Monday, February 15, 2010

Well, it's done. At least, the first printing off this block. There's a couple things I want to different, but I've got 49 more tries to get it exactly the way I want it (!)

I may get one more off from this block before the Minneapolis Expo; I'm not sure. There's some other things I want to get to before then, so it may have to wait.

Technical details: Whiteline Woodcut printed with AkuaKolor waterbased ink on Polar White Revere Silk finished paper. Size shown is @ 22"w x 12"h

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Brown Trout White Line Print

At the recent Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo in Chicago, my booth was directly across the walkway from that of a Michigan Lodge/Outfitter, RiverQuest Charters. They had the ubiquitous posters of clients with giant trout and salmon, each one two or three times the size of anything the average angler has ever caught. One photo, that of a magnificent hooked-jawed brown trout, caught my eye. Since completing the Rainbow Trout white line print earlier this winter, I wanted to do one of a Brown, but needed just the right image to work with. There it was!

Talking to the guys manning the booth, I asked asked and received permission to use the image. It's been two weeks since getting back, but I was able to get going again and make a good start on this next print.

First, of course, is to transfer and carve out the image on a wood block.

I'm using a piece of birch plywood for this print. I went with this due to the size of the print: the fish is nearly life size, and I'm printing the whole thing. I didn't have a piece of maple of that size on hand, and had this nice largish sized piece of plywood that seemed to be just right. So far, so good - the birch is of course softer than the maple, and it seems to be more brittle, too, so the ultra fine details are harder to maintain. I don't think I'll use it again, but I think I'll be satisfied with the results.

The carving took quite some time, but I finished last night, and started inking the piece today.

It's painstaking work, but finally seeing actual color after all that carving makes it worthwhile. First, the individual color fields are inked in by hand with a tiny paint brush:

then the print is printed:

Over and over, ink by ink, the print starts to slowly appear:

Technical notes: I'm printing this on Reveere print making paper, with AkuaKolor water-based relief inks.

I should have this print done tonight; I'm hoping to have another printed from this block (and eventually, 50 in all...) in time for the Great Waters Expo, Minneapolis.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Chicago Expo

Back from Chicago after a succesfull three-day show at the Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo. Was totally exhausted by Sunday, but had a terrific time.

The booth space looked great - went with two side-by-side spaces:

The extra space gave me room to set up displays of some of the blocks and tools I'm using:

Friday was a bit slow (as expected) but there was constant traffic Saturday and Sunday. I talked myself hoarse both days. It is so much easier explaining this stuff with real examples on hand, rather than trying to pulll it out of the air while the audience looks on with a blank stare....

I'm 5 hours from Chicago, and yet had a ton of good friends stop by. Good buddies from Milwaukee droped in, one of which even bought something, instead of going for the free stufff....

it was a weekend of great food: our fine friend "The Chicago Batman" from the city came out and grabbed us and took us downtown for some great Italian. If you're ever in Oak Park, check out Cucina Paradiso.

On the way home, my ride and I stopped and had dinner in Madison with another mutual friend at the Inca Heritage. Terrific food.