Saturday, April 07, 2012


To make amends for the long pauses between blog posts, I thought I'd share some photos of the rather complicated technique I'm using to create images for the accordion book. Of course it would have been simpler and quicker to draw directly onto the blank pages but I love the bold-edged shapes, textures and unexpected effects that can be achieved by printing. Normally I would use my etching press if printing from stencils, collagraphs, plates or blocks but it's not possible in this case because the bound book would be damaged. So my only tool is a wooden spoon and a great deal of hand/arm pressure as well as tons of patience. 

After making a rough pencil drawing for each double page, I modify and cut all the shapes out of thin card with a scalpel and/or scissors, deciding which parts can remain joined and which must be inked separately. Here's a sample of some stencils for two current panels.

Old telephone directories make good inking surfaces so there's always a clean new page for each stencil. Am using oil-based relief-printing inks so it gets very messy and there must be frequent cleaning of rollers and stencils, and therefore constant inhaling of noxious solvents' fumes. Yes I get groggy and wobbly but c'est la artiste's vie! Supposedly safer solvents have an unpleasant smell too and water-based inks do not produce the effects I want. 

Stencil being inked. 

The dark area behind the man's coat after printing. Below are the two new panels, finished except for a few details to be drawn in.

A very happy Easter, if you'll be celebrating it, or a very happy Sunday tomorrow if you're celebrating anything religiously or non-religiously. There, how much more all-inclusive can I be?


No comments: