Today's postings

  1. [Baren 36351] how dry is dry? (David Harrison)
  2. [Baren 36352] Re: Speedball.... (Scholes Graham)
  3. [Baren 36353] Re: how dry is dry? (Darrell Madis)
  4. [Baren 36354] RE: how dry is dry? ("Maria Arango")
  5. [Baren 36355] Re: Speedball.... ("Maria Arango")
  6. [Baren 36356] (debra percival)
  7. [Baren 36357] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4456 (Aug 5, 2008) (Marilynn Smith)
  8. [Baren 36358] Re: Speedball.... (Scholes Graham)
  9. [Baren 36359] Re: Speedball.... (Charles Morgan)
  10. [Baren 36360] Inking Problem ..Help! (Charlie overshoe)
  11. [Baren 36361] introducing myself (Linda Beeman)
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Message 1
From: David Harrison
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 2008 15:33:01 +0100
Subject: [Baren 36351] how dry is dry?
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It's nearly a whole day since my last dumb question, so here's another :-)

I finally printed my exchange prints last night. In the end my water-based ink
rebelled against something on the block and I switched to a new brand of
'washable' oil-based ink by a UK company called Hawthorn Printmakers. In this
case washable seems to mean 'can just about be shotblasted off your ink slab' :-)

The ink already seems almost dry to the touch. How much can I trust this? If I
dab at one of the reject prints, barely a speck comes away on my fingertip.
Can I assume the ink is dry most of the way through, or has it formed a crust
cow-pat fashion, or are there any other lurking horrors if I post too soon?

Are interleaving sheets a good precaution or will that make Maria's job harder?


David H
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Message 2
From: Scholes Graham
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 07:39:07 -0700
Subject: [Baren 36352] Re: Speedball....
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Yes my systems and necessary apps are all up to date... Running a G5
with Leopard.
Went back again and found it worked better but still very slow
and .... well I guess cutesy.

So be it .

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Message 3
From: Darrell Madis
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 07:50:19 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 36353] Re: how dry is dry?
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It does make the coordinators job harder fiddling with the interleaving sheets, especially if there are several sets of prints that have them. Best to not use them, it's a big enough job packing up over 900 prints for mailing.

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Message 4
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 08:06:23 -0700
Subject: [Baren 36354] RE: how dry is dry?
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Dry 'nuff!

Interleaving sheets are a great solution to send sticky prints, otherwise
they stick to each other and I tend to engage in heavy cursing in Español,
un peu de Français and, yes, English.
I personally consider the free life-time supply of interleaving paper a perk
of being a coordinator.

Seriously, no problem. It's exactly 20% humidity today which to us is right
down "sticky". After the cloud (yes, single) passes, it will be back down to
a heavenly 2-4%. By the time any print gets to me it's dry and begging for a
cool drink.

Those washable and some water-based inks just behave a bit quirkier than
regular ol' oil based inks. Sometimes water-based inks dry within an hour or
two of being printed and sometimes they take days, even here. And, you know
what else? They just don't smell right to me.

Anyhow, send good quality glassine, I'm almost out of that, he heh.


Maria Arango
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Message 5
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 08:15:57 -0700
Subject: [Baren 36355] Re: Speedball....
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Can't speak for their website but the product has improved only slightly
with the years.

My main concerns with Speedball inks are:
-They separate and dry in the tube very quickly in my climate, a malady that
does not seem to affect Daniel Smith or Graphic Chemical inks.
-The colors are not as pure or as saturated as the other two brands
mentioned, although they have a better selection of hues.
-Flow is also not as consistent as the other two brands, the Speedball inks
remain just a bit too "thin and runny" for my rolling taste. I know that
additives can fix that problem but on those rare occasions when I buy tubes
it's because I want to use the ink right out of the tube; having to mix up
additives takes all the convenience out of purchasing in tubes.

Any of those three I could swallow, but all three together just make for an
ink I don't particularly want to mess with for my work.
Having said all that, I am planning to give a workshop this October and will
be purchasing Speedball ink for my students to try out. I will have on hand
Graphic Chemical inks for the advanced students and my own use as well, as I
like students to make up their own mind.

Just my opinion, of course,

Maria Arango
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Message 6
From: debra percival
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 08:28:52 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 36356]
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I will always tear/rip my paper and encourage my students and people working with me in the studio to also tear their paper.  Yes, it is a personal preference.  However with so much emphasis on commercial prints, every little touch that says handmade with care, I feel is important.  Why back in time, some galleries would not accept prints if they did not have a deckle edge.  It was their way of saying to their costumers that the print was an original.

Debra James Percival
Artist/Instructor/Non-Toxic Printmaker

(902)  892-8363
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Message 7
From: Marilynn Smith
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 08:35:52 -0700
Subject: [Baren 36357] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4456 (Aug 5, 2008)
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The speedball site loaded quite well in my new Mac with the Firefox
browser. They show the whole catalog, print is so tiny that one
must zoom in or I guess put it into PDF to use with Adobe and print
out what you might want to use. These supplies are less in price so I
would guess they are trying to keep costs down. I did not find the
site nasty. Good supplies certainly make for nicer presentation of an
image. Louise, your work is superb. I believe the image is more
important than the materials used. Good art is good art no matter what
paper or ink you use. Would you tell my art store in Baja Sur Mexico
to please get in some Japanese paper and some quality pigments?? There
are times and situations when you have no choice and you use what you
can get. There are fabulous stories about art created during the war,
by underground artists, who used what they could find and the art is
amazing. A piece of paper or an expensive pigment will not make art
good. It will, however make the image look much nicer and certainly
is worth the cost if you can get it. I must say that matching your
image to the right paper can make or break it, at times. Some times it
is the color of the paper or the texture, an image will work on one
paper and not another I do not think there should be set rules,
experiment and use what your image needs and your budget allows.
Great artists are often the ones who break the rules!
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Message 8
From: Scholes Graham
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 09:39:25 -0700
Subject: [Baren 36358] Re: Speedball....
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Good feed back Maria .... Pretty well where as they were when I was
in Art School.... and since you know my age you know how
long ago that was.... Please say it under your breath... Thanks,

I liken our sport to other sports like golf for instance.
If I play down to the level of the worst I will be the worst...
I always used the best material possible which causes
me to create and strive for the highest level.
Every day sees the (project/work) improve ... well almost
every day... as I develop my skills.

I never have suggested to students to use cheap student quality.
As I see it .... how much material are they going to use,
and what cost are we talking about.... Pocket change!

I am talking mind set.... “Well the materials are mediocre ,
so I will create mediocre work”.

Carry on like your normal.....

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Message 9
From: Charles Morgan
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 10:21:10 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 36359] Re: Speedball....
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For doing public demonstrations where passersby are given a small piece of art (usually a direct nature print) to take away, I have not found anything that is better than Speedball. It gives decent colors for those applications. It dries quickly enough to be taken away by observers. It is easy to keep workable for hours simply by spritzing with a bit of water from time to time. It is washable in case anyone gets it on their hands or on their clothes. Since it is re-wettable (gum arabic based) it is easily removed from hands and clothes even after it has dried. It is non-toxic in case small kids try to eat some. It is cheap.

I buy it in large jars and then transfer it to plastic tubes made for campers. That gives me the economics of large volume, but makes handling the stuff a breeze.

Here on the coast, I have never had any problem with the stuff drying in the tubes or in the jars. Of course if I lived in a desert climate, as Maria, I am sure my experience in this regard would be different.

At least Speedball gives pigment numbers for their inks, so you can tell precisely what pigments are there ... a practice that Daniel Smith and Graphic Chemical do not follow, for some strange reason.

Having said all this, for my own work I tend to mix my own inks from burnt plate oil or transparent etching medium, with pigment dispersions from Guerra. That way I can get precisely the color I want, and I can use reference material to tell me how the pigments will react with each other and with various substrates ... no nasty surprises. And I can mix small batches, cutting down on waste.

By the way, you can beef up the pigment density in Speedball, DS, and GC&I by mixing in pigment dispersions ... works well, in my experience.

Cheers ...... Charles
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Message 10
From: Charlie overshoe
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 11:16:02 -0700
Subject: [Baren 36360] Inking Problem ..Help!
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Aside from being behind on exchange 37, and that all the wonderful information on kentos came too late for my print, I am having a strange thing happen to my inked block.

I'm doing a reduction print ... using an all shina block and charbonelle inks and transparent medium. All went well for the first two colors but yesterday I printed the third of 4 colors and got holes in my ink ..... not from lack of pressure or under inking .... but because white raised, globules formed on the plate and they rsisted the ink (size from pinhole to a little over an 1/32 of an inch). Scraped and cleaned the plate many times but the bumps still formed.... maddening.

Actually, an interesting effect (not in this print) and would like to be able to control this 'phenom' for future use ... so can anyone tell me what is happening???

Barbara P
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Message 11
From: Linda Beeman
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 15:45:10 -0400
Subject: [Baren 36361] introducing myself
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Hello everyone! My name is Linda Beeman and I live in central, rural Michigan, USA. I started printmaking again a couple years ago (after many years of marriage, motherhood and working. Still married and always a mother, just not working!) by doing an overview of sorts....etching, woodblock, lino, drypoint. I have fallen in love with woodblock and decided that is what I want to concentrate on. I have problems with so many solvents, etc. that the non-toxic way is for me.

I have only recently joined the forum, even though I have used the site for some time. I thought it was time to jump in and join the community. I have enjoyed reading all your posts and have learned a lot from you all already. I hope to be able to join the next exchange.

I especially appreciate your thoughts on what papers to use. I recently ordered an assortment thru the Mall so that I can see what I like to work on best. While I
have been using "domestic" paper with no problem I feel I am at a point where I need to start using the best that I can.

I have a question for those doing moku hanga - are you using dry pigment, watercolor, Akua Kolor, or something else. And why?