Today's postings

  1. [Baren 36085] power grip vs fancy 2 part tools (Shawn + Elizabeth Newton)
  2. [Baren 36086] Re: power grip vs fancy 2 part tools (Marissa)
  3. [Baren 36087] Re: power grip vs fancy 2 part tools ("Maria Arango")
  4. [Baren 36088] Re: Cobalt drier ("Patricia B. Phare-Camp")
  5. [Baren 36089] Re: Stencils (Annie Bissett)
  6. [Baren 36090] Re: New Baren Digest (Text) V43 #4409 (Jun 27, 2008) ("Patricia B. Phare-Camp")
  7. [Baren 36091] Smiles for printmakers........... ( slinders #
  8. [Baren 36092] Re: Smiles for printmakers........... (Shireen Holman)
  9. [Baren 36093] Re: Cobalt drier (Charles Morgan)
  10. [Baren 36094] Re: Stencils (L Cass)
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Message 1
From: Shawn + Elizabeth Newton
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 09:28:20 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 36085] power grip vs fancy 2 part tools
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i was wondering about anyone's experience with Power Grip tools (or the Warren Cutlery version) with the grip shape sort of built into the handle. it's a longer handle, too. but they look good, and they're japanese (or so the description says)...

but they're only about 8 bucks a piece. and i hear really good stuff about them. and i'm sort of thinking about trying them out before i go after the more expensive two part (sliding open replaceable blade types) tools.

any thoughts?
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Message 2
From: Marissa
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 12:33:21 -0400
Subject: [Baren 36086] Re: power grip vs fancy 2 part tools
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I only have one of the fancy tools because honestly I prefer my powergrips
and flexcuts! I don't like the handles on the fancy ones. For looks they are
gorgeous but they are less comfortable for me. I carve with the handle in my
palm western style, I might feel differently if I carved Japanese style. But
I am not about to relearn how to carve!

Powergrips are excellent tools for the price.
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Message 3
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 10:25:49 -0700
Subject: [Baren 36087] Re: power grip vs fancy 2 part tools
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One of my favorite sets of tools is an old Chinese set I got on ebay when I
first started for $2.35. The steel is hard and sharpens excellent and they
fit my hand perfectly. And I too prefer the Flexcut tools than anything else
I've used, my only complaint is that the blades are way too short and thus
the life of the tool is also short.


Maria Arango
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Message 4
From: "Patricia B. Phare-Camp"
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 11:20:46 -0700
Subject: [Baren 36088] Re: Cobalt drier
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David: I'm going to give you one more thing to think of in this
gift...I recently used oil during our rainy season for a finals project
in a class and since it was due in a few days I used cobalt drier
(one-two tiny drops with a tiny dropper to a blob of ink).

Two things:

one the cobalt gave several of the prints a sheen I don't like and

two the cobalt smelled so bad I couldn't bring the prints into the house.

They dried quick enough so I could turn them in on time but they smelled
strongly of cobalt for several months so I kept them in a box in the
garage until the smell mellowed out.

If you're giving this as a gift, this could be a real big consideration as
you don't want the receiver to be repulsed by a strong smell. You know,
if you mat and frame it, you can still give a slightly damp print as a
gift as long as one the glass doesn't touch the print and two you don't
seal the back of the frame with tape so any gassing off of drying oil
medium doesn't cloud the glass over time.

Hope this helps,
Patti P-C
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Message 5
From: Annie Bissett
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 14:28:36 -0400
Subject: [Baren 36089] Re: Stencils
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Louise asked if my second method of using stencils (putting pigment
on the block and then printing with the stencil in place) isn't a bit
tricky, with paper sliding around on the acetate. Yes! It's tricky,
and I've only had success with it when the area being printed is
fairly large -- large enough that the paper can be "set" with the
initial baren strokes to the uncovered part of the block. (By "set" I
mean that sort of suction thing that happens between the block and
the paper when printing moku hanga style.) If the printing area is
too small the paper slips all over the place.

As for getting a nice strong intensity of color on one pass, my
experience matches up with Julio. Sometimes experimenting with
amounts of paste, pigment, moisture and baren pressure will get me
the intensity I'm looking for, but especially when printing large
areas of color I often find I have to do additional overprinting.

Annie in Massachusetts
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Message 6
From: "Patricia B. Phare-Camp"
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 11:39:25 -0700
Subject: [Baren 36090] Re: New Baren Digest (Text) V43 #4409 (Jun 27, 2008)
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I used Pochoir combined with chine colle and relief recently to do some
works in a new series I've started (gosh that means I've three series
going at once here...). I carved several small plates. I arrange some
of those blocks inked with various colors into a frame then hand print
them all at once to a full sheet of arches. the effect is a sort of
quilt of prints. I will then burnish various pasted tissue papers then
use a stencil to embellish in other places. You can see some of these
prints archived in my blog: ~Patti P-C
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Message 7
From: slinders #
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 13:33:15 -0500
Subject: [Baren 36091] Smiles for printmakers...........
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Message 8
From: Shireen Holman
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 16:16:17 -0400
Subject: [Baren 36092] Re: Smiles for printmakers...........
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Definitely good, especially the last one.
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Message 9
From: Charles Morgan
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 13:45:54 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 36093] Re: Cobalt drier
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Hello Patti,
Thanks for reporting on this. I have never had a problem with odor from using cobalt drier. My studio is in the house, and my sweetie has a very sensitive nose. She has never mentioned smelling anything odd when I use it, so I do not think it is just my olfactory deficiency. Perhaps it has something to do with the brand of drier that you use.
Cobalt drier is a solution of cobalt naphthenate, which in pure form is a powder. Cobalt itself is a metal, and its powder and fumes are odorless. Cobalt napthenate is a powder, and it is also odorless, at least according to my sources. I would guess that any odor comes from the solvent in which the cobalt naphthenate is dissolved.
I use Stevenson Cobalt Drier, and it is listed as 1.5% solution. The only information on the label concerning the solvent used is "mineral spirits", which is not very informative!!! There is a warning on the label to avoid breathing the fumes. The solvent has to be something that allows mixing with oil. I sometimes wonder if they are using carbon tetrachloride or something similar as the solvent ... that is certainly nasty stuff.
Cobalt drier works by accelerating the oxidation of the ink. That can produce some changes in surface texture, particularly with heavy ink applications. In particular, the surface of the ink sometimes takes on a wrinkled look. But different pigments may well react with the cobalt naphthenate or with the solvent to produce the sheen to which you refer.
As with most everything else in printmaking, experimentation with your own materials is the best guide.
Cheers .... Charles
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Message 10
From: L Cass
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 19:19:24 -0400
Subject: [Baren 36094] Re: Stencils
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Annie - I have to reply once more -I just tried your 2nd stencil
method and it worked like a dream! I had cut
away all the solid areas on my block leaving just the lines after
which I judged that a colour area needed
more - the acetate adhered beautifully to the block and I didn't
have any problem laying on the paper -
perhaps because the block itself is moderately large (9" x 12")?!

Julio , thanks for the feedback - I'm using Winsor Newton's artists
watercolours but when they run out will try
the powdered pigments.

Thanks also for your remarks, Andy - I got decent enough results for
largish areas brushing colours thru' the stencils'
onto the block but a friend has just remarked that the print looks
like a silk screen - v. curious - the whole design may
be too simplistic with not enough 'line' work - when my 2nd section
for this print is completed I'll try to get it all online
for opinions. BTW Eric Gill's work was much admired when I was a
student at the Central School of Arts & Crafts in
London many decades ago! Also, did you visit any of the Gothic
churches in Basse Normandie - e.g. Coutances
Cathedral with it's v. high tower; Notre Dame in Bayeux and a madly
eccentric many gargoyled church in Carentan -
all my favourite places when I'm there but there is so much all over
France ...........

(All, please excuse if this is too off Baren topics)

greetings for Canada Day coming up and USA's 4th July!