Today's postings

  1. [Baren 44451] Letterpress Printing (Carole Dwinell)
  2. [Baren 44452] mailing to self /ATCs ("bobcatpath #")
  3. [Baren 44453] wood grain (Peter Brown)
  4. [Baren 44454] Re: wood grain (key sevn)
  5. [Baren 44455] Re: wood grain (ArtfulCarol #
  6. [Baren 44456] Re: wood grain ("Bea Gold")
  7. [Baren 44457] Re: wood grain (Graham Scholes)
  8. [Baren 44458] Re: wood grain ("Eli Griggs")
  9. [Baren 44459] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
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Message 1
From: Carole Dwinell
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2011 16:05:11 GMT
Subject: [Baren 44451] Letterpress Printing
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There is a WHOLE LOT of people trying to preserve the letterpress
tradition. I'm one of them. Have two tabletop platen presses and a
whole lot of foundry type. Thats the lead, tin, antimony combo. There
is a listserv just like this one that comes out of New Brunswick,
Canada and has more than 1400 members. There are a lot of museums,
guilds, associations dedicated to saving what is left of the
equipment, materials and the foundry type.
BriarPress ( is a central knowledge bank
about letterpress industry and has a registry of many private presses
(those who print in that medium). While I'm an artist who prints, many
of those presses also do commercial work in an effort to preserve the
history and beauty of letterpress printing. Lead type in this country
is 0.918" high, a standard, and (getting on topic here) many artists/
printers such as me also incorporate linoleum blocks as part of the

"Today is the day to DO it!"

> Message 16
> From: Mark Phillips
> Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2011 10:37:33 GMT
> Subject: [Baren 44449] Re: rubber fonts?
> Reply: To [Baren] | Privately
> There are still many places keeping letterpress alive producing lead
> type. In the US there's NA Graphics in Colorado, Don Black line
> Casting
> in Canada and Quaker Type. I know there is a place still producing
> type
> and presses in India and I know there are many active letterpress
> people
> in Europe. I have also picked up 2 sets of letter stamps off eBay that
> are rather old. I would be very careful on eBay with buying type
> though. Many people are breaking up perfectly good fonts of wood and
> metal fonts to sell as collectibles. An single alphabet is not a
> complete set so anyone selling such should be avoided. Also give a
> call
> around to rubber stamp makers in your area. Most started using lead
> and
> wood type for vulcanizing rubber stamps. If one is old enough they may
> still have an old setup in storage or still in use ya never know. I
> stumbled across one in Chicago several years ago and it was like
> walking
> back into the 1920s.
> Regards,
> Mark Phillips
> egallery
> End of [Baren] Digest Volume: 57 / Number: 5784
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Message 2
From: "bobcatpath #"
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2011 16:53:14 GMT
Subject: [Baren 44452] mailing to self /ATCs
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Bea Gold- i ALMOST mailed mine to myself too ;-)
but i caught myselff doing it !
it is just cause we purchased , addresed and then the natural next step is
to put it on the box
but the box already WAS labeled
in the chinese new year exchanges
i always send one to myself
to know that they are being delivered
and to have a stamped one for my collection

my electric system has been off for a few days
so just now thanking KRISTINE ALDER for the info and advice on Artist Trading Cards
and Diane CUTTER for info about the ACEOs

i had no idea it was a thing
and will probably just sell as tiny prints

as a HAND printer
this exchange was easier to print and faster=i guess not so for MOKU HANGA
but in my own case holding the stonehenge rising paper
STILL on the block without moving
while rubbing something that small with the baren- is a challenge
i do it in sections
hold the right down=rub the left
hold the left down= rub the right
and the same for TOP and BOTTOM

Gillyin in Maine
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Message 3
From: Peter Brown
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2011 21:23:25 GMT
Subject: [Baren 44453] wood grain
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Dear fellow printmakers,
I am a relative beginner and a recently joined member of Baren with a
question to which I would love to know the answer. How do I get the
wood grain to show in my prints?
For instance; should I use transparent colour rather that opaque, will
the quality of my brush hinder my chance, is it necessary to prepare
the wood to emphasise the grain and is the choice of wood itself
important? I currently use either magnolia or a shina plywood, with
opaque water-based colour, applied using a stipple brush. This gives
me a strong even colour and an equally robust gradation but no grain.
Please can you help?
yours sincerely,
Peter Brown.
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Message 4
From: key sevn
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2011 22:03:43 GMT
Subject: [Baren 44454] Re: wood grain
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not plywood.choose pine plank ;}
btw, I'm serious.

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Message 5
From: ArtfulCarol #
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2011 22:32:29 GMT
Subject: [Baren 44455] Re: wood grain
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Lauan---nearly straight grain, but chips easily. I like to use for first
color background
I also like woodgrain to show and can't get enough of it. Looking
forward to more options
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Message 6
From: "Bea Gold"
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2011 02:02:47 GMT
Subject: [Baren 44456] Re: wood grain
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I agree, In the summer when we were on our way to camp sites or other vacation sites, my husband and I would stop at a lumber yard to buy a plank of pine that had an interesting wood grain. We would have the plank cut in different lenghths and I would have wood for wood cuts to last the year. Shina is easier to cut but no interesting grain. Bea Gold

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Message 7
From: Graham Scholes
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2011 03:15:46 GMT
Subject: [Baren 44457] Re: wood grain
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Have grain show on a print is based on Murphy's Law. When you don't want it, it happens, and visa versa.

Pine or Cedar boards will enable this to happen.... Pick the board with the grain you want.
Actually basswood board are better.... a lot easier to carve. Cherry wood does a good job.
Careful sanding will enhance and exaggerate the grain. You should use an palm sander with 120 grit.
Once you see the sap wood..... light coloured section.... starting to feel depressed you will know you are on the way.

It is best NOT to coat the plate with any varnish or shellac.
Before applying the pigment I lay a damp towel on the plate where I want the grain to be obvious.
This will raise the grain and be ready for the application of the pigment.
Depending which wood you choose the raising of grain varies in terms of time....
Quickest is Pine, 1. Cedar 2. Basswood, and 3. Cherry. If the plate your or making is not evolved with detailed carving then the best is Fir Plywood.
The grain is very hard and the sap wood quite soft... so in the sanding operation you can get pronounced grain relief. It has some pretty handsome grain patterns.

You should use transparent watercolours with more rice paste than normal.
Also it best to pull about 15 test prints on Newsprint to insure that plate has good saturation of pigment in the wood.

A week or so ago Barbara mentioned how she was getting better prints after the 50th one. (Did my memory serve me Barbara)
Well if you saturate your plate with colour allowing the colour to sink in and almost dry and doing this 1/2 dozen times and then pull 10 or so test prints on Newsprint you will find the prints are where you would be if you pulled (possible wasted) 50 prints to get the best results.

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Message 8
From: "Eli Griggs"
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2011 03:51:23 GMT
Subject: [Baren 44458] Re: wood grain
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You can also try using a steel or soft, brass brush to bring out the grain. This works best in wood that has alternating soft and hard grain, like some pines, such as southern yellow pine.

The brushing action will cause the soft grain to compress or be removed and the harder grain stands proud to be printed.


Digest Appendix

Postings made on [Baren] members' blogs
over the past 24 hours ...

Subject: Color Variations
Posted by: Ellen Shipley

Here's a variety of the colorways for my Paleo-Dragonflies.  They're all basically brown with red wings.  I mixed up the brown from yellow, red and blue, so depending on how I mixed the ink, it got lighter or darker.

I like that frankly because I go mad doing the same thing over and over again (makes you wonder why I'd want to do editions, doesn't it?), and this way I can entertain my brain while I work.  ;-]

This item is taken from the blog Pressing-Issues.
'Reply' to Baren about this item.

Subject: Second Plate of "Shiny Things"

[This was a summary of the original entry. The full entry can be viewed here]

This item is taken from the blog Lori Biwer-Stewart's Printmaking Blog.
'Reply' to Baren about this item.