Monday, February 23, 2009

Large Block Print - Printed!

So after returning from Bamfield, Dave & I had a nasty, awful flu/cold for two whole weeks. The little time I was in the studio, I was definitely not up to carving that large block of MDF started in January. Then I got back to the studio recently, and worked steadily on the carving, to have it complete last night (yay!).

Amie Roman as burnishings on FlickrMurri investigating the carved block this morning

Amie Roman as burnishings on FlickrClose ups of the carving

Amie Roman as burnishings on Flickr
Amie Roman as burnishings on FlickrThis morning, Mom & I reorganized the studio (finally) so that it is laid out more usefully, and with better space.

Amie Roman as burnishings on Flickr
Amie Roman as burnishings on Flickr
So I took advantage of the better layout and inked up the block tonight. Mom helped me to pull some proofs; I'm having difficulty getting the pressure right on my etching press, mostly because I don't know what I'm doing. So this print was hand-burnished after going through the press, to make sure the transfer of the darks was uniform. This is a blend of carbon black and burnt umber Daniel Smith water-soluble relief ink, on natural kitakata paper.

Amie Roman as burnishings on Flickr(the above is a craptastic photo; it's supposed to be a natural buff paper with a dark brown ink)

We will be mucking around with the pressure again tomorrow morning.

Plus, I got to break in my new Takach brayer. I am in love!

Amie Roman as burnishings on Flickr


Annie B said...

Wowee, that's some carving! How do you like that Dremel? I always imagine a power tool skipping across the block (like I've had many a drill bit do to me!), but it looks like you have perfect control of it. Murri seems very into it.

Unknown said...

Thanks Annie! Yes, I love the Dremel. It does take some control, but with the FlexShaft attachment, it is really easy to use. I am planning on getting an armature that attaches to the desk so I can hang the main body of the Dremel, which makes the FlexShaft more "flexible" in its movement. Right now, the weight of the Dremel tool sort of restricts the movement of the FlexShaft and hence the cutting bit.

Murri's pretty good about making sure everything in this house is done to his standard of approval. :)

Michelle Turbide, an artist on a soul journey said...

way to go master carver! I wish I could see your block in person. It looks very intricate. I'm jelous of your studio space. It looks like you have a lot of space to spread out!

Elana Goren said...

What's it like to work with MDF? Why did you choose that over wood?

Beautiful work!

Unknown said...

Michelle - yup, tonnes of space, especially now that we've reorganized it into a much more useful configuration. I'm extremely lucky: two presses, a large paper storage cabinet, and a huge naturally lighted space. Definitely spoiled!!

Elana - I've never carved wood (other than engraving end-grain boxwood, not the same at all), and I'm chicken about the grain. Actually, I'm also not a huge fan of the grain in the prints (for my work, not for everyone else's). That might change, eventually. MDF is smooth, I have a garage full of it thanks to a auction-going relative, and it carves like a dream with the Dremel. I can get almost engraving-quality marks in it with the Dremel, so there's a huge range of finesse in mark-making available that really appeals to me (I use a FlexShaft attachment that really helps with the control of the tool, too). Plus, I can draw right on the block, spray-fix it, and try to get that pencil-line interpretation into my carving. Mostly it's 'cause I have a garage full of it!!