Thursday, July 21, 2011

Getting Everything Together

The Graphic Chemical catalog finally arrived!!! It's been over a month since I ordered this one and almost three months since I requested a free one (which has yet to arrive).

Here is the only page I was interested in. I am making the decision to use water-based inks because I will be printing in the kitchen of my house. While I could open windows for ventilation, I would still have to clean my supplies in the kitchen sink, which doesn't sit well with me. As much as I love the look of oil-based ink, water-based inks just seem like a safer, easier alternative.

Not long after the catalog arrived, my hand roller arrived! It mostly looks like a huge rubber rolling pin. The blocks of wood on each end are just a temporary stand. While I think this type of roller is meant for lithography, I used one while I was in school for a large relief print and liked the weight and feel of it. Since I plan to do more large prints, I chose to get one for myself. The brayers I keep finding are a bit too small for my taste.

While it might have taken a long time for the roller and catalog to arrive, the ink came less than a week after I ordered it. I ordered black, peacock blue, and lemon yellow. The colored bands are pieces of tape to help keep the lids on and air out.

I scraped some blue ink on the paper I intend to use with a paint scraper. After it dried, I scraped yellow on top of it. The green and blue are both way too dark. I am not really sure what I am going to do about the situation.

Here is some ink spread on a piece of glass. Before I go and buy additives or other inks I wanted to see what the blue looked like when rolled out on a block and printed. The messy blob to the top left is a piece of wax paper that is kept in the can on top of the ink to help keep it from drying. Despite the lid, tape, and wax paper, the blue had already started developing a skin on top of the ink. It was a bit messy to remove and discard. I don't like letting it stay in the can because it could break up and get into the usable ink.

I got a few things with the press I bought. One of them was this mystery canister of what I think is extender. This is added to the ink on the glass to stretch it out and keep it from drying as fast. I added a good bit to my test pile to see if it made the blue more transparent when printed.

Here are the results of my tests with the blue. The topmost piece is the scraped on blue and yellow that was shown above. The rest are in consecutive order as I work the test block up to print. The splotchiness bothers me. I am not sure if it's due to the extender I added to the ink, or if it's the ink itself. I still feel that the blue may be too dark, but I will see what happens when I print yellow on top of it.

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