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Re: [teacherartexchange] Block printing question


From: Barbara Marder (marder621_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Sep 06 2011 - 19:25:33 PDT

My block does not appear to be a cut up fragment-when enough ink gets on the surface I do get a clear print-it simply does not coat the bock when I use the block "stamp" style.

I will continue to experiment with padding the paper and perhaps adding more extender to the ink.

Thank again,


On Sep 6, 2011, at 8:09 AM, Betty wrote:

> Yes the surface has to be padded. I would use only a brayer if you want an even image. And a mallet. And remember the blocks are worn out discards- cut up and thrown in the river where other people get them and sell them to westerners- so don't expect a perfect image.
> On Sep 5, 2011, at 9:34 PM, Barbara Marder <> wrote:
>> Okay-hate to bug you again but went to my classroom and tried several methods-not happy.
>> The problem seems to be inking the block. In India the block is immersed into an ink or paint pan and stamped like a rubber stamp. When I tried this with Speedball, I got a fragmented image. Then I added paint extender and that did help but still not a clear even print. Then I used the brayer on the block itself and had a better result but brayering the block for each print was way too labor intensive. There has to be a better way.....
>> Maybe the surface has to be padded?
>> I was using paper not fabric-maybe the paper has to have rag content?
>> Most videos I saw on Youtube involved linoleum cuts where the plate is brayed and the paper put on top and then a dry brayer for pressure but that is not what I am trying to do.
>> My goal is to have a repeat pattern like a tessellation that will be easy for kids to do, and I, myself, was frustrated with the uneven color results.
>> Where am I going wrong here?
>> Thanks in advance for the rescue.
>> Barbara from Boston
>> On Aug 24, 2011, at 9:08 PM, Sue Stevens wrote:
>>> OMG! I have three of those cool woodblock on my dining room table which I just
>>> brought back from India myself!!! I was planning on printing them using
>>> speedball block printing ink. I really was going to just use them as historical
>>> samples when we do lino block printing (I use safety cut lino, or softoleum,
>>> rather than battleship lino). Last year, we also did block prints using drywall
>>> of all things (sheet rock)! Contractors were finishing my basement and there
>>> was a pile of left over drywall and it got me thinking! I cut/snapped the
>>> drywall into approximately 6 inch squares/rectangles. You need to wet the paper
>>> on the one side of the drywall - we found damp rags worked fine for this.....and
>>> then peel and rub off the paper gently. Students can then 'carve' into the damp
>>> drywall to remove the negative space. We used popsicle sticks as well as old
>>> wood carving tools for this. The wetter it is, the easier it 'carves', but be
>>> warned, you can't really get good details because it's moist. Let the block
>>> dry. Create a mixture of white glue and water (we did about 50/50) and brush
>>> liberally all over the block. We didn't do this at the beginning, and while the
>>> first print worked out good, we found that successive prints actually lifted the
>>> drywall material off of the block onto the print. By coating with glue, it
>>> sealed the drywall. Roll on printing ink and print away! Results were quite
>>> good. Can't really do a reductive print of several colours, but fun for a
>>> single colour print, using waste material.
>>> I haven't been to school yet (we don't officially start until after labour day)
>>> so I haven't been able to play with the blocks I bought......only got a few
>>> small ones - there were so many cool ones I wanted to buy though!
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