Today's postings

  1. [Baren 27732] non-wood choices (Laughing Crow Studio)
  2. [Baren 27733] Re: Lurking Baren Member (Jan Telfer)
  3. [Baren 27734] Re: non-wood choices (DADI #
  4. [Baren 27735] Re: traditional color printmaking Ukiyoe book (ArtfulCarol #
  5. [Baren 27736] Re: Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Printmakers...Vol. II (Robin Morris)
  6. [Baren 27737] brochures (Barbara Mason)
  7. [Baren 27738] Re: non-wood choices (Robin Morris)
  8. [Baren 27739] commercial engraving . (FurryPressII #
  9. [Baren 27740] Re: commercial engraving . (Bette Norcross Wappner)
  10. [Baren 27741] thanks and pigments (cucamongie #
  11. [Baren 27742] Re: commercial engraving . (Robin Morris)
  12. [Baren 27743] Blake and other Williamsii (Robin Morris)
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Message 1
From: Laughing Crow Studio
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 07:41:57 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 27732] non-wood choices
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With all the discussion of woods vs mdf, I thought that I would add my two
cent's. With the book project that I am working on - the illustrations
are 8" x 10". I tried Shina and couldn't get the needed detail. I tried
Corian and it was too hard (it was taking forever to clear backgrounds).
End-grain maple was over $70 a block (and I needed 12+ of them),
Resingrave was $32 a block. Then, I remembered the HIPS (high-impact
polystyrene) that I had from a previous engaving project. It can be cut
with wood engraving or woodcut tools. A 4' x 8' sheet was only $30 at the
local plastic supply and it can easily be cut down with an X-acto. This
has worked out great for me! It holds the tiniest of details and is quite
easy to cut. I was warned by Barbara that one has to be careful about
inhaling particles, but at this point I am only using hand-tools. It
doesn't have the nice "feel" of cutting wood, but I am quite happy with
how it has worked out.


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Message 2
From: Jan Telfer
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 23:40:22 +0800
Subject: [Baren 27733] Re: Lurking Baren Member
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Welcome to Theo Merriman in Mandurah Western Australia who is a Baren
member but one of those shy ones!!

I met Theo yesterday when three of us including Shelley Cowper had a
meeting at the Printmakers Association of Western Australia as we are
going to be doing three introductory workshops here in Perth. Theo and
Shelley work in oil based inks and will be doing the beginning two
workshops and I will be doing the third one in November on moku hanga .
I suppose it will be much the same as the introductory lecture and
demonstration that I have done previously for the WA Art Gallery and
the Printmakers in Adelaide South Australia with hopefully some hands
on cutting and printing.

We do plan to do a follow up workshop next year which will encourage
them to do their own blocks and printing..... so we come!

It is good to have another Baren member in WA...... that's Western
Australia and not Washington State!

Welcome Theo.


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Message 3
From: DADI #
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 11:36:28 EDT
Subject: [Baren 27734] Re: non-wood choices
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Another matrix which I haven't seen mentioned in this discussion is Sintra.
It is a high-density poly vinylchloride sheet which is used by and available
for purchase from sign companies. We use it at UNI for the relief class. It is
easy to carve, is not affected by water or solvents, and can be sectioned by
scoring and snapping. The local sign company charges $65 for a 4 x 8 sheet of
1/4 inch. The 1/8 inch is cheaper and scraps can often be obtained for free.

Dale Phelps
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Message 4
From: ArtfulCarol #
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 13:26:39 EDT
Subject: [Baren 27735] Re: traditional color printmaking Ukiyoe book
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Julio wrote:
I am using this book right now as part research for slide lecture I am giving
April 21. Excellent information!
I have plenty of Baren Brochures available.
People find it very interesting to know that we are a global Internet group,
most of whom have not met. With our current series of visitations it will
soon be true that most of us have met some of us and more...
Happy Carving
Carol L.
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Message 5
From: Robin Morris
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 11:21:58 -0700
Subject: [Baren 27736] Re: Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Printmakers...Vol. II
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Having put aside the light addictions of alcohol and hemp, overeating
.television, and laziness,
and trying to lose one more which haunts me, that of useless political
I have embraced the ONE TRUE ADDICTION from which i hope never to be

Let me suffer till i die with this, it is my chosen way.
Art, that damned opiate, waving purple and herbal,
seductive in every poppy field in every turned -on mind,
reflected in every calm or impassioned eye,
heard on the wind piping all the children down to the cave in the
itcan never be all harvested or smoked or eaten,
nor can it turn from one substance to another.
Like the molecule, it is inviolable, immutable,
one critic dies and another takes his place
but art and artist live on, a higher breed by one step,
building even while destroying,
following the pattern and law left for us all,
and we can count on that.

Art is the message left by God and Goddess,
the instruction of how to live,and how to die,
the missing piece , and the lost peace, in every sorry scene.

Enrich enough minds with the beauty and terror of art,
and the world will resemble these things;
the echoes of a simpler time ,
a world that is one town that is one family,
and a God, or Goddess as you will,
a Sun at the center of a firmament of stars.

Sorry, i just read an article on William Blake....

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Message 6
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 12:19:21 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 27737] brochures
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If anyone wanted Baren Brochures and did not get them, email me again. I sent out so many packages I have lot track of who I might have missed. Let me know how many you want. I love it that they are out in the world. They have gone as far as England and Japan as well as Canada and all over the USA.
Best to all,
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Message 7
From: Robin Morris
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 12:53:27 -0700
Subject: [Baren 27738] Re: non-wood choices
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Intersting, an affordable detail carving solution!

thanks Lezle!

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Message 8
From: FurryPressII #
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 17:34:21 EDT
Subject: [Baren 27739] commercial engraving .
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William Blake was a Comerica engraver I once came across a book of his
commercial engravings, There was a slight edge to his commercial engravings and
for that reason they stood apart from other commercial engravings of the time.
I wish I had been able to buy this book at the time I was a student and
could not afford it. The one thing I would say is that none of his
commercial engravings are ever shown in art history classes at least none that I have
taken. It is a shame as I found them to be rather enjoyable and in some
cases much better than his "art engravings".

For me art is an obsession sometimes a grand one but still an obsession. It
is a very human activity one that is not done by other living things.

john c.
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Message 9
From: Bette Norcross Wappner
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 18:20:53 -0400
Subject: [Baren 27740] Re: commercial engraving .
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>For me art is an obsession sometimes a grand one but still an
>obsession.  It is a very human activity one that is not done by other
>living things.
>john c.


yes, and nature's obsessions....a spider's need to weave a webbed
masterpiece; a bird to mold a sculpted nest; the ant who makes mountains
from the dust of earth..... we are all creators and engravers of this
world :) and its grand!

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Message 10
From: cucamongie #
Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2005 21:34:53 -0400
Subject: [Baren 27741] thanks and pigments
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Robin, thanks for the travel reports about meeting w/various bareners, I almost felt like I was there (and wish I had been :)).

Tom, as for "toxic pigments", of course Cadmiums you need to be careful with and there are some others as well, I'm sure other bareners will chime in.

but I think in this instance what was referred to initially as toxic referred to the pure pigments in powder form. They are much safer to use in the form dispersed in water, which you can purchase from Guerra ( - also if you're ever in NYC, a visit to the store is a blast, they have swatches of the colors painted on the walls). Dispersed might be misleading to some as you might think this means watered down. Trust me, these are VERY concentrated pigments.


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Message 11
From: Robin Morris
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 19:52:42 -0700
Subject: [Baren 27742] Re: commercial engraving .
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Both of ya has a point, methinks-
Maybe we just vary our webs and nests more than they do....
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Message 12
From: Robin Morris
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 21:33:02 -0700
Subject: [Baren 27743] Blake and other Williamsii
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I am working up a theme for the 2 to 4 pages i will get to contribute
to the handmade book we are making in letterpress class. The theme we
chose is "printing" so I am doing this i think:

3 pages about 3 important "Williams," printed
and the images will be of
1) Shakespeare, (who must have caused more type to be set, and images
graved than anyone except maybe God and Mohammed)
2) Blake, ..."Never before, surely, was a man so literally the author
of his own book"...(Gilchrist, an early biographer),see below
3) Morris, who towards the end when he had the chance to make more
furniture, or do architecture, or write more stories or poems,
or paint, or design further tapestries, or just rest, instead decided
to go out with a bang and create near-perfect books.

Some strong Wills!

I have wondered about Blake's methods, and this article gave me more
info than i had before:- here is some from Gilchrist's "Life of Wm
Blake," which explains his (and his wife's!) techniques a bit, and also
explains Georga's email address to me : )

"The verse was written and the designs and marginal embellishments
outlined on the copper with an impervious liquid, probably the ordinary
stopping -out varnish of the engravers. Then all the white parts or
lights- the remainder of the plate, that is- were eaten away with
aquafortis, or other acid, so that the outline of letter and design was
left prominent, as in the stereotype. From these plates he printed off
in any tint, yellow, brown, blue, required to be the prevailing ground
color in his facsimiles; red he used for the letter-press. The page
was then colored by hand in imitation of the original drawing, with
more or less variety of detail in the local hues. He ground and mixed
his water-colors himself. The colors he used were few and simple;
indigo, cobalt, gamboge, vermillion, Frankfort black freely,
ultramarine rarely, chromes not at all. These he applied with a
camel's hair brush, not with a sable, which he disliked. He taught
Mrs. Blake to take off the impressions with care and delicacy, which
such plates signally needed, and also to help in tinting them from his
drawings with right artistic feeling; in all which tasks she, to her
honor, much delighted. The size of the copper plate was small, for the
sake of economizing copper, something under five inches by three. They
were done up in boards by mrs. Blake's hand, forming a small octavo; so
that the poet and his wife did everything in making the book, writing,
designing, printing, engraving, everything except manufacturing the
paper; the very ink, or color, rather, did they make. "

His wife should have been credited, i wonder if she was, in the books?
At least we know that he would very likely have been less productive
without her printing , coloring , and binding the books! He turned out
11 of these between 1790 and 1804. Not bad for a two person shop making
original and esoteric color illustrated poetry books.
One thing thats neat about their method is no 2 books look quite the
same. I have downloaded several different versions of the pictures(look
for the Blake archives and comparing them one wonders if this bright
coiled snake was his coloring, and the more muted , muddy looking one
hers, perhaps an early effort, or did she become the colorist that he
might have if she couldn't pick it up? behind every great man there is
a great woman they say. Mrs. Blake was one of these.

You enjoy Blake...
In art being an obsession I join you again, John. More in common. We
CAN get along, at least until after 5 each day!