I had great hopes for getting much printmaking done last week. I had the idea for a new multi-coloured reduction linocut all sketched out. Before Christmas I had been having some problems with my printing ink, but I thought I had figured a workaround. These water soluble Daniel Smith inks worked wonderfully last summer and fall. You can clean them up with soap and they are waterproof when dry so I can add watercolour. I loved them! However, when I started printing my Christmas cards they started going all blotchy. I couldn't figure it out.
You can see from the photo below. The first test print is on the left and as I kept printing I started getting the horrible blotchy look on the right. I ended up using my old Speedball ink to make the cards. After much research I couldn't find anyone who had experienced this problem before. Why did these inks work beautifully in the summer but not in the winter? The only complaint I'd ever read about them was that they dried too slowly. Hmmmm, That wasn't a problem for me. In fact, I found they dried overnight.....
That's when it dawned on me. My hair is now straight not wavy... I need hand cream or my hands look like I've aged 30 years... Of course! The air in my house is dryer than the Sahara Desert! I thought I could just mist the ink with a spray bottle between printings. So I started my new print but unfortunately the ink started to dry on the plate before I got 2 test prints done! In frustration I threw the Daniel Smith ink into a plastic bag and they will have to wait until spring. I've ordered some Caligo Safe Wash inks and I hope they get here soon because I'm itching to get on with this print! I've used the black Caligo before, in winter, and never had this problem. I used the Caligo to print a few more of my "Inside Out" linos on larger sheets of lovely BFK paper. After much experimenting with this lino, I think I like it plain the best, without any background. I'll get these photographed and into my Etsy shop soon!
© Laurel Martin 2010