Friday, 23 February 2018

Slow Progress on the Mammoth Linocut

The spot colour stage was slow on the quarter-sized prototype, so I guess it was always going to be a challenge for the A1 giant project!

It’s a fiddly job to roll ink precisely into areas and then hand print these on, without the help of a press. I used a small Japanese baren and a metal soup spoon and lots of energy! It was icy cold again at Hot Bed Press, but I got warm eventually with all the effort.
I cut some of the lino there too. Usually I do this at home as it’s more comfortable and warm. I learnt a new trick on Wednesday. Sean suggested warming the chilly lino with an iron (on low) before cutting it. What a great idea! It made all the difference, cutting easily when warmed.
I added the spot colours over 2 days. It took 12 hours in total. Firstly I added the large yellow and smaller green balloons.
 
The next day, I cut away the areas of the balloons I wanted to keep yellow and green, and printed spot red and blue to make the poppies, the smallest hot air balloon and to add colour to the two larger balloons.
This means that the upper part of the print is pretty much finished. I may add some vertical ribs to the large balloon, once I’ve done a test on the prototype. As a result, I could now jettison half the lino plate, which makes it easier to handle. It looks dramatic – and is a stage I’ve been looking forward to.
The cutting ready for the green / brown next colour is immense. I realised yesterday that I’d still underestimated the task. I cut lino for 4 hours – but still have lots more to do: the details of the canal boat and the impression of the sunflowers in the field.
 
 
I can’t print the next colour until this is complete, so I won’t be printing the 4th colour today. It will have to wait until Tuesday now, while I carry on cutting the lino in my home studio. I'm aiming for the final colour to be Thursday. Not long! Overall I’m still on track to hit the 21 March delivery deadline, framed.
I had originally estimated the A1 linocut would take me 80 hours to produce. I’ve logged the cutting and printing times and I’m at 54.5 hours so far with 2 colours to go. Looking forward to a glass of something at the end!

To see more of my work, please check out my website: www.carolynmurphy.co.uk where you will also find an online Shop with currently available work. Thanks!

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