December 20, 2018

Progress Achieved

        …And here are my last two blocks from the flurry of mythical creatures I began carving during the flurry of holiday sales.
        First, the yale/eale, a sort of antelope-like beast whose horns can swivel independently to be pointed wherever the yale deems best.   I framed it in a decorative doorway, since decorative doorways seem to be the yale’s native habitat, as they are primarily heraldic in nature.  The multiple colors were achieved by printing reductively, carving and printing first the gold layer, then carving further and printing again with black.  You can see the earlier stage here.
        Second, the pterippus/Pegasus.  (Pegasus is the most famous individual, whose name should not properly be the general term for all winged horses, but commonly is.  As for pterippus, the “proper” word for a winged horse in general, I suspect that it is a
modern coining, although I cannot find data to prove or disprove this.)  The multiple colors here were made by arranging multiple inks on the plate and rolling the block with an ombre mix of ink.  That’s what made it so dang difficult to print: to keep the colors arranged in order and not mix all the ink into one uniform mush, you can roll it out in one orientation only, horizontally and never vertically.  Normally you roll both horizontally and vertically in order to spread the ink more smoothly and evenly, and make sure every part of the block gets evenly inked.  Not being able to do that just means that the block is more likely to be inked unevenly and therefore not print well.  Moreover, my block was seven inches tall and my brayers are about 5.75 inches across, so I couldn’t ink with one swoosh.  I had to use two brayers and ink the bottom of the block with one and the top with the other, thus giving yet another opportunity for inking not to come out perfectly.  In the end I must have tried more than 40 times in order to get an edition of 12 with which I was satisfied.  (Earlier attempts mentioned here.)  I could have just given up and printed it a solid color, of course, but I really liked the look of the ombre suggesting moving from the earth up into the sky.  I hope you like it, too!

[Pictures: Yale, reduction print by AEGN, 2018;
First Flight, rubber block print by AEGN, 2018.]

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