April 18th, 2014

New Print: Birds with the Golden Key

It’s often a long process for a print to go from an idea to a finished piece.  Sometime the idea pops into my head fully formed, and other times it takes some piecing together.  Below is an image of the final print, followed by artifacts from the process.

As quick and dirty as it gets (almost)! Most of my sketchbook looks like this.

All cleaned up and penciled and inked. Key is drawn on a separate piece of tracing paper and shifted around to get the angle just right.

Rubylith (a light blocking masking film) is laid on top of the pencil drawing.  I cut the Rubylith stencil using a very sharp exacto knife.  This is the most time consuming and strangely satisfying part of the process.  The golden key, being a different color, is cut on separate piece of Rubylith.  I could draw this image in ink and just scan it, but the paper cut effect is so much more interesting- there are lots of tiny and wonderful mistakes and unexpected edges. The Rubylith stencils are used when exposing screens that have been coated with a light sensitive emulsion.  When exposed to light the parts of the emulsion that are covered by the red stencil will remain soft, while the parts that are fully exposed to light will harden.  Right after the screen is exposed to light, it is rinsed- well, more like blasted with water.  At this point the “soft” parts was completely away, leaving those parts of the screen permeable (which allows ink through), and the “hard” parts of the screen a sturdy stencil that prevents ink from passing through.

Light, paper, ink: magic!

This print is currently for sale in my Etsy shop

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