Yesterday was "take your child to work day." Eva stayed home from school and spent some time in the studio with me. She tried her hand at carving linoleum/wood blocks. Her school art class recently carved rubber blocks, so she was familiar with the process.
We ran into a few problems. Our on going stumbling block is Eva is left handed and I am not. We also had issues during the printing process. I usually place the block image facing upward, then press card stock on top, rubbing with my hands. This method usually works fine. Yesterday, it wasn't happening for us. The ink coverage was uneven and I couldn't correct the problem.
I found a book at our local library on printing methods and now have some ideas on how to improve our work. If you are interested in printing, this book is a jem.
The book has a copyright year of 1992, so I'm not sure how easy it is to find.
I used Speedball water base inks, they look like thick paint when squeezed out of the tube. I added a few drops of water to help spread the ink. I later read that dish liquid helps with surface tension between the ink and paper. Next time, I plan to skip the water and give the dish liquid a try.
My other thought was the paper we used. It was a paper designed for mixed media art. This type of paper is made to handle layers of paint and glues, it's a very heave weight paper. I'm thinking this paper contains a large amount of sizing. The watered down ink, along with the paper sizing, may have been the problem.
I picked a piece of scrap paper out of my trash pile and we had better luck with the print. The paper was ordinary copy paper.
I have also decided to try printing in the traditional method of placing the paper on a flat surface and pressing the block downward. This method calls for a soft pad to be placed under the paper. The pad helps distribute the pressure applied to the block during printing.
I found these sheets of soft packing material in my studio trash pile. I think they will work as a printing pad.
In my next post I'll share the prints I have been creating.
Stop back soon!
A sneak peak!