Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My print has Chickenpox...

So I had a very... interesting* last few days.
I came up with my new image for my next linocut in the series and the first few colors went down without a hitch. My third color I started noticing little shiny spots that appeared that I couldn't explain. Attributing it to not mixing in my modifiers well enough I pressed on. With disastrous results.

The next color I noticed large shiny spots appearing after a few minutes. Puzzled as anything, I took it to my professor who was equally as perplexed. I printed it as I have been for months- adding cobalt drier, dullit, magnesium carbonate, and a little gelled medium (we're out of miracle gel reducer. Weep). I mulled over the problem for a day or so, trying to figure out what had gone so horribly wrong. My initial idea was there was a problem with the dullit, since only spots were shiny, and others dull. I had also mixed in some of the old ink from the previous color as a base and maybe the modifiers that were in -that- screwed it up. I was confused until I took a close look at the full edition.

I remembered my first print on newsprint I had forgotten to add cobalt drier, and printed the rest of the edition with it. Out of the 17 prints on good paper, and 3 on newsprint there was one lone newsprint pull that looked just fine. I realized my problem... What exactly went wrong with the cobalt drier I can really only guess at, but the can we have at the studio has a lid that doesn't shut all the way, so my guess is whatever liquid is in there as a base has been slowly evaporating, making the drier more and more concentrated, so adding a good deal of drier like I normally would was actually like adding quadruple the amount, because I also noticed that as the spots appeared they, along with the rest of the print, was already dry after only 10-20 minutes.

Anyway, lesson learned. I printed the yellow of the duck next, added some linseed oil to sit over the spotty brown, and left out the drier completely. It seemed to work alright, and now I just hope the rest of the colors behave themselves.

Has something like this happened to anyone else?

*Note: I'm a Midwestern girl, and "interesting" is often our way of saying "awful." As in "Wow. That bologna and popcorn casserole you made sure is.... interesting."

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