Monday, August 10, 2009

The block is cut -

"Salt and Pepper (Artists' Proof)"
erasercut by Mick Mather
- click on image to view full size -

More than a few folks whose blogs I visit or make comments at same, are talking about printmaking. Lisa Sarsfield did a lovely cut of some teasel that I particularly enjoyed. A few months ago I, too, was cutting a block for the first time in years and today's post is the result using the reduction method to get a print with more than one color or hue. To reach this point you begin with a drawing on the block (see the original sketchbook drawing here) and begin cutting. After inking the block in black and laying it to a piece of hand-made paper I ended up with a white-line drawing (the white paper serves as the second color). Next the gray areas and a line frame were cut. The block was inked again with dark gray and, using a registration template, laid to paper a second time to get his three-color print.

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28 Comments:

Blogger John said...

This is great, Mick - also the narrative.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Mick said...

John:
This sort of printmaking can be as challenging as the explanation. Thanks, John.

7:06 PM  
Blogger SusuPetal said...

Salt and pepper I could use,
I'm so tired. What's the news?

Spice me up a little bit,
I'll take a nap, after that: hit!

12:56 AM  
Blogger Mick said...

SusuPetal:
See you after your nap, Susu! :)

5:52 AM  
Blogger Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

This is beautiful!

How do you make a registration template if the paper is larger than the block?

6:33 AM  
Blogger Mick said...

Mary Stebbins Taitt:
There are a number of ways. In my case, I created an L-shaped bracket from bristol board and glued that to a large piece of bristol board - big enough to accommodate the paper. Then another bracket made of foam core (offset the required distance to frame the print) on top of the first. The paper slides in, stopped by the first bracket and then the inked block is laid to paper using the second bracket to keep everything even and lined up.

6:47 AM  
Blogger Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Could you possibly photograph that and em it to me or post it? I'm having trouble visualizing it. I want to do it--I've been doing black prints for years, including ones with two colors, but I tried to hand match them or used paper the same size as the block and made a bracket for both.

6:51 AM  
Blogger Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

matching them by hand works poorly!

:-(

although sometimes the effect was interesting.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I really like this piece a lot!

6:52 AM  
Blogger Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Actually, reading this over, maybe I could figure it out. THANK YOU very much.

6:53 AM  
Blogger Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Actually, it all seems quite simple and elegant now--I can't wait to try it. THANKS

6:59 AM  
Blogger Mick said...

Mary Stebbins Taitt:
LMAO ... well, Mary, this certainly seems to have lit a fire under you! It really isn't that difficult but let me know if you want a diagram and/or the photo of my registration outfit. :)

7:06 AM  
Blogger Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I was confused when I first read it, but I think I've got it now!

I've been wanting to try this. I'm working on two children's novels a the moment, but I bought some blocks and ink and can't wait to try it as soon as I get a chance.

THANKS MICK!

8:05 AM  
Blogger Mick said...

Mary Stebbins Taitt:
You're welcome, Mary. :D

12:31 PM  
Blogger Lisa Sarsfield said...

Lovely! I really hope you do some more of these! Loved the explaination too. I definately have to do some more printing..and thanks for the link up (again!) Is this print true to size? I think of erasers (rubbers here) being small in size and not a big surface to work on. I noticed the food theme between these and the toast series and TV dinner series...are you hungry Mick? lol or is there an underlying theme there?

5:40 PM  
Blogger Mick said...

Lisa Sarsfield:
I seem to be averaging one new cut each year so who knows. The actual image size is 6" X 6" - if you clicked on this I believe it opens to that full size. The material is actually a rubber composite material made by NASCO (a catalog mail order arts & crafts materials company) known as Safety-Kut Printmakers Block that comes in sheets as large as 17" X 24". That said, 20 years ago I began publishing Eraser Carvers Quarterly, a digest for folks who were carving their own rubberstamps from erasers, and in the mid-1990's I coined the term erasercut to reference the variety of rubber, composite and plastic materials that were and still are used. Now, I'm famished! What's for dinner? :)

7:11 PM  
Blogger Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Oooh, I like making eraser cuts too.

I did a bunch of them years ago.

I normally only make stew or soup in the winter, but hot as it is, I'm planning on making some tomorrow. I'm looking for something different.

I love how these look when you click ont hem. Also, when you don't.

7:15 PM  
Blogger Mick said...

Mary Stebbins Taitt:
Stew? Did I hear someone say there's stew? :D

7:29 PM  
Blogger Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

The stew is cooking now and the whole house smells heavenly. I braised the beef with braising flour and sauteed onions, garlic and shallots and added shiitakes and white garden mushrooms. Later I will add some of the bounty of our garden. Want some?

(Did I mention that I have a retreat space available for artists and writers?)

9:06 AM  
Blogger Mick said...

Mary Stebbins Taitt:
Do I want some? Yes, please. :)

You mentioned the retreat and I responded: "Tell me more?"

10:37 AM  
Blogger Lisa Sarsfield said...

Taking a break from some lino cutting today I decided to google Eraser Carvers Quarterly...very interesting reading today to say the least!! I found some facinating articles, about you and by you... you certainly are well thought of and resepcted in this field and yet you just casually mentioned the quarterly! Being nosey I also found the details revealed about you rather facinating! Especially the article about your early drawing books and the old radio.
Then I googled some more and found loads of images stamped by you! Even a carving OF you done by someone else...2 favorites so far...Midnight in a Camden Field and Shawna...and I'm still reading!

7:47 PM  
Blogger Mick said...

Lisa Sarsfield:
Thanks very much for digging so deep, Lisa. I should admit that it's not out of humbleness that I refrain from shouting about all of that good work, rather because it seems to be an age ago to me. Anyway, I'm certainly proud of what I've accomplished and, as you're quickly discovering, it's there to be found with a little bit of effort and time in the search engines. :)

4:48 AM  
Blogger Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I've been reading about the eraser-cutter's Quarterly too--Enjoyed finding some samples. You;re so famous, Mick. I need to touch the hem of your jeans!

7:59 PM  
Blogger Mick said...

Mary Stebbins Taitt:
... and he blushes ...

7:29 AM  
Blogger Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

The part I like is that you are so nice, personable, sweet--AND talented! YAY! it's a great combination!

4:16 PM  
Blogger Mick said...

Mary Stebbins Taitt:
... (and he blushes a deeper shade of red) ...

7:22 PM  
Blogger Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Well, it's true!

7:44 AM  
Blogger Mick said...

Mary Stebbins Taitt:
... :) ...

9:40 AM  

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