Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Prepping for the new Print

Doing my thumbnail sketches and research for the big print. Must get the image finalized today. The deadline is coming up soon. 
The studio cats are so curious about what I'm doing.  They lounge about watching me grain.  We grain our litho stones just outside of the studio on the patio. In addition to the cat audience, sometimes passersby like to watch me grain (must seem odd to them I guess). Gave myself a deadline to have the big stone grained by yesterday evening.  I did it.  The bigger the stone the longer it takes me.  

Started graining with #80 grit (carborundum) and used the heavy levigator.  There were some deeply cut registration marks that would be in the new image area.  Used all of the #80 grit in the shop  (about 6 sets) then switched over to a small graining stone instead of the levigator (much easier on my shoulder).  I grain until the grit and water make a light grey foam.  Try not to let the stone get too dry because I think it can cause graining marks.  I alternate sides between sets so that I don't grain unevenly.  #150 grit (about 4X) then #220 grit.  I used to grain to #280 grit but haven't on the last three prints.  Seems to be okay.  After I check to make sure the stone is flat. I use a 1/4" straight bar on its side and place a sliver of telephone book paper (approx. 1"wide and 3"long) between the stone and the straight bar.  If the stone is flat it will not pull through the space between the bar and the stone.  You check it by placing the bar every 4" vertically, then horizontally and finally diagonally across the stone.  To my delight the stone the stone check out to be perfectly flat.  If I don't check for flatness I run the danger of a couple of things, breaking my stone on the press because of unevenness and ink building up in the wrong areas.
After graining my stone I roundoff the edges with a file and then use wet sandpaper to make it smooth.  This will prevent ink collecting on the edges of the stone during roll-up and printing.
Yes, go ahead and say it, "she's procrastinating again"... A full pot of coffee later, I like to call it "processing"...maybe it's the "printmaking dance" I do every single time I get ready to draw on the stone.  Back to my drawing...hope everyone is having a good print week.  A visiting artist is coming tomorrow to talk at the UofA.  Her name is Minna Resnick, look forward to seeing her work. 

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