Monday, March 19, 2012

Running with the Apron as Subject--New Woodcut

© 2012 Cathy Savage, drawing part of the the piece Carpe Diem,
which is shown here minus the painted glass, 16 x 20".
I fooled around in Photoshop yesterday and took apart a digital file of my drawing (watercolor pencils, graphite, acrylic). After converting the RGB file into CMYK, I isolated the black, traced it, enlarged it, then ...

© 2012 Cathy Savage

 ...lasered it into 1/8" Baltic birch. The brown marks you see here are actually outlines of the black areas. It's pretty remarkable that the laser cutting machine can get so incredibly precise. I'm going to coat it with shellac and then start carving. Shellac? Well, it turns out I know very little about woodcuts and I had to read that applying a coat of shellac helps minimize splintering when carving, keeps the wood from absorbing too much ink when printing, plus it minimizes the wood grain in the final print, which is the look I'm going for in this particular print. After applying shellac, I'll need to sand with very fine sandpaper, carve, then reshellac. I thought it would be an interesting experiment at any rate. The laser "tracing" was just to show me where to carve with hand tools--a fancy way to transfer the image--which BTW, I never reversed before lasering. Doh! The laser cut is fairly deep and it's straight down which is a no-no when carving a woodcut, so it's a crap shoot and the lasered lines might just fall apart, but I'm giving it a try anyway. If this key plate prints well, I plan on doing the same process with Yellow, Blue, and Red. I'll be sure to update the blog as I proceed with carving and proofing! I'm determined to get MAKEatx's laser cutting machine to work for me without taking away what I love about printmaking--creating the matrix. We'll see....

No comments: