Today's postings

  1. [Baren 34305] Re:Blogs and criteria re tags that the Baren links to for feeds. (Aine Scannell)
  2. [Baren 34306] Fairy Tales exchange and other stuff... ("Mike Lyon")
  3. [Baren 34307] labels ("hanna_platt #")
  4. [Baren 34308] Adhesives ("Lee Churchill")
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Message 1
From: Aine Scannell
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2007 14:54:07 +0100
Subject: [Baren 34305] Re:Blogs and criteria re tags that the Baren links to for feeds.
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I agree about the blog label being kept more open, i.e. that we should use
"printmaking" as opposed to just woodblock. My own efforts thus far in
woodblock have been so abominable that I have not even photographed them,
never mind posting them to my blog!!
I had the good fortune of being a friend of a very talented artist
printmaker called Denise Walker. Her output covers many mediums but she
excels I think in etching and in woodcut ( sorry woodblock) we call it
woodcut here in the UK.
She does have a website but it is currently being updated so all I can
refer anybody to is this image of hers which I posted on my own blog a while

She visited me at the beginning of this year, and gave me a tutorial in
carving and printing wood in the positive. This had previously been
something that I personally, had found off-putting. She brought round some
MDF wood not very thick and showed me how easy this was to carve into.
Also we agreed that where I wanted the grain of wood to show in , for
example, the background of a print ­ I could incorporate a proof of an inked
up block of wood.

I am miles behind all of you people here at Baren and will be undertaking
some woodblock printing in the near future so I value the knowledge that
people share here. One of the things that I particularly love about
printmaking is the excitement and innovation that can be found in the
interplay between techniques and how stimulating that can be.

This is one of the reasons why I would be happier for Œprintmakingš to be
kept as the tag we link to in blogs. Having said all of this ­ I can, of
course, completely understand the thinking in proffering the idea of
linking only to woodblock or woodcut as a tag.

In case you are not aware and as far as I know, there is no other forum
with the sophisticated and user friendly internet technology like the
Barens - so I hope that we do keep things Œopenš as this way it will draw
more and more people into our network and broaden all of our horizons.

Yours with appreciation to fellow Baren members

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Message 2
From: "Mike Lyon"
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2007 12:59:33 -0500
Subject: [Baren 34306] Fairy Tales exchange and other stuff...
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Totally appreciated Viza's link listing fairy tales --
clearly there need not be fairies present to qualify for that list.

Our fairy tales theme is very appealing to me, so I've signed up for the
exchange and look forward to woodblock printmaking again (been a while) and
to sharing prints with everyone! Gonna be SO FUN I think!

Two little problems, though.

* First, we could use a few more signer-uppers to insure that we have
a full complement of 30 printmakers in exchange #35 - if interested, you can
register for the exchange here:
* Second, NOBODY ('cept for me) clicked 'Choose me, choose me' to
volunteer to coordinate this exchange. If you're interested in
coordinating, especially if you've completed one or more previous Baren
exchanges, please contact me OFF LIST at and let me know
you're volunteering. Otherwise, I'll be happy to do the job myself.

Finally, and more than marginally off-topic, a few weeks ago I was invited
by Lawrence Lithography Workshop
to create some images for publication by them
(lithography editions). I made half a dozen large portraits for
consideration and they selected "Jim" for their first effort. I designed
six plates of my squiggly-line cross hatched line-drawing, sent them over to
a nearby pre-press shop, and they fed my files into their digital film
exposer machine thingy and the next day. VOILA! The clearest and most
beautiful full scale films I ever saw! How cool is THAT?!? These are
designed for chiaroscuro style 'drawing', so three plates of variously
transparent white squiggles and three plates of variously transparent black
squiggles pull the lights and darks out of a mid-value (BFK Tan) paper --
mildly bit reminiscent of' renaissance chalk drawings of Da Vinci and

Well, yesterday (after my root canal - UGH), I ran over to Lawrence
Lithography and watched as master printers Mike Sims and Aaron Shipps burned
the first of the large litho plates from the films. WOW! Those two make it
all look SO EASY! I made a short film showing the creation of one of the
plates - if you're interested in watching a couple of master lithographers
at work, you can view the 3.5 minute movie (~4mb download) by clicking the
third photo down on this page of my blog: (some
other interesting-to-me stuff on that page, including my full-scale but
low-resolution PDF mock-up of the finished print).

I'm really getting a huge kick out of Windows Movie Maker which I discovered
a couple of months ago 'hiding' on my computer - never knew it was there!
Pretty darned easy to whip out decent moving illustrations of stuff, and I
LOVE the idea that one of these days I'll turn the camera on and leave it
running during an entire print run and then double the speed and double the
speed and double the speed so a couple hours of video can be squeezed down
into a minute or two - printing by The Flash (maybe I'll wear a Halloween
costume for that one)!

Thanks SO much to David Bull for suggesting that Adobe Illustrator might be
appropriate for my squiggles - In order to plan these large litho plates, I
eventually wrote a little program to read my machine instructions for
drawing squiggles and convert them into DXF format which Illustrator can
read. So FINALLY, and for the first time, I'm able to kinda preview my
drawings before they're drawn - and then visually to adjust line quality,
color, transparency, etc and have a MUCH better sense how a piece might
look. BIG technological boost for me, Dave, THANKS, THANKS, THANKS for the

Gotta admit (and not for the first time) -- Baren has been absolutely
invaluable to me - SO appreciate the forum and especially all of YOU!


Best to all,

Mike (with a pretty sore jaw at the moment)

Mike Lyon
Kansas City, MO
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Message 3
From: "hanna_platt #"
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2007 15:05:20 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: [Baren 34307] labels
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I have labeled my relief prints on my blog but i like looking at all the printmaking techniques so i will miss that. maybe we could use a "Printmaking" label to weed out paintings and what not but use relief, intaglio, monotype, screenprint in our titles and let people decide if that is something they want to look at. but i also understand the argument for just relief prints so whatever the group decides im fine with.
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Message 4
From: "Lee Churchill"
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2007 13:14:52 -0600
Subject: [Baren 34308] Adhesives
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Hey All,

I've been on vacation so I'm sorry for my tardy reply to this. So you
know where my background lies and have an inkling why my opinions are
what they are: I am a trained paper conservator, have a BFA in
painting/printmaking and do bookbinding as a serious hobby. My
experience of adhesives comes out of both practical use and technical
research. As I mentioned I try to keep my art and conservation lives
separate. This is because I don't always practice what I know to be the
'best' in my art and try not to be too inconsistent in what I tell this is going to expose, what I consider to be, some of my
own bad habits!

"Soooo, do I understand you correctly to say that good old WELD BOND is
"archival" for art work?? That would make life a lot easier!!!"

>>> I wouldn't normally use a PVA (even Jade 403) on an art work that I
was conserving, but I specialize in paper, and I know that objects
conservation uses Jade 403 more. I would not use Weld Bond directly on a
conservation project BUT I do use it in my own art. I figure if the
formula changes and Weld Bond does end up degrading over time, it's only
my own work I've damaged. I prefer to use various forms of paste for
everything but I use Weld Bond for enclosures/boxes etc because it dries
faster than paste, especially for doing box corners. Weld Bond has been
tested and seems to be stable over the long term but I usually try to
let anything I've made with it off gas for a few weeks before storing
anything in it or packing it so any volatile gasses get to diffuse out.
However like all PVAs Weld Bond is not reversible and anything made with
it is almost impossible to take a part later.

So yes, after reading the CCI research I trust it far more than other
generally available PVAs - but take that for what it is worth - I have
not done my own tests. I just trust a government-run lab more than the

I have for long searched for a quicker better "archivaler" way to mount
my woodcuts on float mounts for framing/display. I have heard both evil
things and high
praise for Yes paste but do not like the way it behaves for my needs. It
also tends to get very brittle in the art festival environment. I know
the world of outdoor festivals and the world of conservation aren't
exactly compatible at times but I continue to search for the ideal
adhesive to float mount woodcuts keeping in mind the longevity issue and
tossing in the durability issue. I have heard of mixing rice paste or
wheat starch paste with something like Lineco's PVA glue to add strength
and durability as well as making them less palatable to insect attacks.
So far I am having good results but fear for longevity and
reversibility, although a framer who remounted some of my prints for a
client said that warm water and a little heat released the print without
harm to the paper.
What are your thoughts on this practice? Any other suggestions?

>>>I don't think anything in the art world is all that far apart - what
works well in a museum should work fine anywhere (well, except in the
rain...) Which adhesive is best really depends on what you are looking
for. In the museum we are looking for the hinges to let go (break)
before the art work tears so we want them to be weaker, I would never
use PVA for this purpose, it is simply too strong and would strengthen
the hinge paper as well as stick permanently to the work. Paste/PVA
mixes separate on the basis that the paste is water soluble but
depending on how well they are mixed the PVA usually stays behind in
'lumps' that have to be scraped off mechanically.

To cope with the texture I would paste out my hinge on blotter to
partially dry it then gently 'tap' it into place with a brush then, if I
thought the paper was cockling I would use a piece of felt and weight to
press it. It's not a quicker way but it is 'archivaler.' I know that
synthetic adhesives are loved by many but they can be a bit like
anti-bacterial soaps, overkill where something milder is usually equally
effective (though there are lots of bookbinders who will argue with me
on that!) As for the pest attraction issue, once pastes dry they aren't
that attractive to bugs, there are libraries the world over where all
the books are made with hide glue or paste and they are in fine
condition. Bugs will only chow down if the environmental conditions,
frankly, suck and they have to be bad for a relatively extended period.
Pastes made with full flour (so they have gluten) are more prone to
being munched since the gluten is a better food source than the
separated starch but again unless the environmental conditions are up
over 55% relative humidity bugs aren't very happy and will usually move
on to more hospitable places. So I don't know of a compelling reason I
would use mix for doing hinges. Recently I hung 14, 40" x 70" prints
and I only used wheat starch paste to attach the hanging mechanisms,
four pockets across the top and one in each bottom corner and there were
no problems whatsoever with the paste taking the weight of even that
large a size paper.

Can you give me more information about what happened to your previous