I’m putting day 2 and 3 of the course into this post. Day 1 you find here, if you can’t find it on the blog…
I spend some time of day 2 to finish the drawing on the stone, adding a plant on the right site of the stone…
Well… What happens after you finished your drawing on the stone???
When the drawing is finished you prepare the stone and the press to print… There’s quite a lot to do…
Starting with the limestone….
1. Sprinkle talc over the stone and wipe it beyond the whole surface with a soft rag. Remove the excess. The talc helps opening the pores.
2. Set stone in with resin, like you did with the talc. Do not inhale the resin!
3. Add etch to the stone with a broad brush. The etch is made of gum arabic and nitric. You have to follow a recipe to mix the etch, depending on what kind of limestone you work on. For my light grey stone we used 1/2 deciliter gum arabic and 27 drops of nitric.
Wiping etch on a drawing
Photo by Anny Langer
4. Hold the etch in motion for several minutes, put on several times. How long depends on the kind of limestone you work it. I spend between 4-5 minutes doing this on the stone. A rule is: strong etch on dark parts, less on the light parts of the drawing.
4. To stop the etching you pull gummi arabic over the stone and wipe it all over the stone. You remove it with putting newspaper over it to extract the liquid.
5. Cover the stone with gummi arabic so it doesn’t dry in.
Now it’s time to prepare the press…
1. Find a suitable river to the stone and insert it into the cradle. The river is supposed to go within the edge of the stone, but outside the drawing.
2. Place the stone onto the press and making sure it is centered to river.
After this you fix the stone to the plate so it won’t move during the printing.
3. Then you have to set pressure with paper and plastic sheet over the entire stone. You crank up the stone so that it stands in the middle under the river and pull the arm down. Turn the wheel to the stone so the river sits on the stone, and turn the wheel tight. Lift up the arm and turn the wheel once more. Remember to mark with beginning and the end of the stone so you know when to press down the river and when to lift it up again.
Washing of the drawing
Photo by Anny Langer
3. Now you wash off the drawing. First you wash off the arabic gum with water. After this you wash of the drawing with lamp oil. It’s a very good idea to wear rubber gloves. 😉 Dry off with a rag and wash with clear water.
4. You roll up the litho ink with the roller on a plate and then you attach the link to the stone by rolling the ink on (It’s a bit like rolling dough so I guess I’m ready for Christmas baking)
5. When the image is loaded with ink, the stone and paper are run through the press that applies even pressure over the surface. In this way the ink is transferred to the paper and off the stone.
You testprint a couple of times on paper (no expensive one) to see how the print looks like. When you are satisfied with the testprint result you can start the print on the art paper. You need to add the ink between each print.
During printing the stone is kept wet with water. The printing ink is rolled over the surface. The water repels the greasy ink but the hydrophobic areas left by the original drawing material accept it. You roll the ink on servale times, washing the stone with water between each time you roll on the ink two keep it wet and remove ink from the edges.
6. After the print you remove the plastic plate and the padding sheets, take of the artpaper and put it to dry.
Then you start again to role on the ink. I counted how many times I rolled the ink on and it helped me to get a quite similar print each time.