18 April 2012

New Design and More In-Progress

Phew. I still haven't got back in the groove of blogging. I blame it on finally having something resembling full-time work (with its firm deadlines and all that). But anyway, here are the few little things I've been working one.

Scarab Card

Thing the first (actually, it's thing the second, but it's the first one done, so it gets bumped up): a scarab greeting card.

It's a hand-cut and hand-printed linocut (see my previous post for pictures of the actual plate, if you're interested), printed on handmade (by me) paper. The paper is approximately 50% recycled cotton rag printmaking paper and 50% Nova Scotia goldenrod harvested from my back field. It has a sheet of classic laid paper tipped-in to the inside to make for easier writing, and it comes with a nice deep red envelope.

I had originally planned a multi-colour print for this one, but I started with the black so I'd be able to see how to register the other colours, and I liked how it printed (see that lovely deep embossment? No? Click on the image for a close-up) so much I decided to just go with the black.

Scarab Print

Then I decided to pull a few as prints, which I may do multi-colour, but I think I'll try hand-colouring instead of a multi-block print. I'll try one and see if I like it. But here it is with just black, printed on the same paper as the card version.

The fun thing about these is that the imperfections in the handmade paper actually enhance the print (at least I think so), so I can save all the less-than perfect sheets for prints. Incidentally, the image is my own original design, based on ancient Egyptian and not-so-ancient Art Nouveau images, as well as on actual photos of real scarab beetles.

More Linocut Cards

I don't have individual pictures of the other two cards I'm working on, and won't until they're done, but there they are in the half-finished state.

The fish is a coelacanth, a "living fossil," and it will get a tipped-in insert with "HAPPY BIRTHDAY to a living fossil" printed from hand-set type. The plant is goldenrod, and will have a second colour added. All of these are actually on 50% rag 50% goldenrod paper, but the different batches produced very different results.

The first batch, with the goldenrod flower printed on it, is paler and was made from fresh pulp. The second batch, with the scarab, was made from goldenrod plants that had sat and gone swampy for several weeks because I got busy and had no room in the freezer (it was the actual boiled plants that sat--I rinsed and pulped them after). The paper is much darker. The third batch, with the fish, is the same goldenrod pulp as the second, but the rag pulp came out of the freezer and didn't disperse into the vat very well. I liked the way it looked, though, so I left it.

And that's what I've been up to.


Carol said...

Fabulous! Wonderful cards. Not bad for someone who is as busy as you are lately.

Niko said...

Thanks! I do need to make time to blog more. I miss putting up little notes about my progress, little as it sometimes is.