I spent all yesterday morning preparing paper, rolling ink and printing my array of lino cuts. By the time I had finished and cleaned up and spread all the new prints over a towel on the bed it was about two o'clock and I was absolutely happily exhausted.
I also had to get down to the harbour to take some photos, although the weather was so terrible that i really did not get such great photos at all. I was drenched and more importantly so was my camera, even though I kept slipping it back into its plastic bag whenever i was not actually in action. But you know what it is like - eventually you are putting a wet camera back into a wet bag, no real advantage in that. So I bought some provisions and got back home.
But, back to the printing. Really happy with it. The new ink is definitely the bizz. I could tell as I was rolling it out, thick and viscous. It made that lovely tacky sort of stick stick noise as I rolled it out onto the glass plate. And then, when I rolled it onto the plate, it stuck to the surface without running down into the grooves at all. I could roll it over and over, building up a nice thickness of ink without ruining the edges. What a joy.
The actual printing was a bit more problematic as i am not fully equipped. I am using an old clothes mangle to print, but do not have a large enough bed to lie the print and paper on and i was feeling my way with pressure and padding pressing down on the top. So there were quite a few spoiled prints, but also there were some almost complete successes. i won't say complete success as there was no print that did not have little areas where the ink did not take. Still I think that the prints I have made, for the equipment I have are really good and, while I will not issue them as numbered prints, I will certainly issue them as trial prints, and in that of course they are in fact unique. I can tell you that is the sort of print I would prefer myself!
I will only do a couple of each - I do not have the paper anyway to print the whole run - and keep the plates for printing after I move. In Spain I will be able to set up a dedicated print area and also work on getting a printing press with all the correct paraphernalia.
I must say though that i am really pleased with my 'printing press'. As I mentioned, it is in fact an old clothes mangle which Vic bought me for my birthday present last December - it took a long time to put it to use, but it had to be bought when it was seen, with a view to the future. The sad thing is that I will not be able to take it with me when we leave - it weighs an absolute ton! I only hope we will be able to pick up something like it in Spain too.
This print is a little, graphic style picture of that nest with a cuckoo's egg in it. I enjoyed very much letting the twigs jut, twist and jerk their way into the weaving of the nest. I used the words of the bitter herbs that were woven into the walls. The herbs of tears and despair. I allowed the character of the lino cut to describe a background. It sort of lent itself really. I suppose it could be seen as a sketch really, but at the same time it does describe quite a nice whole. i find simplicity difficult, isn't that funny!