Dec 28, 2009

First there is a mountain...

I did my first real image based print as a Christmas project, and oh did I learn things! (Pardon my digital camera, it hasn't felt like taking pictures lately. Its just not into that sort of thing anymore.) So, I started with a drawing and used that to carve a lino block:
I only used the one carved block, but did two color runs - the first black, then navy blue over the top. The black ink was your typical rubber based ink used with lead type and what not, the navy blue was a water based acrylic. Two very different inks. Interrestiinng, she says. I inked up the press as usual for the black run, but because of my acrylic paint/roller fiasco this summer I decided to skip the rollers on the blue run and just brayer the ink directly onto the block. Good idea I think. Here's the first run with black only:
Ink coverage for both runs was not so great. Not because of either ink, but just the press itself. I'm beginning to believe solid even coverage on large areas of color is impossible with the Kelsey, I've heard the stories. I suspect it has something to do with how the arm delivers pressure to the platen -- unevenly?? No amount of impression screwing was getting me anywhere. I tried brayering on a ton of ink which worked for a few pulls, but eventually there was just too much ink on my block. Prints were coming out goopy and sloppy so I had to clean the block off and start fresh. In fact there was so much ink on the block that the print would stick to it as I let the arm down. This actually came out in my favor as I was able to burnish the back of the print, improving coverage slightly.

For this type of print I think I prefer the lighter acrylic ink. It sure came out pretty on my tympan! Also I don't think I'll use the rubber based and water based in combo again. Can't really say why, just a hunch I suppose. I want to move towards printing more images like this and to do so successfully I think I'm going to need a different press... here we go! I'm thinking a larger flatbed for more even coverage and bigger prints! We'll see....

Dec 22, 2009

Dec 7, 2009


The sun was so bright! In December! Everything looked like a story book and crazy things happened with my film. It was an excellent day.

Nov 30, 2009

CarkEEk Park

Took the Polaroid to Carkeek Park this weekend to explore. YES! NEW PARK! MORE PORTRAITS OF MY TREE FAMILY!! The weather was on the lighter side of grim for once, and my enthusiasm was through the roof.


There's a creek in this park, very cool. There were even spent salmon in it! (too bad that photo didn't come out - so!)


I'm starting to catch on to focus, light and shutter particularities but here's my trouble - when I'm outside its difficult for the photos to dry properly, and when I put them away they stick together creating blemishes. Any suggestions outside of just waiting longer to stick em in the envelope? Is this a temperature thing that could possibly lessen in the summer time? Is there a magic paper I can stick between the photos? Am I just being lazy? Will trade for magic secrets.

*thanks ben, for getting me there and putting up with my raw enthusiam. !!SQUIRREL!!

Nov 17, 2009

Punch Cards -- Night & Day

So I did a little print job for the tea shop -- loyalty punch cards. It took two attempts, the first totally wretched - the second totally rockin! I don't know what sort of bad vibes I had going on the first night, but it just seemed like nothing was working right. Prints were looking like this:
They were coming out with a ghosty faded spot that moved across the card! Before I realized the under-inked patch was moving I packed and re-packed the tympan with endless disappointment. I ended up over-inking to compensate, which was a problem in itself. Too much ink on the form and the card would get pulled right out of my makeshift guage pins, stick to the form and the rollers would ink over the back of it on their way down. Ugh.
Also! Part of my press literally disappeared!! The little pin? screw? wire? spring? (how should I know? its nowhere to be found!!) that held this action together (called the "ink table operating dog") is totally gone. I replaced it with a nail and some masking tape. High class, I know. I didn't noticed it had disappeared, so the ink plate didn't turn as I was printing and the ink built up unevenly on the rollers - compounding my inking/printing problems. Hooray!

I finally realized that the under-inked spot moving across my cards was caused by a spot on one of the rollers that wasn't inking up, probably because of some left-over crisco from the last time they were cleaned. The only fix was to clean the rollers and start fresh. It was already 11pm so I said Fuck it! and quit for the night.

My next day off I got up early and tried again. This time everything was glorious! I listened to an awesome Jefferson Airplane album (volunteers) while I printed and everything was just great. Prints were coming out like this:
Even and pretty! Yay! I don't even have much to say about it went so well, except that Jefferson Airplane and letterpress were made for each other. Oh, here's a shot of my make shift guage pins:
I made them out of sewing pins, just popped the heads off. I carved a full bleed on both the top and bottom of my lino block without thinking how I would hold the card in the press. (DUH!) So there are still two little white spots on the bottom of each card where the wave border didn't print because of the pins. Oh well. That was more of a blow on night one.

I also noticed on day two that lino blocks are slightly lower than lead type, so I stripped the masking tape wrap from my trucks and it really improved how well the block was inking.

Day two was a hit! I ended up printing about 500, that's quite a lot! Thanks Jefferson Airplane!
Here's another picture of the press looking pretty:

Nov 16, 2009

I got a snazzy new workbench for my press! Picked it up at the Fremont Sunday Market a few weeks ago. It came with a level and even has a vise - which doubles as a perfect red towel hook when I'm printing, as shown here. SO GOOD!

Nov 10, 2009

*very* amateur photography

Ok so here are some of the pictures I've taken with the Polaroid:

Focus and light (whats the photography word for this? aperture?) are manually adjustable, as is shutter speed to some extent. (I've found that sometimes when I hold the trigger down the shutter stays open til I lift my finger, sometimes it just does its own thing.) I've found we do best with vistas and landscape type shots, mid-range and close-ups are pretty dicey right now - I think due more to my inexperience than any lack of ability on the cameras part. Also, I am a weiner and the first few exposures are really hard for me to pull out of the camera. :) The exposures also dry funny and get really dirty when I'm outside, as I'm sure you see above.

New Toy

So I take lots of walks in Discovery Park these days, and whenever I'm there I crave a dog as my buddy and camera to record my discoveries. Since a dog would be a fairly irresponsible acquisition at this point I decided to go for the camera. I don't have the commitment or the patience for a traditional film camera with all its developing and lack of instant gratification, and a digital just doesn't feel right - so I researched instants for a few days straight and ended up with this:
Its a Polaroid Automatic 100 and it takes Fuji FP 100c film -- which is still in production, yeah! When it arrived I took it apart and did a little restoration, and also coverted the battery compartment to take AAA batteries instead of whatever dinosaur battery was in there to begin with. its really charming and i love it.

Nov 9, 2009


Occasionally I like to take pictures of the sky outside my window.

Nov 3, 2009

oh yeah...

my vulva patches are for sale here:
 ...and on the side over there -->>> 

Nov 2, 2009


I've been meaning to share these for a while now, since late june when I got back from China actually. Just four months ago. Or the other day as I would say. I didn't take a camera to China (WHAT?!!!!!! said everyone...) so these are what I did instead of taking pictures.

Lots of adorable and elderly chinese people chattered at me with much interest as I sat on the street drawing. It was quite charming. Of my many spectators only two hit on me, and one old man was kind enough to squash any bugs that were landing on me. I love CHINA!