Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mirror mirror...

For the first block of the Marauding Metaphors exhibit print, I worked out the metamorphosis of book into web into book in Photoshop. I almost never completely finish the sketching in PS because my hand and carving tools demand their "say" in the final print. Once I was semi-satisfied with the sketch, I transferred to the first block. The sketch, again, looked like this:
The transfer method I used this time involved this waxy paper called "studio paper" available at Worked like a charm! I have used wax paper and laser transparencies (on an ink jet printer) before and this Studio Paper gives about the best results.
I simply sized half the sketch to the block size, then split into 8.5" x 11" chunks to properly print on the wax paper. Since it is translucent, it is very easy to line up the pieces to transfer the whole image. No press needed, baren pressure is enough to achieve a crisp, detailed transfer.

So today I transferred my first carved block onto the second. I am using Shina Plywood, which is fairly soft and thought maybe I could get a pretty good transfer with one light pass of the press. But just in case, I first printed a couple of good prints onto tracing paper. If my block-to-block mirror transfer failed, I could always paste the tracing paper on the mirror block and proceed.

Lo and behold, perfect transfer on the block! A few low spots, expected since I didn't want to use high pressure. But it is all visible, details intact, no indents, lined up perfectly and ready for the knife.

This is what the final image will look like:
yummy! but I still need to name it! suggestions?
mirror mirror...
it's all good
the more you know...
(those are all lame)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Marauding Metaphors

That is the title of a show I have been invited to make a piece for. The show runs during a book fair here in Vegas and when you get invited to be in a show, you show up. I had to interrupt my drunken bee print but I will get to it soon enough.

Meantime, here is my contribution, well, half my contribution!

 The plan (I know I know...) is to print this onto another block, then make prints of each of the mirrored blocks. The blocks then become the book "inside covers" and the prints are bound between.
When seen together, the web becomes a whole web and the books meld into the web both going and coming. People will actually be able to turn the pages, always getting a dual mirror image.

This image came to me because lately, images about books and technology that I have seen are all negative. Negative negative negative, sigh.
Well, I love books, and I love the web.

IMHO, technology, the web in particular, have made books more accessible, not less. Isn't the whole point acquiring vast amounts of knowledge until our heads explode? Well, that's my goal in life anyway, one of them!

And don't get me wrong, I LOVE real bound and printed books as four rooms of books in my house can attest. I have bookshelves against the ceiling, floor to ceiling shelves, books in my studio up high, down low...real books. I also collect and cherish old printmaking books, real gems.

But recently I've read about WordPress, wills and trusts, non-profit law, and caring for geriatric dogs all on my Kindle, or my Kindle app on my iPad. Because "those" books I just recycle after a couple of readings anyway. So now they live forever in my e-library.

Back to my image, I wanted it to be a positive marriage between books and the web and the web and books. There is some quirky symbolism there, using a spider web (reminiscent of the dusty and forgotten) as the symbol for technology. But then I'm kind of a quirky person.

Anyhow, here is the plan as laid out in a quick Photoshop sketch, except the middle "book" is a "web."
Now, what shall I name it? Anyone?
Tomorrow, I print and carve the other block. It's Shina ply so the carving goes pretty quick. Each block is 16" x 20". I can't wait to print and "bind" my book.