Monday, September 21, 2009

Now where were we?

Oh, yes. One of us was subtly hiding the fact that she made a big boo boo on the current project, and was waiting until she found a solution before she said anything about it.

Before all the running around of the last week, you might recall there was a linocut, supposedly of oak leaves, underway. The last time you saw it, it had a mysterious mustard-colored smudge on it. Later that same day it had a mysterious orange-colored smudge applied, and then a tan leaf-like color over the entire block.

And there the trouble began. Smarty-pants me thought the tan color would cover parts of the orange and yellow smudges and obliterate the fact that lazy inking had occurred. Smarty-pants me was mistaken. Here's what you missed.

Oops. Houston, we have bleed-through. And the tan color is a little too dark for this step, too.

So you didn't see this shot... determined as I was to have a solution before admitting the error of my ways.

This afternoon (which I might mention has been cold, gray, rainy and even, yes, spitting something which might be identified in some locales as snow) I finally had some time to spend in damage control, so I decided to do a little selective stenciling. I SHOULD have done this for yellow and orange. The payback for my laziness is that have to do it anyway.

I made my stencil from a sheet of tracing paper placed over the block. A few choice shapes were cut out, and ink was applied. Worked like a charm. The most critical sections where bleed-through occurred have been covered, I avoided putting another complete layer of lighter ink on the print, and I can now go forward from here. I think. Whew.

The most fun part of this adventure, however, was getting to use my improved drying rack setup! I've been wanting to change the location and height of my snazzy clothespin and 1x2 print rack since... oh... about the time we moved in and installed it. On our way home from the Front Range last week we stopped by my brother's to claim another precious flat file that he had managed to acquire (for FREE), and had been storing in his garage. You know how this goes, right? You bring in one new piece of furniture and the entire room has to be rearranged.

Actually, we only had to rearrange one end of the room, because the only place to put the new file was on top of the old one. They weren't exactly the same size, so some tipping and sliding and smooshing had to take place. Once that was done, it was clear that the print rack had to go somewhere else. But WHERE? Space is definitely at a premium. The best spot to put it was right in front of the files, where I could reach it to use, but it would then be in the way of file access.

Good thing we bought those pulleys over a year ago and put them in the drawer to collect dust.

After a modicum of head-scratching and clothesline restringing, we finally installed my completely adjustable rack! Lower it to hang prints... raise it to access the files. Are we brilliant, or what? ;-)


  1. Very cool! Both the raising and lowering drying rack, and the stencil solution for the ink bleed-through. Good thing this dose of nasty fall weather moved in so you could have a quiet day at home for head-scratching and coming up with creative solutions!

    Put on your warmies before bed, because it's going to be COLD tonight. And speaking of all that, cover your tomatoes and basil if they're still outside. (We cut down our tomato plants this afternoon and took the green fruits inside to ripen in paper bags. Took the basil in too, and the summer squash and the melon and the oriental eggplants. Bye bye summer garden.

  2. The adjustable rack is excellent.

    Work threw out a couple of steel map cabinets before I left.

    Unfortunately I had no way of moving them and no place to put them, even if I could have shifted them.

    I hope they went to a good home.


  3. Oh, look! The tubes of the internets are making Susan go by her secret code name now. What's up with THAT?

    I did cover my 'maters, thanks, and they seem to have survived the night. More or less. We'll see, I might just finish stripping them tonight.

    Oh, Snail... so sad to think of abandoned map files. There's actually second one still at the bro's garage, but he's undecided about whether he'll use it himself. How are things in Wonderland?

  4. using those pulleys was a great idea, seems to work wonderfully

    glad you figured out a solution for the print. would hate to have to start again

  5. I would hate to have to remember Susan's secret code name :-D

    Your pulley idea is great. I am going to put this idea in my file.

    You know what "they(whoever "they" are?)say about mistakes - mistakes are the way we learn. Jeeeesh! I, for one, wish I could learn a few things without having to make the mistakes first.


  6. :-) I am reminded of a bumper sticker I saw not long ago:

    "Oh no! Not another @#$$%@ learning experience!"

  7. Hi! I came across your blog through the "I'd Rather Be in the Studio" book. You mentioned in it you did linocuts, and as a linocut enthusiast myself thought I'd check it out. Your work is very beautiful, and extremely delicate.
    But furthermore, your drying rack is ingenious! I work in a studio that is lacking in drying space (with about 40 students printing, one drying rack and three small strings of clothes lines space runs out fast) and this pulley system is brilliant! I showed it to my professor and he was equally impressed. :) We're talking now about making something similar to take advantage of all the overhead space we have.
    Anyway, I thought I'd just say hello and comment on your lovely prints and lovely print equipment. I'll be following your blog and looking for updates frequently. Take care!

    -Kellie Hames