August was a great month for printmaking as I finished two print runs. Now the arduous task of publishing them online and selling them will begin. Before that happens we’re having a Dough Giveaway along with some Andy Warhol books! First, the print…
“Dough” was first declared done in May of 2016. Wow. Then it was a 5-color silkscreen print and I debuted it at the first ever Neat & Keen Open Studio. To my dismay (and possibly good fortune) I didn’t sell any copies then. Since it wasn’t out in the wild anywhere, I decided to print more colors on top of it this summer and here’s what we have.
“Dough.” 7-color silkscreen print on 100# Cougar, 19 x 25 inches
It is now a 7-color silkscreen on 19 x 25 Cougar 100# cover stock. When I first printed it over a year ago I was determined not to get carried away with the number of colors, but now that it has two additional screens I love this piece even more. Continue reading →
If I’m serious about the possibility of making a dot grid notebook, I had to check out some others with some notebook research. These aren’t full on reviews. I don’t need to do a pen test because I’m going to have to choose paper from the ground up. What I do have to evaluate is the construction, dimensions, and general usability. For my test I chose notebooks from Leuchtturm, Miliko, Muji, and Northbooks.
Top to bottom: Miliko, Northbooks, Leuchtturm1917, Muji. Digital caliper is ready for some serious notebook research.
Leuchtturm 1917: A5/Ivory-ish; the darkest paper of the group
Miliko: A5/Ivory-ish; second darkest
Muji: A5/Off white; lightest in the group
Northbooks: 5 x 8 inches/Off white, between Miliko and Muji in color
All but the Northbooks are A5, though they do make A5 versions. Honestly I didn’t realize how non-white some of the pages were until I set them all down next to a stark white college ruled notebook. Personally I kind of like notebooks/sketchbooks/etc. to be just a little bit off white. I think on a subconscious level most people do. Have you ever painted the walls of a room with white ceiling paint? Even in printmaking if I can find white cover stock that is around 96 brightness instead of 98, that’s what I prefer to use.
I’ve tried a variety of other printing inks and had success with some. Speedball still offers the most bang for the buck as far as I’m concerned. Valley Litho sells it by the quart for $17.95 and by the gallon for $58.95. Dick Blick sells it for a little bit more, but you usually get free shipping from Blick on orders over $45. A gallon of all 19 colors would only set you back about $1200…
I like to have process colors on hand (cyan, magenta, yellow), but I like to get the less common colors like Fire Red, Primrose Yellow, Ultra Blue, and even Violet because I am less likely to be able to pick those up locally in pinch.
To get even more mileage out of your ink, be sure to get a gallon of Extender Base. At about $27 for a whole gallon it is less than half of the cost of actual ink.
Also on my list is Speedball Professional Poster Black. Available in both the quart and gallon size, this stuff is still relatively new and the screen printer on your list might not have tried it yet. It’s getting high marks and I’d like to give it a go myself. Continue reading →
Origami Crane Print 14/1000. Framed and hanging in my mother’s bedroom
Okay, time for the second official update of the Crane Giveaway! Above is the first user submitted image of a crane print out in the wild. This comes courtesy of my mother, Pam Morton, who framed her copy and hung it in her bedroom.
The thing with doing art is it requires a good amount of focus. It’s easy to get sucked into side projects and I have been trying to get away from having too many things going on at once. Sometimes it is unavoidable. In the case of the motorcycle print I simply don’t have the tools and ink on hand to do the whole job right now. I could write an update about the fine tuning of pixels in Photoshop, but there really isn’t much to see. So over the weekend I set to work on a quick prototyping of a custom MUJI A6 Blank Notebook. Continue reading →
O Frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! I feel like I’m getting the hang of this screen printing thing again!
Two rows of hanging prints on either side of my vacuum table
Late last night I finally had some success using my new larger screens. When I first started printing this I thought I might make as many as 200 and definitely more than 50 considering the work that has been involved in making hand drawn films.
It was a little rocky at times. Twice I had to wet the screen because ink was drying. The ink was the determining factor in how many prints I’d make. I mixed about a quart and it got me a little over 100 copies of the first color. About half a dozen fell off my hanging lines and were damaged. Not sure how many will turn out just right.
The ink was pretty sticky and I probably could have thinned it just a bit more which would have yielded more prints. Oh well. They look good. Nice and thick ink.
At least three times I dropped my squeegee into the ink on the screen. Definitely wasted a bit there cleaning off the handle. All the problems aside, I felt pretty good about this print session and even managed to shoot some video that I’m hoping to use in a process video for this print. I’ve tried to do a process video in the past and it never really came together very well.
Six Months A Screen Printer
So guess what? Today is my birthday. And birthdays are one of those superfluous milestones that cause one to reflect. It also happens to be nearly six months since I quit my regular job and I need to find one PDQ. Yesterday I had an interview with a local distribution center and I should know something next week. And of course I’m open to commissions or other work. Continue reading →
There are all sorts of tricks and tips out there for bloggers and artists and musicians on how to post what, when, and where to be most effective. But maybe you’re not trying to get your own thing out there. Maybe you just want to help out a friend or family member that has got something going and you want to know “How can I help more?” Here it is. Continue reading →
Photo credit: Alex Needham for The Guardian. @alexneedham74 on Twitter.
I would be surprised if you’ve been on the internet lately and managed to avoid hearing about this story. Artist Richard Prince creates blown up canvases featuring screenshots of Instagram posts and sells them for $90,000. Is it art? Is he a thief? Where is my pitchfork? At times I have been tempted to chime in on various Facebook/Twitter/Instagram threads about these works. Most of the comments are pretty negative, and I understand where they are coming from, but my own opinion, while not glowingly positive, is a little more kind. Continue reading →