Thursday, March 13, 2008

That's better!

The lamented paper arrived yesterday, so of course I spent some time this morning FINALLY getting this first color down on the new linocut. My world always seems much better when the rack is full of drying prints. As usual, I've gone off without a real plan. I thought this was only going to be two ink passes, but now I'm thinking three. We'll see how it goes.

I've never had space for an actual print-drying rack... the kind with wire shelves that stores prints flat. Once upon a time I strung binder clips along a dowel suspended between chairs... but more than once that less-than-optimal system crashed to the floor. (Can you say "dented and dusty print salvage takes time"?)

So, I needed a stable drying system that wouldn't take up space. (The clip-and-dowel thing always came off the chairs and stood upright in the closet when I wasn't using it.) I drew a scribble of a board and some clothespins on a scrap of paper and my friend Randy agreed to help me put the thing up. It goes like this:

Materials: A nice piece of 1" x 2" scrounged from somewhere, a bag of screws, a bag of wooden clothes pins, some clothesline, two eyelet screws, and plant hooks. Tools: An electric drill with a handy screw bit. (Yes, I have one, and I know how to use it.)

I've got my clothespins spaced 2.5 inches apart on center, which seems to work well even when I'm hanging larger paper (larger paper tends to curl when suspended by a single point). I have two plant hooks in the ceiling (about 6 feet apart), and two corresponding eyelet screws in the top of the 1x2 board. Tie a piece of clothesline to each eyelet, make a loop in the other end of each string, and hang it from the plant hooks. Easy.

Randy cleverly suggested that we tie a second loop in the clothesline just above each eyelet screw. This way I can hang the entire thing up next to the ceiling when I'm not using it, so it's out of the way. I tried to take a photo of this, but my camera wouldn't cooperate, so here's a handy diagram: (click on it to see a larger version.)

My rack has space to hang 30 prints at once, but for those times when I want more space I made a second board-and-clothespins rig that hangs from the bottom of the first. (Like double-hanging a closet.) Things start to get a little wobbly... but it works!

In other news, I'm working on illustrations for the new Blake Nursery catalog, some linocut icons for the Southeast Colorado Heritage Trail, an interp display for the local US Forest Service office, panels for Garden of the Gods and Skaguay SWA and..... um... wait.... I'll remember in a minute. Oh, right... it's Audubon Adventures time again. Geez. It always happens this way.

UPDATE: I did eventually rig this to pulleys, so it's even easier to use now. I had to rearrange my studio space, and the only place to hang the rack was right in front of my large, often-accessed flat files. I let it down when I'm printing, hang the prints, and then zip it back up to the ceiling to dry. Plenty of room to get to the files. Peachy!


  1. Busy gal, you are (that's either Yoda or Yiddish grammer)! I have an idea for suspending your print rack- how about a pulley system to raise and lower it? Convenient and more fun to play with, too.

    Beautiful print, exquisite watercolor!

  2. Oh, what a cool system! I'm going to try it; I have no space at all. Thanks for posting this!


Linocut in Progress: The Third Act

Time to wrap up this linocut ! And we are wrapping at warp speed (see what I did there?)... because there are deadlines. Exhibition deadline...