Syl & Vern Print

posted in: Woodblock Print 0

I had a wood block sitting around that I had pulled a couple of proofs from years ago of brother and sister Sphynx cats named Syl and Vern. I had used an 11″ x 14″ block of pine that was 1′ thick to create the image. The first proofs were done with a water based ink, hand rubbed using a bamboo baren on a light weight rice paper. I was somewhat ambivalent about the results, I didn’t hate the proofs but I didn’t love them either and I put the block aside. This past weekend I inked up the now slightly warped block using Graphic Chemical & Inks’s, Palette Intense Black No.1797, an oil based ink recommended for Intaglio plates. I added a drop or two of burnt plate oil to the ink and I managed to run the block through my Intaglio press. It was no mean feat or I should say it was a bit of a pain in the ass to get it through considering it’s thickness and the slight convex bow in the middle of the block. The white Somerset 100% cotton paper I use in combination with the intense black gives really deep rich blacks and with the press set to a fairly heavy pressure I got an embossing of the  cut away areas that didn’t get any ink. I like the results much better than my first try years ago but with years of detachment from the piece you do get to see clearly all the issues with the image. …dh