Friday, May 28, 2010

Peeling background

Here is one of the first background prints pulled from the A4 MDF. I asked the students to try 2 sheets each of 3 different papers. First instruction was to ink up your chosen colour evenly across the whole surface. Then use the yellowXpress to print 2 copies, one at a time. Of course the first print was strong and the second print was lighter in colour and holds more textures and soft patterns on the surface.

Drawing design

Students are transferring their A4 drawings onto their MDF boards. The first step is to select the main outlines of the drawing as it is this we will carve and print first over the prepared background sheets.

Carving MDF

I teach using 2 hands on the Japanese carving tools, they are very sharp and it gives you much more control. All students have different ways of holding the tools to present the blade at the correct angle and the appropriate pressure to cut. Keep peelings off the MDF as you proceed.

Inking up

The spike up with these soft, rubber rollers. Pick up and roll to create an even coating of ink on the carved plate.

Preparing ink colour

The ink is being rolled out, white with a little red, with a pick up and roll, method to spread the ink quickly.

Pumping iron

With 4 or 5 strokes of the lever the 5000 kg power is applied to the inked up MDF plate.

Peeling off a print.

Students gather to watch the first 3 colour print peeled off the MDF plate.

3 colour reduction print

Student holds his 3 colour reduction print to show his mates.

After storm cloud

In the morning, 9.00am on the way to the whole day workshop, torrential rain. On the way home at 4.00pm these after storm clouds.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Russell's Bank

Russell, Allison and Tim work on the mountain bike track at the bottom of the newly re-landscaped slope. The subsidance in heavy rain 2 years ago was a worry so the whole reinforcing, drainage, paths and levels needed pulling out and rebuilding. Twice as many, longer, poles were concreted into the ground and the heavy T and G timbers were reused. Russell and Debra are replanting the area with native trees and fruit trees before winter is over.

Tim's concertina books

The set of 8 books sitting ready to have the covers attached with bookcloth spines.


The CVA glue is applied to the back of the cut section of book cloth with a stabbing motion. This provides a thin, even, coating of glue. CVA is a book binders glue with high adhesion and longer drying time than PVA.

Tim rubbing spine

The magenta book cloth is rubbed down to hold the cover board to the concertina book, 'What a nice Day?' I use lead weights to hold the cover and pages in position while placing and rubbing down the spine.

Friday, May 21, 2010


I prepared photo emulsion on a screen using the 2 part Fotolac 49, then applied the emulsion with the coating trough. My exposure test in stages of 2 minutes for 2 to 14 minutes. Using my sunbed studio UV light box. I let the screen dry off in the darkroom then used the garden hose to wash out. Unfortunately nothing washed out so I used the waterblaster and carefully worked up the screen and was successful in the test up to the 8 minute mark. Then the emulsion was stubborn. I was very pleased with the image on the screen, it was very detailed and looked very like the 4 photograhic images (negatives) that I used.

Tims Page

Tim has just pulled a page from the proof press. He has written, designed and set 31 x pages for his concertina book. edition of 8.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Woodtype for posters

Students from the YMCA Holiday programme chose and set wood type to make their names and posters for their bedrooms.

You can't beet that!

These 2 kilo beetroot have just been harvested. Allison will cook them slowly then they will be sliced and preserved in glass jars.

Gloria mulch

Allison is gathering, Tim is loading Gloria, electric mulching machine. This is such a great way to clean up the dry sticks and foliage that are too small to use as firewood. The extra bonus is the mulch to spread under the trees in the orchard.

Gourds from Allison's organic garden

These gourds are self seeded from last season, the colour and markings are not as strong as you get with planting new seed from the garden shop. They will last as ornamental objects for about 6 months unless they are hollowed out to dry off properly.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tims Schnitzel.

Tim has cooked up a beautiful meal from Berlin, schnitzel with a mushroom gravy and baked potatoes with rosemary..

Ruby waits for Monarch.

Ruby waits for monarch to walk from Sues hand onto hers.

Melanie Yazzie visits Homeprint Book Art Studio.

Melanie was keen to buy a set of John's imported Japanese carving tools. However John was keen for Melanie to try out his yellowXpress 5000 relief/intaglio printing press as well!

Frame fitter Tim.

The engineers bolts need screwing down into the threaded aluminium frame. The frame has been cast in black sand at the Abcast Foundry, Feilding from the original hand carved wooden prototype made by John Brebner.

Drilling A4 press bed

The lever brings down the drill bit through the stainless steel jig for the fitting of the cast aluminium frame of the A4 Relief press.

Squeegee time.

The soft Akua ink is squeegeed on with picture framing card. David is careful to squeegee in both directions to ensure a nice even coating of ink into the depression before wiping off.

Mopping the extra water off soaked paper.

After soaking the Incisioni paper in water for about a minute, hang by the corner to drip off surplus water then Tim has mopped the final surface moisture with a clean towel to prepare for Intaglio printing.

Wiping back Solarplate.

Here David is wiping back the Carbon Black Akua Ink with a gentle pressure using telephone book paper.

Tim pulling print.

Tim has just pulled a print from the yellowXpress 5000 on dampened Incisioni paper of the Gothic image.

Gothic print and drawing on glass.

This drawing on the grained glass was produced by David Brebner using Stabilo 8046 pencil and Magic Colour.
The exposure for the solarplate for this print was, grained glass plate 45 seconds UV, aquatint screen 75 seconds UV, then hardened with 15 minutes UV.

Solarplate test plates.

These 3 test plates have all had different exposures of UV light with the grained glass image first, Aquatint screen second, and hardening in the sun or UV lightbox third. The change of colour of the plates is due to the varying times each plate had in the sun. (The sun was covered by clouds after the first exposure.)

Inked up Solarplate

Here is a close up of the inked up solarplate of David's Gothic image.

Gothic Intaglio Test prints

Four test prints of each of the 3 solarplates. Dampened Incisioni paper, printed on the yellowXpress 5000 press by Tim.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

David draws onto grained glass.

David is using a Stabilo 8046 pencil and Magic Black ink to draw the 'Gothic' image from the sketch book onto grained glass. This glass was grained with 150 grit silica. It is handy at the start of the drawing process to have the glass over the sketchbook drawing to pick up some of the shape and detail.

Print Packaging Services's new truck

Tim and Brian load 2 more yellowXpress 5000's into John's, Homeprint, 4WD.

Print Packaging Services

Brian Puddick talks to Tim about building the yellowXpress 5000 hydraulic relief printing presses.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tim from Berlin.

Tim's first job at Homeprint gathering the autumn leaves to be placed for mulch under the fejoas. With a weeks WWOOFing in mind we hope to paint the boards for 50 new A4 presses, help with hanging 40 pieces of art at Unlimited Realities Soft Ware Company and helping move yellowXpress 5000 presses for sale.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Checking the section.

Beth is carefully locating the slot (created by a hack saw) to take the wax thread through to the cord in the stringing frame.

Handsewing sections.

The sections are sewn one at a time onto the cords which are fixed to the sewing frame. Beth is carefully locating the cord and at the same time keeping pressure on the pages so the needle will carry the wax thread into the correct place.

Exotic Case.

This case has a handmade, textured and cool look and feel. It folds down to wrap around the set of sections in preparation.

Beautiful Sections.

Beth has completed the sewing of 3 sections, wrapped the spine with white paper about to trim 2 x endpapers to attach the sections to the case. In the photo you can see the yellow ribbon glued in the spine section to be used as a book mark. The wonderful markings on the watercolour paper has been applied by hand!

Bookbinding with Beth.

Beth has laid out 8 different sets of cases all to be filled with handsewn pages.

Monarch today!

This Monarch is fluttering its wings, just hatched, clinging to the herb garden before take off.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cleaning glass

Clean 5 mm glass on both sides before you use it to hold down your negative over the solarplate.
Underneath we use an MDF base board, a piece of red felt, the solarplate, the negative and finally the glass. The exposure we use is 2minutes 10 seconds. This exposure varies according to the density of the negative. The darker the negative is the more time it needs.

Laying black paper over the exposed solarplate.

Lay black paper over the plate before exposure in the light box, or when carrying the plate out to the wash out area.

Pouring water onto solarplate.

Here the warm water is poured over the solarplate to activate the chemical reaction. About 2-3 minutes is required to gently scrub the soft emulsion off the relief plate. There is a pink solution washing out and sometimes soapy bubbles. After 2 minutes wash off and apply fresh cold water to complete the washout. The pink jelly should be removed down to the yellow steel of the base.

About 2 minutes of washing solarplate relief.

Use gloves to protect your hands from the alkaline of the emulsion as it washes out into the warm water.

Hanging up the solarplates

Kates class admire the set of solarplate prints made so far.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hanging solarplate prints to dry.

The solarplate prints need time to dry in the air and in the case of Akua Ink need time to dry into the paper fibres as there is no drying agent added to the inks.

Inking up solarplate.

Using Akua Waterbased intaglio/relief printing ink we used hard rollers to ink up our exposed solarplates. The next step is to lay on the paper and pull a print.