I spent the last three days editioning my Banjo print, and finished the pile at lunchtime today. 115 sheets, and to my utter dismay, only 50 of them were any good, with a 'vaguely acceptable' pile of 40, and the rest absolutely shite.
So I was a bit gloomy in the early afternoon. I went for a walk in the fresh air, bought some stamps so that I could start writing letters to people who don't read this, and then on the way back decided to HARDEN THE F*CK UP and sort out my roller method. I'd pretty much sorted it just as I'd finished the pile, so I got out another 60 sheets (after working out that there were still enough to do the other editions) and got to work.
I started printing at about 4pm, and finished the 60 at 8.30pm. So now I know
[a] how many prints I can do an hour if I work hard, and
[b] how to use the rollers on the type.
After a while I wasn't just using the roller, I was the roller. I realised that I'd been using too much ink. I had to create the sensation of silk, as my excellent wood engraving teacher once told me. But only for the metal type. Wood type is thirsty, and needs a good juicy roll-up. So my brain had to be ultra-vigilant, to not get the two rolling needs mixed up. I was in The Zone, and didn't want to leave it until the lot were done. Loud music helped.
In the end, I printed the 60 beautifully with only about 5 bad prints, and they're only marginally bad. I feel good. And the huge pile of crap prints can get recycled into something else while I'm here. Donald the Special Collections Librarian has never seen my hawt recycling skillz.
Sue Wootton (the poet I was printing) came in again during my first session today and took some photos of me at work:
Note the pigtails (I love the fact that my hair is long enough to have pigtails again, I love having my hair off my face when I work) and the Megalo apron, with a pocket made from a piece of their screenprint table.
I feel buggered, but so much better. Tomorrow I will diss the banjo (diss doesn't mean disrespect, it means disassemble, disappear, dismantle, and properly, distribute back into the cases) and start on the Les Murray pome. In the meantime I'm going to have a sound and satisfied sleep.