Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Baren Rock Pile Grows! Day 1-2

(Well, I tried to add pictures today but Blogger isn't cooperating. Go to the webpage for the illustrated version!)
First block is proofed, printed, hanging, drying...oh joy!
The Great Baren Cairn is now well on its way to being completed.
For those of you who need a refresher, here is the page on my website, soon to be updated with all the gory details:
http://1000woodcuts.com/projects/cairn/index.html

Every good rock pile must start with a solid foundation, so I printed the bottom block first. The "makeready" part of printing these puzzles is a bit complex. Summarized, the process goes something like this:
-level blocks "dry" (without inking) and glue to the backing board to hold steady
-proof and tweak any obvious low blocks or low spots
-proof again
-carve away inked spots not on images, usually backgrounds or edge of blocks
-proof again
-ink the darned thing and get in the "production mode" mood
-repeat to taste until done

Well, one major adjustment I had to make and need to report. The initial plan was to provide every participant with 2 complete sets. Unfortunately these cherry plywood blocks didn't hold up to that. After having to repair several areas several times and watching the edges of some blocks go "soft" on me, I decided there was no possible way to get more prints out of the bottom block. With 79 participants and 96 good prints, this means only one set per participant. Live and learn!

Anyhow, the bottom block is done and I'm progressing to the middle block.