Today's postings

  1. [Baren 36389] Re: wood vs. lino ("Maria Arango")
  2. [Baren 36390] Guerra Paint and Pigments (Scholes Graham)
  3. [Baren 36391] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4461 (Aug 6, 2008) (Lynn Starun)
  4. [Baren 36392] Re: [Baren 36387] Re: [Baren 36387] Re: wood vs. lino ("Robert Viana")
  5. [Baren 36393] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4461 (Aug 6, 2008) (Marilynn Smith)
  6. [Baren 36394] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4461 (Aug 6, 2008) (Diane Cutter)
  7. [Baren 36395] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4461 (Aug 6, 2008) (Sharri LaPierre)
  8. [Baren 36396] Re: Speedball vs other inks (Charles Morgan)
  9. [Baren 36397] Re: Speedball vs other inks (Marissa)
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Message 10
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2008 08:22:56 -0700
Subject: [Baren 36389] Re: wood vs. lino
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I think the wood vs. lino has turned into better vs. worse. That's silly.
To use lino instead of end-grain because it is cheaper may be a
misunderstanding of the capabilities of each material. In terms of achieving
crisp and excruciating detail, there isn't even a fair comparison between
lino and end-grain maple as the materials couldn't be more different. Look
at the amazing engraving works of our very own Andy English for just one

Linoleum is easier to carve, cheaper by the foot, great for large woodcuts,
great for teaching, used by Picasso just to mention one rather successful
professional artist (tongue in cheek). I don't think there is anything
particularly wrong about pulling relief prints from lino but it certainly
isn't "better" or "worse" than wood as a matrix.
As far as expense, birch plywood or pine in the states and I imagine some
other kind of alder-type tree plywood and conifer-like tree in the rest of
the world are far cheaper than linoleum and more readily available.

I think the initial post mentioned the "feel" of working with wood as
opposed to linoleum. I used linoleum when I first began and still have some
handy for quick works and even an untouched rather large roll. But once I
started working with wood, cherry specifically, I just can't get excited
about a blank piece of linoleum. I can hardly get excited about a piece of
plywood for that matter. I won't say plank cherry is "better", it just feels
right and works for me.
Each matrix has its own character, advantages and disadvantages.


Maria Arango
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Message 11
From: Scholes Graham
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2008 08:27:20 -0700
Subject: [Baren 36390] Guerra Paint and Pigments
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Annie Bissett wrote:
> On the topic of which pigments I use for moku hanga, I really like
> the pigment dispersions from Guerra Paint and Pigment in NY.
I tried to contact this company a few years ago and did not get any
response after two attempts.
Are they any better now????

This is a great site... (Take note Speedball)!!!!!

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Message 1
From: Lynn Starun
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2008 08:34:57 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 36391] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4461 (Aug 6, 2008)
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Hi Folks,
On the subject of paper cutting and tearing. I have a mat cutter made by Logan and I discovered it makes a terrific tear bar and makes it easy to get 45 degree corners. I hate cutting off the deckle edges but for Moku Hanga I do. I start with getting one edge of a large sheet straight and then turn the sheet to lay that edge against the measuring edge and the next cut will be 45 degrees. Just for extra measure I take a ruler before cutting to make sure it's the same all the way across on a very large sheet. For tearing, I just lower the arm and lift and tear against it.
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Message 2
From: "Robert Viana"
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2008 14:05:01 -0200
Subject: [Baren 36392] Re: [Baren 36387] Re: wood vs. lino
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I am also curious about how difficult it is to carve the flooring tiles. I thought that it was really difficult unless you are using a dremel tool.
I tried this in college and it was more work than it was worth.
There is nothing like a sweet piece of cherry wood to carve on. Let's face it.
Lino is ok and easy on the tools but you just can't beat the feel of running your fingers on the freshly cut block right before you ink it up, t is a work of art in itself, then watching the block absorb your ink, the grain some boards show, the smell of the shavings...
Don't get me wrong I use a lot of lino blocks but they remind me of the industrial age we live in where everything is derived by the mixing of alloys, chemicals and plastics.
Long live the wood blocks! wait a minute.... isn't that an oxymoron? hah!

Robert Viana
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Message 3
From: Marilynn Smith
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2008 09:13:46 -0700
Subject: [Baren 36393] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4461 (Aug 6, 2008)
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Hi, this is a test to see if my mail is going through. The last post
never showed up on the list. Hope everyone is having a nice sumer,
those for whom it is summer season.

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Message 4
From: Diane Cutter
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2008 09:27:04 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 36394] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4461 (Aug 6, 2008)
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Marilyn... I read you loud and clear. Have you checked your spam folder? Sometimes my Baren posts go there, especially mine to the rest of you (maybe my computer is trying to tell me the worth of my comments!)... lol


Hi, this is a test to see if my ail is going through. The last post
never showed up on the list. Hope everyone is having a nice sumer,
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Message 5
From: Sharri LaPierre
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2008 10:57:21 -0700
Subject: [Baren 36395] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4461 (Aug 6, 2008)
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Okkkkaaaay ~ it is time for the "ink snob" to chime in (that name was
bestowed upon me several years ago due to my extreme hatred of
Speedball water base block inks. Actually, I dislike almost all
Speedball products, if nothing else I am inclusive.) Among the things
I dislike are the finished look, it is often chalky, or if layered,
super shiny, when thoroughly dry. It is student grade, which means it
has as little pigment as they can get away with and still have a
semblance of hue. And, then there are the mold and sticky issues, not
to mention the horrible smell. So, why would you use Speedball when
you can use superior products such as Graphic Chemical, and - in a
pinch - Dan Smith. I have had experiences with Speedball that cannot
be mentioned on this site: they are not rated for family viewing, so
suffice it to say that money was not saved and they were almost all
expensive experiences, all things considered. Go for the better inks,
folks ~ you are worth it! Or, better yet, if you have the patience of
Job, learn Moku Hanga. ;-)

Cheers ~
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Message 6
From: Charles Morgan
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2008 11:07:12 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 36396] Re: Speedball vs other inks
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Of course any ink or paint that is re-wettable may stick to the glazing from condensation if a print is not mounted correctly ... that goes for water color, gouache, rice paste + pigment, etc. And any work made with rewettable ink will suffer from being washed. These are not problems peculiar to Speedball water based inks. One needs to address the problems of inappropriate mounting, and the problem of condensation formation on the inside of the glazing.

As for fading, that depends in part on the binder, but in larger part on the pigment. If the manufacturer has enough confidence in their product to give pigment numbers, you can check the lightfastness of the ink easily by looking in Ralph Mayer's "The Artist's Handbook". For example, Speedball 3459 Turquoise contains titanium white (pw6), phthalocyanine green (pg7), and phthalocyanine blue (pb15). These pigments all have the highest lightfastness rating. So that ink should have excellent lightfastness. Now, of course other pigments may not have that degree of lightfastness. But the lightfastness of pg7 does not depend on which manufacturer is using it in their ink, whether it be Windsor-Newton or Speedball.

Naturally if the binder is not very transparent or clouds with age and/or exposure, that will certainly dull the print. Speedball water based inks are made with gum arabic, the same stuff that is used in most water colors.

Speedball inks have been around for a very long time and are produced
in large volumes ... large volume production is one of the reasons they
are cheap.

Perhaps the major problem with Speedball inks is that they seem to have a low level of pigment density ... that is where a lot of the money is saved. To compensate for low pigment density, almost all of them tend to have a high level of titanium white to make them quite opaque. So they are not really suitable for transparent layering.

There is nothing inherently wrong with the Speedball inks once you understand their properties. They are not suitable for every application, but they are satisfactory for many purposes.

Mold requires moisture in order to grow. If a print is dried properly and kept dry, it should not mold. "Foxing" is a common problem with prints of any sort if the paper is not properly dry. But foxing in books is also a major problem for libraries, and that is certainly not a function of the use of Speedball inks! Many inks contain small amounts of materials that are toxic to mold ... e.g. formaldehyde. Thus the ink in tubes or tubs does not mold readily. But once the ink is applied to the paper, mold growth on the paper can of course invade the printed area, regardless of the ink that was used. For example, if you are getting condensation inside the glazing (moisture), you are most likely going to have problems with mold.

Let me clarify what I am saying ... I am not here advocating that everyone should rush out and use Speedball inks. I just think it is important to keep in mind the origin of problems like bleeding, fading and mold growth. Just because you do not use Speedball products does not mean you are immune to these problems. And using Speedball inks does not make it more likely that you will have such difficulties. To avoid problems, you need to understand the characteristics of the materials you are using so that you can take appropriate precautions.

Just my take on the matter ....... your mileage may vary ....

Cheers ....... Charles
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Message 7
From: Marissa
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2008 14:39:20 -0400
Subject: [Baren 36397] Re: Speedball vs other inks
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I've only used the waterbased but I have to say that I hated them. And not
because of snobbery but for real concrete reasons. The ink would dry on the
slab as I worked very quickly, it wouldn't roll well and it would often
print blotchy and with a bit of a raised surface. And if it got wet it would
run. After such an experience with the waterbased I wasn't about to give
their oil based a shot. I'll stick with Daniel Smith (my favorite) or
Graphic Chemical.

But I do like their small brayers and use them often.