Nice print! I particularly like the green/yellow and the (perhaps
unintentional) bokashi in the printing of the detail block and/or the key
block -- where it/they fade toward the bottom! Nice!
Your question 1a about solvent transfer... Smearing with solvent means 'too
much solvent' doesn't take much at all -- try this 'hand' method: attach
your toner-plan face down onto the block -- hold it with tape in areas where
you won't be putting solvent. Dampen a second sheet of toner (or thin
blotter) with solvent and blot it and let it evaporate until there are NO
SHINY places (but don't let it dry out) -- then put this solvent sheet over
your toner sheet and rub with spoon (solvent is kinda hard on the ol'
Question 1b about heat transfer -- I've never had much luck with heat
transfer of toner -- poor transfer and, as you say, brittle and poorly
adhered toner on the block.
Question 1c about pasting hanshita -- the following is MUCH easier and safer
than either toner transfer method, and easier than traditional hanshita
paste-down and rub-off! Make your keyblock image including kento and
reverse the image (flip horizontal) then photo-copy (or whatever) enough
copies for your blocks. Mix up some thinnish rice paste and apply thinly
all over the block, patting it into tiny 'peaks' then adhere the keyblock
plan (hanshita) to the block face up (quickly so it doesn't buckle as it
dampens and tries to expand), pat it down smooth (without stretching) and
let dry. Do this for each block. Then carve 'em -- you won't even know the
paper is there! When carving is done, dampen the surface for a few minutes
and wipe off the remaining paper. VOILA! VERY easy, ALMOST traditional,
and works GREAT for virtually all images. Try this! You'll like it!
links to an album of photos from a
workshop I taught year before last -- shows photocopies pasted onto blocks,
carving through the paper, printing the blocks -- examples of this and other
block-planning approaches from several different students. You might find
something here you'll be able to use?
Question 2 -- hard to see in your photo, but looks to me like either
goma-zuri or, more likely, paper was too 'hard' (insufficiently damp) -- If
I were you, I'd re-dampen some sheets, let 'em sit overnight, and re-print
the red with a bit more paste -- I think that'll do the trick!
Best, and congratulations on your nice print,
Kansas City, MO