Friday, May 1, 2015

Test block carving and bonus studio puppy

Test Block

I mentioned in some earlier post that one of my "jobs" as a project instigator is to make sure everyone receives their prints back and that the prints are worthy of having. 
Having an 8-panel print is a bit scary because the cherry plywood blocks, as any other wood block, softens after a couple of hundred prints. This time I will need the blocks to yield as many prints as they will give, 160 plus slop/trial proofs. That's getting awfully close to the life of the block limit.

Same design as the Peace Puzzle in 12 x 30 inch test block
Adding to that bit of nervousness, this batch of cherry plywood came with an under-layer of MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard, cheap wood-like stuff). Cool stuff, carves nicely but a bit soft for my taste as it dents easier than standard cherry plywood with all wood under-layers. 

So! with all that in mind, I decided to carve a test block in order to have something to abuse prior to actual printing of the Peace Puzzle blocks. I plan on being truly rough with the poor thing and carved a variety of detail, open lines, flat areas and other variations to see how each will hold up under my mightiest ink roller and the pressure of the press. I have a couple of sealers in mind that will harden the surface to preserve details and want to test them out.

Here we go!

Inked up, oiled up and ready to carve

Ahhhh, beautiful if I may say so myself

The promised bonus studio puppy, an unexpected find in the desert
upon returning from my walk.
For all kinds of puppy nonsense, go to my Facebook profile
Fortunately for carving's sake, she sleeps a lot

More progress

Dove is looking good, about half-way done

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