So… my name is Kira, and I’m a print-aholic. I’ve been sober for 3 hours and 18 minutes (that’s when my print making class ended and I walked home). I’m hooked on print making! It’s so addictive. At least, the lino block process seems to be very soothing and rewarding. I haven’t dived into making my reduction block yet… but I plan to as soon as I get the fresh lino block. They are out of it at the art shop this week. I do have a design for it though. I plan on using an image I drew of a wasp. Anyway, the print above is one from my newest small lino bl0ck (15 x 15 cm). I mixed up a bright happy orange colored ink and printed on torn Magnani paper with 1cm margins. It’s supposed to convey the idea of an aloe vera plant… while mimicking the texture of my sprayed water color drawings in the background.
So with all of this printmaking excitement, it led me to remember my printing lineage. I do have a history of printing in my family– not printmaking or anything so artistic, but my family ran a commercial printing press for years. My grandpa printed a newspaper for the valley when I was really little, and people would come in and order different things to be printed like banners and flyers. All I remember from those early days when my grandpa was still printing is that I could go in the back and take any kind of paper I wanted to– there was lots of neon colored paper that was great for origami, and when I got a little bit older I appreciated being able to have a few pieces of nice textured heavyweight paper. I would just sit at a table and make things out of the paper while the employees were working. Those were good times 🙂 I remember that my grandpa stopped printing somewhere along the way and my uncle took over all of the press work while my dad ran the business. I was still young enough to hang around in back and they let me have paper every once in a while, but I had a better concept about not being greedy about it. In recent years, my dad sold the business to our rivals and my uncle still prints for them and my aunt works as a graphic designer there. The name stayed the same (PrintStar), but things are different. A couple of years ago, I was buying sheets of vellum paper from them for drawing and painting, but lately the only thing I’ve been there for was to have my aunt make me some business cards.
Here’s a challenge: can you guess how I colored this paper?????
Ha. Knew you wouldn’t get it right. It’s definitely not my own blood. I’m not that hardcore. It’s stained with strong red wine– cabernet merlot, to be specific. I wanted to try something different. I was actually in the process of staining paper with tea one night in my room while enjoying a glass of red wine, and decided I didn’t want quite that much wine so I was about to pour it back in the bottle when I had an idea– it would be a mess to pour it back in the bottle, so why not pour it over the paper I was staining with tea? Just for kicks? So I let a little bit spill on the paper. When it was dry the next morning, I had an earth-toned tie-dyed piece of paper. Another night, I decided to sacrifice a generous glass of wine to the process and poured it in a spray bottle. I sprayed about 2 or 3 layers on the paper for the print above. It makes a beautiful natural visual texture. The puddles make variations that you can’t get any other way.