Some kind of daisy

by maggie

Here is the finished image that I started a few weeks ago. It takes a couple of weeks to print a relief print, as you have to wait for the ink to dry between applications of the new blocks. Here follows an explanation of my dubious technique for printing with foam shapes.


The finished print. In two layers

One of the first prints I made in red was on to a sheet of ‘quick print foam’. I then cut through the foam to make a silhouette of the flower bunch. this would become the shadow layer and the shelf for the vase to stand on.


Basic silhouette: cut from expanded foam and printed

I wanted to add modelling and details to this block, to make the rather ‘naive’ image more realistic. I pressed in to the foam to make groves that would print white. On the vase this would highlight the red castles. Light cast from one side would catch the petals in different places, and removing most of the material from the leaf area would indicate veins and things.


Traditionally light comes from the top left. I started making cut marks ,but decided that points worked better.

The trouble with using novel materials is learning how they behave on the job. At Morley a letter press is used for relief work and you want to get the springing handle just right. Working with squashy foam makes that tricky, and in the half dozen prints I took using this block is was noticeably thinner. I like the quality of the image and the easy of mark making, but I think I’ll try some other material for the shadow block in future.

Once these dark grey prints were dry, I over printed with the block I showed before. I cut away the leaves and the vase so that I could ink them in different colours. The block was resembled on the press.

I leant a lot with this bunch of flowers:
about how to work with the relief press and registering the blocks,
about cutting blocks and assembling them. Very different from lino or wood block.
Working with colour is a whole different are as well. You can thin a colour with extender or use white to make it opaque.
The flower block was made with glittery foam stickers. These were a menace to ink. Also because they were individually applied to an acetate sheet there are uneven and difficult to ink evening. Next time I think i can place the stickers closer together and simulate 3D by using these problems for me.