Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Trying to keep up

I keep forgetting to blog; the workload has gained and now I'm behind. Yikes! These are tests from last week, worked additionally after dry, all proofs. The red background comes from tarlatan (a kind of starched cheesecloth-type material used in printmaking) glued to a piece of plexi. The blue form in the middle was cut out of an aluminum tray and lines impressed with a ballpoint pen. I obviously did a sloppy inking job, both by hand and brayer.
But THIS is the real excitement!! I wanted to try more than nori paste and glue sticks for chine collé (and make a mess with powder, otherwise I'd do that, which is also quite traditional). So I found a very good description of how to do it with methylcellulose. It requires more prep time, but I like it because there isn't any panicked scrambling involved. I cooked up a bit of methylcellulose (I get mine from Carriage House, but you can get it at any decent art supply place) during the Super Bowl, using the Carriage House recipe: 2 Tbs in 1/2 cup boiling water, then add 1 cup of cold water. Sets up quick! Then I coated a piece of plexi and let it dry. I forgot to do the second coat with brushstrokes going perpendicular to the first set, so I let THAT dry and did a third coat in the right direction. When the last coat is still wet, apply the papers you want to prepare for chine collé and make sure they stick well, no air bubbles. By the time I was done, the game was still on. In the morning, everything was dry and flat.
Then just peel each piece off and remove the bits of methylcellulose still left on the edges, which you can see here. This process is very satisfying.
You can see how shiny the backside of the paper (marked with an X) is compared with the front. Remember that the shiny side will be glued down! Actually, remember that in the step when you are gluing, because if you mess up then, it's too late.
This super thin sheet (used as stuffing in balls of Habu yarns) got very, very glossy. Fumiko said it reminded her of those rice candies w/the "rice paper" coating them. We loved those as children and how the film melted in our mouths. She said in Japan that the film was used to wrap and ingest medicine. I tested a bunch of these slips of paper yesterday and they seemed to work; we'll know for sure next week when they emerge from the blotters. The best part of this method is that it's very obvious which is the glued side (the other pastes, when dry, can disappear and then you're up a creek because you don't know which way to place it on the plate and if you do it wrong, now you have paper stuck to the plate and not to your print).

If I had my way, I'd only do work like this, but I have to get back to admin. Yuck.

1 comment:

  1. now this process ha=s become something i don't understand...but hope that when i see the work it will make a little more sense to me. maybe you need to teach a workshop here!

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