Today's postings

  1. [Baren 30268] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V34 #3394 (Mar 10, 2006 ) (Diane Cutter)
  2. [Baren 30269] Exchange #27 + ("Roy")
  3. [Baren 30270] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V34 #3396 (Mar 10, 2006) ("rsimola #")
  4. [Baren 30271] Kensol hot stamp machine (Barbara Mason)
  5. [Baren 30272] Re: How Do You Do It? (Shireen Holman)
  6. [Baren 30273] Re: Baren Digest (old) V34 #3396 ("Marilynn Smith")
  7. [Baren 30274] Re: Baren Digest (old) V34 #3396 ("Marilynn Smith")
  8. [Baren 30275] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V34 #3394 (Mar 10, 2006 ) ("rsimola #")
  9. [Baren 30276] Re: Baren Digest (old) V34 #3398 ("Marilynn Smith")
  10. [Baren 30277] breaking knives ("Robert Viana")
  11. [Baren 30278] RE: breaking knives ("Maria Arango")
  12. [Baren 30279] Re: How Do You Do It? (ArtfulCarol #
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Message 1
From: Diane Cutter
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 05:44:23 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 30268] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V34 #3394 (Mar 10, 2006 )
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Yes, Robert...

I'd love to see it. Thanks...

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Message 2
From: "Roy"
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 08:14:01 -0700
Subject: [Baren 30269] Exchange #27 +
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It is almost a month and a half since the deadline for finished
prints for exchange #27. This is my first exchange so am not
sure of the protocol (and might be a little too up tight about it.)
I just can't wait to get my hands on some prints done by
someone other than myself.
Are we waiting for a colophon? Were they already sent out
and mine was lost in the mail? Did I not allow enough postage?
Are we still waiting for "busy" folks to finally get theirs in?
Just curious.

2) Regarding how I do it: What little experience I've had has
been to thoroughly work out the design beforehand-- to get
it the best I can up front so I can concentrate on doing my best
at carving and printing without worrying about re-designing as I go.

Roy Leroux
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Message 3
From: "rsimola #"
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 15:24:11 GMT
Subject: [Baren 30270] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V34 #3396 (Mar 10, 2006)
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I don't think you gave the post office enough credit for how long things take to be delivered. I received your card in Friday's mail. Sometime I am going to try printing with multiple colors.
Robert Simola

Please note: message attached
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Message 4
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 07:42:42 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 30271] Kensol hot stamp machine
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In my other life as a Plastic Co owner I can tell you about this is origianlly designed to have a hot platform that transfers foil of any color to plastic parts of sheets. It works hydraulically if it is a large machine or you pull it down by hand if it is a tiny one. The problem with using it for block printing will be even pressure. All the pressure is in the center, so you would have to enlarge the top platform to do a print of any size. Once you get beyond 6" in any direction you will lose pressure on the edges.

You could do the same thing with a hand operated arbor press that costs about $150 from Harbor Freight Co. or any place that sells large drill presses. You would again have to add a platen on the top and bottom but you would get the exact same effect for very little money. Again it would only print small blocks because all the pressure is in the center and distribution over a large area is hard with this type of press.

I suggest you try a ball bearing will get good pressure and have a lot more control, plus it is a lot safer to use and actually will cost about the same as an arbor press and needs no modifications.
Best to all,
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Message 5
From: Shireen Holman
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 11:13:39 -0500
Subject: [Baren 30272] Re: How Do You Do It?
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In response to Annie's question about process:
I don't use the computer at all - I find that it somehow drains my
creativity. I usually start out with a pencil drawing - usually a
line drawing with maybe some shaded areas. I then transfer just the
line drawing to my blocks. I work the colour out directly on the
blocks as I carve and print. I don't transfer any of my colour areas
from block to block; unlike Maria I do a lot of proofing, and use
that to work out my colour combinations. People have such totally
different approaches, it's amazing and really interesting.

Shireen Holman, Printmaker and Book Artist
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Message 6
From: "Marilynn Smith"
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 09:14:42 -0700
Subject: [Baren 30273] Re: Baren Digest (old) V34 #3396
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Annie innteresting questions. I have not been posting a lot because with
our move and than another to baja art just has not been happening. As an
artist I like to relax with my work and not push it. If I bang out a lino
block in a few hours with an artistic moment that is wonderful. Hanga is
quite the process and takes me much longer. First, carving in wood takes
longer and than the water based process is time consuming. I can finish a
pece in a week or a month, it never matters, mostly I am pleased just to be
working on a project.
As for designing, I have taken pictures of many of my watercolors and
transfered the designs to the plates. Usually they change dramatically as I
work with the image, that is the problem I have with multi colored, multi
plate designs, I am just not a pre planner. I have set and drawn with a
pencil right on the plate, letting the wood talk to me. Usually I have some
sort of idea what I want but not completely formulated. I like this
approach a lot. My dreams and visions image came about in this manner and
it was fun to do. I am still in my opinion a newer one at the process, most
especially since I have not been highly prolific in the past few years. So
I am still figuring out how I will do multi plate designs my way.
All in all I have come to enjoy working with water pigments, especially
since since I strated grinding my own. I love my korokoro ball bearing
baren as I do not have to put on as much pressure to get an image and also
do not have to recover it.
Now you know, if you want more of us to talk ask more questions or just
share more things. If you are busy working share your projects with us.
I have a long slender piece of myrtle with a drawing on it. Have some
fiends staying with us at the moment and sicne we have 588 sq. ft. I will
wait until they head back home to start carving. This piece took a bit to
just come about, I had not ideas or desire to do a thing. Than I drew a
design, hmm not enough. So than I drew some lop sided architecture, will
have fun with this and see where it goes next. I love the process of
watching my ideas evlove as well as the process of seeing them in print.
chatty today.
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Message 7
From: "Marilynn Smith"
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 09:25:41 -0700
Subject: [Baren 30274] Re: Baren Digest (old) V34 #3396
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I know, breaking the rules, so cut me off. But as far as posting goes and
blogging, ahmen, I agree with Maria. I get tired of opening Baren to find a
list of blogs that I just do not have the energy any more to go visit. I
sort of moved on over to after five because of all the scoldings about how
to post. People complaining about it being too chatty, so did not want to
offend. I can relax and just share my heart and life and moments there. As
well as my art.
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Message 8
From: "rsimola #"
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 16:32:13 GMT
Subject: [Baren 30275] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V34 #3394 (Mar 10, 2006 )
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I put a picture of my old Kensol on my blog at
As Barbara said it really is not the best solution for block printing. I use the Kensol because I have one, it does the job for my limited needs, and I like to use old machines. But if someone were to give me a brand new, state-of-the-art etching press that would also turn out woodblock prints, bake bread, and weed the garden I certainly would not turn it down! :)
Robert Simola
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Message 9
From: "Marilynn Smith"
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 09:53:13 -0700
Subject: [Baren 30276] Re: Baren Digest (old) V34 #3398
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Okay already I am really not supposed to talk so much, but with about 4 or 5
new lists that I have not read I seem to want to say just one more thing. I
went to Annies blog to read her comment on working with wood and how to
create with it.
Try this one. Sit with your wood in your hand, touch it, enjoy it, smell
it, look at it, appreciate it. than look again and enjoy the texture, the
grain and feel into you and see what you see in the wood. than start
drawing or carving and do not have fear. Just as I was told about drawing
on paper, it is only a piece of paper and there is another one if you mess
up this one. There is more wood or you can replane this one a bit and do it
again, so throw away fear and enjoy.
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Message 10
From: "Robert Viana"
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 16:07:04 -0200
Subject: [Baren 30277] breaking knives
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hello everyone!
I have had a little trouble this week with my 2mm Aisuki. The outer core cracked about an inch down from the sharp end. I re-dug a stop knotch in it and moved it down to get the break away from the handle rim.
Is this the only thing I can do? aside from cutting the inch or so off and starting new. I would lose a lot fo the knife if I do that. I have had the same rouble with a couple of my small hangi-toh knives as well. Those I fixed the same way.
I appear to be pushing to hard. Is that what this means? They are sharp, it is not because they are dull. I have a sweet 6000 grit wet stone I keep them polished with and a 1000 grit to edge em up with.
Any opinions would be welcome.
I seem to be able to keep using it with the broken outer layer. Should I say, the heck with it and just trudge on? is this senseless questioning?
Cheers, Rob
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Message 11
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 11:15:23 -0800
Subject: [Baren 30278] RE: breaking knives
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Rob, the symptoms you describe are indicative of using the knife in a prying
motion rather than pushing smoothly toward the direction of the cut. I'm
talking from experience as I often use my knives in ways that are prohibited
by law in some countries :-)

The very small knives are fairly fragile since the whole blade is so thin.
My "cure" was to really pay attention when I cut with those knives. Also,
for my more "experimental" cuts, I now use knives other than my good ones. I
picked up some El-Cheapo brand knives on eBay that are just right for
hacking textures on cherry and it doesn't hurt my pocket to break them or
mar the blades.


Maria Arango
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Message 12
From: ArtfulCarol #
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 14:25:19 EST
Subject: [Baren 30279] Re: How Do You Do It?
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Thank you for thethe responses to How do you do it?
I repeat the words of Ellen-- surendip, surprise, discovery, ah-ha!:

Here's my story
The way I get to this is to ask myself what will happen if I do such and
such; then I do it and find out. Many misses, some successes.

One way I go about it is I draw an original, usually very simple design,
make 2 copies on tracing paper, then play with the overlaps and reversals on a
light box. That way I can spot what will or won't work as designs for
geometric prints. I can carve once and hand print many variants from the one
Sometimes I make key blocks- a positive and a negative (is that the name for
such a concept? ) and the solid shape. The overlays lead to many possible

"Less work for Mother", *"Kiss"-Keep It Simple Stupid, and "Less Is More"
satisfy my gut feelings. It's all personal preferance.

*When I was a student at CCNY I was in an art class and made a little dish.
The teacher commented on the elegant simplicitiy of its shape and depiction
of the swan image. However, he said he "could do without the background
lines" I thought to myself, ""but I can't"
Many art years later I realilzed that for me "Less is more"(Robert
Browning) and have since subscribed to KISS!

Carol Lyons