Read the Posts…

And now for something slightly different!

So I have, in the recent past, experimented with using laser printer toner to create images by fusing the powder to various substrates such as metal, Mylar film, Yupo, and paper. Sometimes, I’ve used a heat gun, other times I’ve used solvents such as acetone and mineral spirits. The results vary with each approach and I continue to experiment.

Annemarie and I have been investigating serigraphy; she did an all-day workshop last weekend, and I had earlier discovered a local gallery that also offered workshops (, I was immediately intrigued and reserved one. Today was the day!

Over the course of two hours this morning I pulled eighteen prints, 40 cm by 30 cm, twelve on 300 gsm white hot press paper, four on a 300 gsm white glossy paper and one each on papers of unknown weight, one green and the other cream-colored. Here are the results:

Twelve of these.

Four of these.

And one each of these:

The image of “Marcel” (my new mascot!) was created as a toner wash using mineral spirits to fuse the powder to a small sheet of Mylar, which was then scanned to create an editable digital file. This was then split into three separations which I printed with two shades of black and one shade of gray.

More fun ahead!

Now With More France!

So, back at the beginning January, I was busy with the laptop, extending its lifespan a little with a new batter and rubber bumpers (it’s still inevitable that I will be upgrading in the near future, budget permitting) but one or two things have happened since then.

Today, I am writing to you from France. From the arrondissement of Saint-Etienne in the department of the Loire in the region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. And I will continue from here, as the process of residency in France has begun.

The pandemic restrictions have made traveling around the area pretty much impossible, though I did get to see a bit of the surroundings when I took the bus out to the hospital to get my first round of the Pfizer vaccine. If we’re ever able to take the trains as tourist again, I’m looking forward to it!

Meanwhile, I’ve been making very short ventures out — my neighborhood streets are even more narrow than Leipzig and it’s like walking though canyons, with slivers of sky overhead! But what a glorious blue sky…

The textures and colors are enticing and I’m anxious to capture as much of it as I can.

Of course, this is from windows. The street view gets equally interesting —

Four details of a door on the nearby Rue Saint-Catherine, home of Shark’s Tattoo and Tattoo Museum. One of my two final apartment choices was here. The reason I didn’t take that apartment was NOT because of the tattoo shop — that was actually one of the cool pluses of that little part of the street.

I am home.

Still going…

Isn’t this the way you spend your New Year’s Day? Replacing the battery in your 10-year old laptop?

New battery and new bumpers on the back of the case… ready for another 10 years…

before (“First, we crack the ribcage and open ‘er up”)

New Shoes for Baby!

“… it’s alive!”

And you thought the expat lifestyle was all fun and games, even in 2020.

Janus is confused…

… and looks both ways, not sure which one to take. Calendars mean little to the wind, the fog, or the rain and snow. They come and go as they please.

The sun comes up, the moon goes down and we declare it Monday, or July, or 1033. “Declare” and “calendar”— just an extra “N” and “E” between them.

… give it a name, whatever day you please. Your choice. It matters not to me, or them. Happy Old Year’s End.

Printer’s Ink Revisited

An update from 16 October — what a difference a week makes. Got the chlorine bleach and made a solution of hot water and bleach, 1:8 bleach to H20, and gave the print a bit of a bath.

A light brush of the print cleared away nearly all the excess and brightened the image over all. Yes, the exposure and processing need more work, I need to use a much less textured paper, and think about using oil paint instead of intaglio ink, BUT I’M NOT UNHAPPY WITH IT. Clearly, this will be a fun direction to pursue…

The Smell of Printer’s Ink…

I’ve started exploring a new-to-me old process called “gumoil” — it works on the principle that various chromates harden gums and other proteins when exposed to light. There’s a whole nexus of process based on this concept: Gum bromoil, gum bi/dichromate, carbon transfer, carbro… all of them related by this basic action. It is NOT based on silver.

In this case, the image is formed by the adhesion of printer’s ink to the areas not exposed to light (and thus the gum is dissolved when the print is placed in water).

Just started working with it, using up some older paper.

Et maintenant, quelque chose de complètement différent…

Well, not all THAT different, any way!

Started this afternoon on this —

Initial State 01:

Positive and inverted scans of etched aluminum plate; the non-etched areas are highly polished and reflective, so they appear dark and the etched areas in grays and whites in the positive. The traces of red are the remnants of the BIG Etching Ground (Baldwin’s Ink Ground — comes in red or black, the red making it easier to see on the plate). I’ll need to remove the last bits before continuing further… there’s at least another round of etching in the sodium+copper sulphate solution to come.

And yes, there are areas where I didn’t have the ground rolled out as evenly as I thought, so it’s lacking in good coverage and you can see what is a kind of dot pattern on the plate. If I let it, I could etch this further and that texture would print. What’s cool about the aluminum is that it will etch a texture if there is no ground/resist present…

So how did you spend your Saturday afternoon?

Positive scan

Inverted scan, suggests what the plate would look like if printed with black ink on white paper at this stage. But, of course, there is still much work ahead on this!

A test of…

A test of a new tool for posting from somewhere/somewhen else than on the laptop… not having previously worked with “Markdown” as opposed to “Markup”, this is a new adventure.

Of course, like any “new” tool (I know Byword has been around for a while now), there will be a learning curve and I’ll have to get used to it.