I made this Jerkin for doing workshops, its made from an old sofa, the images on the front are done painting and then print with oil based ink , and then more hand painting, its just here coz its a pretty picture.
Okay so generally I have been using Flooring Lino, made by Forbo Linoleum. In the BODYPOLITIC workshops we use these foam rollers (see below) which deform when used inexpertly, so I cut deep into the wood of the blocks so that they are easier for the first timer to use for printing. This means that the art lino has no advantage for me, and I find it too fragile.
I always glue the lino to18mm ply off cuts which I scavenge, recently been using this water based flooring adhesive, I use plenty and then put it under immense weights for 24 hrs. This adhesive in not completely waterproof. One friend prefers contact adhesive (like evostik), another uses Waterproof PVA. The pva could be less annoying with tha stringy backing all making and annoying mess as you cut it away ??
Recently I got a whole load of off cuts of birch ply from a joiner and now I cut straight into these for the writing blocks, its harder to do so I follow the japanese method of "Principle Knife" first etc..
For picture blocks I will always be using lino, I basically draw-paint with my Molotow markers, and get the image really good before cutting. The eye is done with a japanese material available from printmaking shops, its harder to cut but virtually indestructible.
When I started the workshop practise of using Permaset Supercover I always thought that I could only get quite crude results, but recently I've changed my mind, with sensitivity to the materials amazing results can be achieved using this ink, even with details like in this skull.
NEW IMAGES TO COME
I’ve cut a bunch of these now, in illustrator I find the centre of the symbol and mark it with a red dot or cross, then print out, so I use a variety of compasses to try to mark out or cut the circular shapes, then cut through the paper to mark the other parts, I tend to use a Stanley knife and safety ruler quite a bit for this sort of thing.The one at the back is laser cut as a test, it worked out well.
I'm a fan of these Japanese semi-pro tools, this is a 7 pack from Tyzack Tools on Kingsland rd, London. Their ebay shop is cw_tyzack , this kit is £48.48. The advantage of this is that it encourages you to study japanese woodcutting and it makes you use tools that you would not buy by choice. The disadvantage compared to the swiss is that they cut less deep.
Swiss Pfeil Woodcutting tools, these are sweet, but at £17-£18 each it adds up !!!! I got mine from Jacksons art supplies, if you can only afford a few get the larger ones such as the 4mm V tool.
Because of carving all these letters which is kinda industrial I got these Larger wood carving tools from Axminster tools, by Kirchen, because they are larger you can use one hand as a brake. I am using the hook bladed carving knife a lot since it is so easy to sharpen, and its all about sharpness.
Pretty soon your tools become dull and harder to use, then really hard work and progressively more dangerous, you just have to get into sharpening and honing or give up. There are all different ways of doing it, diamond , water or oil stones,I am happy with oil stones, I tried using soapy water on them but it did’nt feel right.
At the top diamond stone, way too course for these delicate little tools. The one in the middle is a combination stone, standard issue, when you get into it its great !!! I like this stone a lot.
On the right the white stone is ‘Hard Arkansas’, natural stone, and even better, from Cooksonsgold jewellery tool suppliers, code 999 AJB £70, maybe 4000 grit ?? They do a shorter one thats £30.
underneath it is a piece of shoe leather with a course rouge which I use for honing (polishing-repairing) the cutting edges, I tend to use the rouge on a piece of wood more, the leather feels like it make sense on a knife, but for such a precise little cutting edges I like the idea of it being polished on a harder more accurate surface.
Bottom left ‘Flexcut SlipStrop’ , its just a fucking piece of wood with 2 thin bits of leather stuck on it, but its really good, the yellow crayon is the abrasive compound.
The little stones at the bottom are for sharpening the inside of your V or U tools, these are made by Pfeil.
Yeah its a whole world of detail, but I feel people are really out of touch with these traditional skills, I hone my Stanley knife blades, and I sharpen scalpels as well as the kitchen knives.
This picture is using a frame to hold a woodblock, its a bit of half inch ply with scrap wood glued around the outside, then I use blocks and wedges to hold it tight so that I can concentrate on cutting fast, and safely.
On the left 'trammel heads', attach them to a piece of wood and draw perfect circles any size, here I was using a sharpened bolt to score the wood, on the right is a tool for scoring plasterboard, this is quite good too, I have attached a knife blade to this now . . . .
Inks left to right, then foreground.
Permaset SuperCover, this is a screen printing ink but super dense, its designed to go dark over light or light over dark. I don't buy these tiny 300ml pots its way too expensive, I get 1 litre or 4 litre tubs from Steve Wood Screen Printing supplies. You can also get it from Pyramid Screen Products. This is what we have been using at all the workshops, what we printed all the HiVis with. it dries in about 20-30 mins depending on conditions. But you do not use a traditional rubber roller, you use a foam one, so the technique is different. This is water based. The Black is great but the colours are more plasticky and you don't get a flat colour when you relief print with it. Lots of people don't mind a distressed look though.
Gamblin Relief Ink Textile Black. its amazing but its an oily terror and can take ages to dry, pretty cost effective and apparantly lasts for infinite washes. Clean up is a horror. They only make black.
Cranfield Caligo Safe Wash relief ink. This stuff is pretty great ,its oils based and super dense and can be cleaned up with water, great range of colours , I think it takes 2-7 days to dry ? some times these oil based ones do weird things, I will never again use them when time critical.
Speedball Fabric relief ink, The most expensive, dries around 24 hrs, even easier to clean up than the Caligo safewash.
The Next stage will be making up my own ink from binder and pigment and retarder.
this is a picture of all the rollers that I hardly use, the foreground one is a foam one that I used with the supercover but now unavailable.
NEW PHOTO OF FLINTS ROLLER AND GIANT TUBS OF INK
Now we get these from FLINT Hire and Supply:
2" foam roller - box (20) PBR2321. £11
2" roller frame. PBR2320 £1
I push the rollers of the frame and into a jam jar every night, so no wasting ink by washing up !!!
Just a pretty picture.
This is my set of 48mm letterpress, German, sweet. I printed the first four HiVis with this, then made the first woodblocks by copying it . . . I gave Clive Russell prints from this which became the FUXED font.