Friday, 12 August 2016

Experimental Blocks

Assignment 3 of OCA Printmaking 1 requires creating a test linocut with experimental marks made from different tools. I was fairly limited in terms of tools available, I did not have access to power tools. I tried 3 different surfaces, wood, lino and foam. The wood was called Japanese Ply from Intaglio. It was very hard to cut. I imagined making clean straight lines with files and saws, this was much harder than I imagined. I also tried using chisels, screw drivers, nails and screws.

Of the tools that I hammered such as chisels, screw drivers and nails only the sharpest of these was effective, the others caused the wood to split. Small holes from nails and small chisels could make interesting textures in a print. The saw and file lines were much harder to achieve than I anticipated. The saw skidded making scratches and unclear lines. The file was easier to control but took an awful lot of time to make cuts deep enough to use in a print block.

My original plan for this block was to make a version of my initials, developing my lettering theme, in contrast to the curves of Arabic Calligraphy. My initial design had to be significantly revised after this block, I thought using a more stable block would enable me to cut these fine lines with no risk of it crumbling, but it would be too hard to cut all those lines with the tools I have available.

I made a similar range of marks in my lino block. The chisel marks also needed to be quite sharp but I got better results from tools such as screwdrivers in this softer block. Saw and file marks were equally hard to cut.

I don't anticipate using these marks for my experimental block as I am planning on cutting smooth curves based on Arabic Calligraphy which are unsuited to these tools. 

Lastly I used a sheet of foam which I was able to make marks in from a big range of household tools.

I used a range of drawing tools and kitchen items and got great varied results. I can see this being a great surface for printmaking due to the immediacy of the results. It would need to be mounted to make it easier to handle as it could be easily damaged and all marks would show on the print. I love the idea of drawing some portraits on this to print with.

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