May 28, 2012

How to Make Friends

I might have mentioned that heat and humidity are not my friends (um, yeah, like a million times). But I have to admit, however reluctantly, that the weather I find unbearable provides the optimal conditions for  block printing. The solvent-free, water-soluble inks I use dry quickly. The humidity, disgusting though it is, slows the drying time of the ink. This is a good thing. It allows me to keep printing one card after another until I run out of room to spread the cards out to dry. Unlike printing during dry, dry forced air heat winter. Then I could ink and print my block about 6 times before the ink began to dry on the ink plate (the flat, metal thingie on which I roll out the ink), the brayer (the round, rolly thing used to transfer ink to the block), and the block (the hand carved stamp-like thing), which causes uneven ink coverage. This necessitates frequent washings of all the above mentioned tools. Which cannot be used again until they are completely dry. Pain. In. The. Butt.

This is the Friend block, first seen here, cut into 6 separate strips. Each strip is glued to a clear, acrylic mount typically meant for mounting rubber or plastic stamps. The text is mounted on one block, the paper dolls are mounted on a second block. The dolls are red in this shot only because I was in the process of printing them. 
I printed the text on a bunch of cards and allowed them to dry for a couple of days.
Then I inked up the paper doll block and paused for a sip of coffee.
I practiced lining up the paper doll block with the printed text on a bunch of test prints, then tried to place the paper doll block in the same location on each of the cards.
Voila. A finished card, Loyal Luddite style.

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