out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire

This is a linocut version developed from the dog sketch below.

This version, I printed the foreground tree first in brown before overprinting in black.

This is the press I built this weekend. This 12mm plywood base is blued onto a support to lift it from the table. Two long nails, with their head sawn off and a paper frame act as guides.

Plastic packaging that coincidently arrived with a new barbecue (because, guess what, we can see family again, but only in the garden) works well as a blanket to apply even pressure. You can see ink through this only because I am printing on the reverse side of an earlier failed experiment.

The pressure is applied to the top plank using two slats of wood from an old bed frame. These are pre-tensioned and bowed slightly to take weight. Here the convex side is downwards so pressure at the ends will also transmit to the middle.

Pressure is applied through 4 small G clamps.

The first attempts were disappointing. This was solved by using the plastic blanket and switching the bowed slats to run longitudinally rather than across the upper plank. The effect was dramatic, with the printing paper recessed all round the lino block with, but not without, the blanket.

The next two versions are shown (made to guide further cutting of the block). The one directly below used brown ink contaminated with black from the first attempt. There are cuts in the tree that have failed to print as white gaps, but create a more interesting texture, somehow selectively attracting the black contaminant. This is worth exploring further.

9 responses to “out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire

  1. Super wow. The image is beautiful and then the print variations, I can’t choose a favorite. I also like your press. Ingenious. I have done linoleum printing but used a baren to apply pressure. It worked but it took some effort to get enough pressure for good results. I would also be interested in seeing more with the serendipitous ink behaviors.

    • Thanks. My reflection is the cuts to build texture into the tree are too crude and don’t work. It would have worked better as a solid black silhouette. However, the happy accident of mixed ink is … interesting … and worth developing further.

    • Thanks
      The press was easy to make and you may well have what you need around without buying (I had to buy the plywood and clamps). If we ever get to go drawing I can bring you some bowed slats as I’ve plenty left over.
      Yes lots of marks. I like the rhythm of the work, the process of building the image backwards by cutting. Lots to learn too though to get good effects.

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