Guest Post: First Stab at PrintmakingJuly 31, 2012 - Author: admin
This is a guest post from Rachael!
Hi fellow lovers of everything that is good! I am so please to be able to guest post on Jones and Bayba’s awesome blog, they are such great examples of doing what you love and sharing it with others. My name is Rachael, and I blog over at my husband and I’s little spot of internet here. It’s our little family blog where I babble on about life and things I love. My own little outlet. I also happen to have the great luck of being a fellow Boston resident with Emily, so we got together recently and she taught me printmaking! I love to learn new skills and this one is so wonderfully addicting and relatively simple. So here’s how it went down, from a beginners perspective:
1. Materials. Luckily Emily had everything we needed, so I was set to go. However I was surprised and pleased to realize that the materials are not expensive. And once you buy some of them once (like the cutters and blades) you are set to go on making many projects.
2. Carving your image. We chose linoleum to carve for my first time. It is easy to carve and inexpensive. I knew I wanted to do a Moroccan style print so I went online for some inspiration, printed off an image, and then traced that image onto the linoleum block. Using the cutter I carefully carved around the image we penciled onto the block, making sure to carve deep enough so the recessed areas would not receive ink and the relief would print clearly.
3. Mixing and Rolling. Emily is a master paint maker, did you know? She whipped up batches of a pretty dark teal and a bright coral for us to use, and each time it was identical! Talent I say. Something I learned is important is to have a very flat surface when you mix and ink. I had a glass top table that worked great, or you could use a flat baking sheet. Once you mix your color up in a nice little blob (we used a butter knife), flatten it out and mix it completely with your roller using crossing motions. You should have a nice flat layer of ink on your surface to work with.
4. Inking. Once you have the color you want, get a good layer of ink on your roller and apply a thin layer to your “plate” (I kept calling it a stamp. I still am learning all this artistic jargon).
5. Testing, testing, 1-2-3. Make sure to test your image on a spare piece of paper or fabric before you move on to your project. Add more ink, or carve more linoleum away as you need.
6. Print away! Once we tested, I got to work on the pillowcases I was printing. I inked up my plate, placed it on the fabric carefully, pressed it, and then gave it a few good whacks with a rubber mallet. Our upstairs neighbors must have thought we were doing serious renovations with all the hammering going on When pulling the plate away it helped to use a bottom-to-top, rolling type motion. I did two different colors of my print, so to keep an even space in between we placed another un-inked plate of the same size to help us register.
7. Enjoy your beautiful hand printed item. I absolutely love how my pillow cases turned out. There is something so special about having a hand printed item in your home. Especially when you made it yourself! This was a simple and fun skill to learn. I have officially been bitten by the printmaking bug, and I hope it is contagious. Go try it for yourself!
You can follow Rachael’s blog here