Sunday, July 13, 2014

Drawing with Knives

Step one in transforming a drawing into a relief print is to do a simple graphite line tracing of the drawing, outlining areas that are to be left white if they occur in the middle of black shapes.  On the left you can see the tracing paper overlay with the traced drawing at the top.  I moved it around a bit, selecting different elements of the machine head from different drawings. 

Step two is to flip the tracing over and burnish the traced lines onto the piece of rubber that will form the block.  Then the next and most time-consuming part is to carve away everything that should not show up in the print.  At the bottom right is the first proof of the carving.
The prints on this page are from different states or stages of the carving as I removed more and more and smaller and smaller pieces of rubber.
In 2792 I added a wheel above the small wheel on the top right of the machine head.  (This series is remindng me of those standardized tests we were given in primary grades in which we had to selelct the one clown holding a bunch of balloons that was in some minute way different from the other nine clowns holding balloons.  How are you doing here?)
The more-or-less final print, on the right.  One final step was marking the back with a level line so that the print could be positioned level on the page.  I think I'll leave those few remaining tool marks because I like the texture and the traces of the process.  I may go in and outline the treadle belt as it passes through the base plate.  It's key to move slowly in this process.  Once something is taken away it can't be replaced, but it's easy to remove more.

1 comment:

  1. Dang! It disappeared again! Here goes: Great job, Gwen! Looks good! I know that awful feeling when you've carved too much! NO! ;)