Thursday, October 18, 2007

Assessing Materials

I want them to last, I want to use them up.
I read that linoleum doesn't last long.... and
this cache of 5 by 4 linoleum blocks, arriving as they did with the ancient
speedball materials, are just perfect. Firm, defined, easy to carve.

I'm told that this is how linoleum used to be... the best.
This linoleum I lucked into is the best of the materials I have tried:
the Dick Blick's Inovart Smooth-Cut Mounted Printing Block (weird, shredding kind of action)

Nasco's mounted linoleum block, ( really hard to work)
Nasco's Safety Kut circles (too wobbly)

Art Gum erasers (okay but very small)
Staedtler Mastercarve Artist Carving Block (also a bit too soft).

foam on boards ---- ewwww dented, marred by mere leaning on it the wrong way... and yes you can just scratch into it but that means it shows fingernail scratches.....

I've been using Speedball gouges, linozips and knives...
all ancient it seems, based on the lettering on the boxes and the prices
in the the literature eg. Baren for $3.70, cutters and handle $1.70,
block printing press $14.95 (! it is now around $65)
Based on conversation in the Carving consortium archives, I have blades from the golden
era of Speedball in terms of sharpness. My challenge is to keep them sharp.


I am digging my autumn scene as the image to use in the autumn swap, more than the three leaves.
Thus far I've benn using Brilliance archival ink... It occurs to me that if i had the lip/eye sized pads i could apply color discriminately on the stamp.

I did use rocket red and copper on a couple of pressing... on cardboard and on HMP. The hmp, didn't pick it up that well. So i moistened it. then on that stamping it blurred.... it's impressionisitic but not the stamp....

The warm weather is encouragin and almost overstimulating, so I may work up my courage to roll out ink on the benchplate i bought.


StampingPostal said...

Hi Akua,
Just today I finished my Autumn swap cards (your included!) and I figured out how to discriminately apply the ink this morning using Fantastix coloring sticks by tsukineko. What a difference in accuracy! I posted it on imagevent if you want to take a peak.
Happy carving!

Sacredartist said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog and learning. I was wondering about the lino Dick Blick's Inovart Smooth-Cut Mounted Printing Block. I wish that you would make a print of your fish so that I can see how well it transfers to paper? I have been using the Golden Cut lino. Have you used them before? It would be nice if you wanted to to list all the different materials that you have used and what you felt there strengths and weaknesses were, (of coarse that would take away from doing art and I don't wish for you to do that).
You were doing this a little bit so I thought it would be ok to push you on and say thank you~!

Sacredartist said...

In your first post you write that you don't like the Inovart Smooth Cut Printing lino. But in this post you seem to have changed your mind. Could you write more about this?

Akua said...

I *don't* like the smooth cut which is not a lino...
I haven't tried the golden Cut but was just about to order them for the carved ATC trade 2008 firstquarter... I want it mounted, though...

Thanks for your comments!

Akua said...

Celesta, thanks so much for the recommendation!