Monday, June 28, 2021

Pasta maker and tetrapak printing


tetrapak plate, two prints on Stonehenge and Kitikata papers

Well, this is exciting. I have been playing with the pasta maker printing and I think it's working. It's very hot so my ink gets thick and hard to wipe in less than a minute. I'm using Blick waterproof block printing ink. However, I think the light print from the last post was due to not rubbing the ink into the incised lines. I like almost everything about these prints. The Kitikata works nicely, thanks to Aine Scannell for that suggestion. I need to learn to keep my hands clean, but progress is being made. And I realized the Tetra pak plates are so easy to come by, I can draw blind contours on them and choose the one I want to add hatching and details to. 

I guess people in hotter areas would not be impressed by our heat, but today it's supposed to be 113 degrees. Right now, 6 pm, it's 108 here. I don't think we will get much hotter, but that's enough. Tomorrow it will be much cooler. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

Another day, another workshop

Intaglio test print judith hoffman
Test print, Tetra Pak plate

 I resolved weeks ago to not take anymore workshops. It takes time to experiment with new techniques and for things to sink in. Then I saw a post about a pasta machine printing workshop at the Jaffe  Center for the Book Arts.  I signed up, of course. It's something I had been curious about. Right now we seem to have a bounty of online workshops. I hope they never end, but they might, when the virus is under control. The first class was instructions and demos. We have a week to practice, then we meet again next Tuesday. The instructions were clear and the examples Bettina showed us were inspiring. 

Above is my third or fourth print, the plate is a piece of Tetra Pak. I traced a recent drawing and transferred it to the plate. I need to go over some lines, they should be deeper. Or maybe I didn't ink the plate correctly? The beauty of Tetra Pak plates is that they are free. I can sit and draw blind contours on them without tracing or planning and then work more on the ones I like.

Intaglio test print judith hoffman
Milk carton and Tetra Pak plates, first print and ghost.

Above are my first prints - they came out amazingly well. The ink seemed almost too wet and my ghost prints are very faint. But I am pleased with the first prints. That was yesterday. I thought this would be easy. Today the Tetra Pak plate didn't print so well, and the same ink was thick on the plate. When I tried to wipe it off it didn't want to move. I ended up taking a slightly damp piece of tissue paper and wiping most of the ink away. Then I had to use the ball of my thumb to smooth out the streaky marks. This will take some practice.

And of course there is another workshop on the horizon. It's Seeded Notebook with Henrik Drescher. I have admired his drawing style for years and years. A chance to watch him work in a sketchbook is very alluring. Check out the short video, it's a simple idea. But the second half of the class is watching Henrik work. And it will be a way to use all the cast-off prints I am making right now.

I'm looking for suggestions for a thin paper that would be good for printmaking, but also would be good for collage. Any ideas?

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Artist Book: Seeing and Seen


Seeing and Seen Artist Book by Judith Hoffman
Seeing and Seen, front and back cover. 2.5 x 3 inches, artist book by Judith Hoffman

Seeing and Seen Artist Book by Judith Hoffman
Seeing and Seen, pp 1 and 2

Before the book I want to tell you Feedburner is going away. If you are getting email notification when I post a new blog entry, that will end in July. I have downloaded the email addresses from Blogger and will send you an email when a new blog post is out. If you want me to email you directly, you can let me know at judithDOTzDOThoffmanATgmailDOTcom. Of course change the capital letters to the appropriate symbol. That is a "z" as in zebra. I will also announce new blog posts on my Facebook pages and my Instagram. I have two Facebook pages - I prefer to use the personal one but I will keep posting notifications on my "business" page also. Please note - you can't count on Facebook showing you my posts. It may help if you add my feed to your favorites. My Instagram gets more love than my Facebook page, but not many reposts. 

I made this book in 2020 and apparently never took photos or posted about it. Images should enlarge.

I am happy spending most of my time alone, but during the pandemic I realized how important it is for me to spend some time with my friends. I want to see them, to understand them in their complexity (or at least try) and to be seen by them.

Seeing and Seen, Artist book by Judith Hoffman
Seeing and Seen artist book pp 5 and 6

My art energy was on pause last year, but one thing I did was look through old, unfinished projects.

2.5 x 3 inch painting/collage tests Judith Hoffman
2.5 x 3 inch old painting/collage tests, sanded to be glued back to back

Among many other things, I found a stack of small mixed media collage experiments on 300 pound watercolor paper. I love small! And because the paper was already used, I didn't feel bad making some experimental collages on the back sides. Above you see the old painting experiments, sanded before gluing them back to back with PVA. They did get interesting didn't they? Sanding turns out to be an awesome technique.

Seen and Seen artist book by Judith Hoffman
Seeing and Seen artist book by Judith Hoffman pp 7 and 8

I started the experiments by collaging found images that reflected my scattered mind. Then I added drawings of faces to the results. The drawings are on architect's tracing paper, which is fairly transparent.

Seeing and Seen artist book by Judith Hoffman
Seeing and Seen artist book by Judith Hoffman pp 9 and 10

As some of the collages came together I spread them on my work table and made pairs of pages. I realized some of the people in the images were trying to connect with each other.

Seeing and Seen artist book by Judith Hoffman
Seeing and Seen artist book by Judith Hoffman pp 3 and 4

Some looked away, connections were not made. But a few were able to see each other and make contact. 

Seeing and Seen artist book by Judith Hoffman
Seeing and Seen artist book by Judith Hoffman pp 11 and 12

To assemble the pages I glued the collages back to back. I drilled small holes in each page and bound them with Keith Smith's singe sheet binding method. The original paintings are not seen, except for a small bit around the edges which you can see that most clearly in the first photo of the front and back cover.