Testing the handmade brayer again. My apprentice was underfoot the whole time, constraining my workspace. Without freedom of movement, I couldn’t work the ink as much as I would have liked, resulting in some gloppiness. It’s most visible (or not, if you like) in the sun’s rays, which are just about all filled in. You can still see they’re there though, due to the lay of the ink, so all is not lost.

The paper is a coarse, inexpensive drawing paper for kids. After dampening, it held onto the water for a good long time.

I can’t lie; I’m a sucker for these low-angle shots. Please pardon my indulgence.

 

And here we see the awesome swoopy line that made such a statement, except that you can’t see it in any but one of the six prints. Grrr.

Having realized my old brayer was unsalvageable (don’t be like me, kids. Clean your brayer after each use), and having a deadline to meet, I found a solid wood rolling pin at Daiso, wrapped it in clear packing tape, and ran an inking test.

Somewhat uneven at the edges, but not gloppy in the details of the stone or body. This was a quick, late-night test; with some sleep and better-organized setup, this workaround should do the job sufficiently for the actual print (the giraffe, seen in the lower right, below).

Progress on the giraffe lino; further work on the body and face

Partly inked to give some idea of the final result

In an attempt to order my work somewhat, I signed up for a print exchange that I must mail my package out for in two weeks. It’s working; I’m making steady progress on this piece.

An initial sketch

At the end of tonight’s work

Detail of the lower spots

Papermaking is one of the useful arts insofar as I can use up all those offcuts that have been piling up over the past few, um, years. Nice paper is too expensive to throw away, athough I sometimes will put some in the recycling bin as my way of improving the overall quality of paper in the industrial workpath. Small steps, people.

Here we see the “before” stack. The cloth on the left is an old cotton thing; definitely a rag by now.
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…and here we see the results of the first shredding. I will further shred these before they go into the blender.

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Here is an 1-hour old test soak of some paper, some cotton, and some of the wood dust. The main goal here is to observe the changes in the wood dust; the paper and cotton will swell up some, but their physical characteristics won’t really change. That should come with the fine shredding and soaking process.

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This afternoon sun broke out strong after yesterday’s unseasonal rain, making for some beautiful scenery; this sketch captures some small part of that.

This gentleman sat very still, and I was able to get a good outline of the main features of the sketch. Then I switched pencils and when I looked up, my view was blocked by this guy reading some Stieg Larsson crapola. So I touched up some bits and here we are.