Monday, March 14, 2011

Printing Press Project

Soon after we finished our first project on the printing press, we got started on another one.
You can refresh your memory by reading my original post here.
This one was a lot more detailed, and took many weeks to complete. Today we finally finished it, and I have been photographing the whole process, so you could see how it was done.
At the end of class one week our teacher handed everyone a piece of paper and told us that by the next week, we needed to come up with a design that we would be carving into a printing plate. The design was to be in such a way that we would carve some of it away after printing it and then do it again, as many times as it took to create a final image. This was my design.
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The next week he brought out colored pencils and had us color the drawings how we wanted the final image to look like.
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Then he handed out graphite paper and had us trace our image onto a printing plate.
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Graphite paper works by placing the paper graphite side down onto whatever you want to transfer the image to. Then you place your drawing on top, and use a pen to trace the lines into the plate.
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Then we were told to have our first stage carved out by the next week.
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The next week we started the printing process. I started with a black background. I did this five times so I’d hopefully get one that was better than the rest.
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None of them printed very well, so I went back over them with the paint roller.
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The next stage was to roll paint onto the plate, I only did the flame at this point, and then I sent it through the press.
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The next step was to carve the outer edge away to make the next block of color.
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More paint. I used orange for this stage
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This was all I got done that week, so by the next week I again had to carve it down.
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The next week we did not use the printing press, we started a new project to work on at home. I'll be doing a separate post about that later.
Today we finished our paintings. This time I added in the glow of the stars.
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By this stage my original drawing has long been washed off, so I drew it back in with a pencil and carved it down again.
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I also carved out the stars this time, even though they don’t get painted till the end.
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More paint, turquoise blue this time.
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Final carving, the meteor itself.
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Final stage, I used white for the stars and the meteor.
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One of the final five.
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As you can see it is a mirror image of the drawing I came up with at the beginning. I had not taken this into consideration, but it turned out fine anyway. One guy was not quite so lucky however, as he had carved Superman’s “S” shield. Woops.
As soon as I get my projects back, I’ll post all five copies of the painting.
I see the plate as a work of art in itself, even though it is now heavily stained. I carved it carefully. It reminds me a lot of Van Gough’s Starry Night.

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