Thursday, August 09, 2007

:( and :)

:( Bad news

My blogging workshop has been cancelled due to lack of interest, although I know that most of the people who would be interested have probably either just got themselves a blog and got on with it, or expected they could just rock up on the day. Maybe they should have just made it an interactive floortalk with me in front of a projected laptop, open and free to the public?

Never mind; this means I get the whole of Saturday to do something fun...

:) Good news

My book project has finally moved past Go. There have been a string of setbacks, such as a devastating flood, catching up on commitments missed while flirting with the idea of pregnancy, finding out that the particular type of paper I wanted to use had stopped being imported (and thus doing a frantic search to buy the last stocks of it, to the chagrin of many Aussie printmakers), having one of my contributors freak out about manuscript proofing and sit on it for months, and being offered the chance to teach letterpress classes during my residency (and thus halving the time I have to print for myself), and discovering that the polymer platemaker WAS actually damaged from the flood, and had to be fixed.

BUT. Last week the platemaker was fixed. Yesterday I picked up the A2-sized negative films, covered with and images (to make the polymer plates), and today my woodblocks arrived from one of the illustrators, Rosalind Atkins. Two glorious postcard-sized type-high endgrain woodblocks, made in England and sent straight to the artist and now sent to me, landscapes engraved in exquisite and tiny detail, and I held them in my hand and almost burst into tears with grateful excitement.

I have three more weeks of teaching (I'll post about that experience soon, suffice to say my feet are throbbing), during which I'll cut paper and make plates, and then I should be able to start printing... hooray!


M-H said...

I'nteresting that people didn't want to rock up. But I'm glad that people don't feel that they need their hands held to do something that is essentially so simple.

fifi said...

nearly swooned myself with the idea of the woodblocks.

YOURE the culprit buying up all the paper! ;-)

What sort of paper do you use for blockprints, by the way?
I use rice paper, but I print by hand rather than in a press usually.

Best of luck with the project, it sounds fantastic and I'd love to see it one day.

Ampersand Duck said...

yeah, if you want BFK Grey, I'm the culprit. Although I think Melbourne Etching Supplies are getting some in from London later in the year -- too late for me unfortunately.

That's the second book, however. I'm printing the woodblocks onto some Magnani book paper.

Bernice said...

Fifi - technical question - how do you prepare your rice paper before you print on it? usual wetting or something more vigorous? (sorry &duck but it's the rice paper thing...)

Ampersand Duck said...

Different kind of printing, Bernice! She's talking about printing woodblocks, which are relief; you roll up the blocks with ink lying on the surface, lay the dry paper on and hand rub or press to make the image. We're trying to print intaglio, so it's a completely different process with the ink under the surface and sooo many paper variables it's not funny.
Bummer, eh?

fifi said...

yep, she's quite right (of course) Bernice.

I only ever do blockprinting by hand, although I have access to a press, it's just what I'm used to. I believe
heavier weight papers are the go in a press.

I have a lovely pair of little pieces of maple i've been keeping to carve.

last week I decided I should give up everything in life and to just carve and print pictures, all day long, in a state of permanent bliss.

enjoy ....