  Although we made drawings from a still life, they became just a departure point.   Later I'll upload a picture of the black and white block prints but for today take a look at some of the multi color  prints!