July 04, 2010

The Down Side of Recycling

Though I didn't really think I'd be writing a follow-up to last week's post about good "old" stuff finding new life and purpose, my printing trials this week seem to call for a return to the same theme.  Because this week I learned a different lesson: not all the stuff we save to use at "some time in the future" should be saved.  

This last Thursday Canada celebrated it's birthday.  For most of us, that meant an extra day off.  For me, it was a day to stay up late the night before, sleep in till 8:30 (oh the decadence), take it easy, and, most importantly, print colour two of Poppies.  All was good but the last part: the printing.

My next colour was a red and it just happened I had a little tub of maroon ink saved from some other print I did in the past.  Ok, I'm not really sure when, specifically, but whatever.  Proud of myself for my thrift, I figured I'd make use of it now.  All I had to do was adjust the hue a bit, sprinkle in a few drops of my magic French linseed oil and I'd be good to go.  Really, what could be simpler?  Well...it turns out lots of things could be.

In sharp contrast to how my ink behaved last week, after I'd added the linseed oil, this time it just wasn't totally doing what it should be.  I don't know why.  It rolled out okay on my inking plate (and made the right kind of "smucking" sound), it looked good on the brayer, and it looked good on the block.  The only place it didn't look all that good was on the print. 

It just didn't go down as smoothly and evenly last week and my edges are not as "clean" as I want them.  Not in a huge "toss the whole thing away and start again" sort of way but enough to cause some angst. The only thing I can think it might have been is the ink? Was it too old?  It's possible right?  I should have tossed it right? I think I probably should have. 

Anyway, here's the print as it looked on Thursday:

OK, it looks pretty good and you're wondering what I'm going on about and maybe even thinking I'm one of those people who like to whine a lot.  But this is one of the better prints (my ego will not allow me to show one of the worst ones) and, even here, if you look at the border lines up top you'll see what I mean.  They're not as clean-looking as they were before I added in the red.  I'm hoping it'll fix itself as I move forward, even after colour three, added today.  

After today's printing, the red is still plaguing things somewhat.  One thing I've come to rely on is that any ink mixed with white will usually cover the colour underneath it.  Not so today, as per the red specks on the poppy heads.  It may not necessarily be a detriment, in fact it may even end up looking kind of cool, but it's not what was supposed to happen, damn it!  

And, once again, despite all my labours to prevent it, I had registration issues.  It's another mystery why because it just didn't look like the paper was slipping or anything and the block was in exactly the same place as last week.  So, I'm going to be positive and say the mis-registration adds a level on interest also, the same as the red speckles, but that doesn't eliminate the simple truth: it should NOT have happened.  I have to have better control of that kind of thing. That means I'll be re-evaluating my registration method for the next print.  For now, I find comfort in knowing that challenges and obstacles are always opportunities for growth if we can only learn to see them that way.    

1 comment:

Amie Roman said...

I feel your frustration, Katka. But I do actually really like the little bit of red coming through the greenish-teal. It gives a great character. However, when you want stuff to be clean and graphic, it's really irritating when things go pear-shaped on you.