Map IV

by maggie

This week I’m slightly more on message than previous. I created a second plate for the Index sheet i.e. reifying the space between. It had mixed success. This post also contains a bit of house keeping for the overall project.

I had printed various versions of the Index Sheet, of which this is an example,

img_1417and decided that it wasn’t complete as it stood.

It needed details and filagrees, and perhaps a contrast for the space between. The trouble is that it’s a big plate and for most of the week were are separated by 10 or so miles of congested public transport. Well I thought I could use up all of my studio time rebuilding the plate, welding the button polish, until i discovered that it took 1/2 hr to trace the outline of the swirl.

Then I had an idea.

Acetate is much easier to carry, you can roll it up, and you can paint it with something absorbent like gesso to get some tone. It only took me 3hrs. But the alternative second plate will be much more ambitious complicated. and i wanted to get a feel for the completed image.


Here is the acetate plate hung in a window after I printed it with the first plate. The blue tone is ink lifted from the paper. The gesso had been inked up with soft black for one print and then anon. gold which has coloured it. Apart from the window shadow on the left you can see the variation in the thickness of the gesso by the tone within the swirls.

This is a proof of that second plate. I don’t know why it’s much paler in the centre. It’s either the wiping [too much /not enough blah blah] or the brush marks were much smoother in the middle…

DSCN1532The plate is 600mm ish by 420mm. Which is big, but when you’re make it you make it by the inch so every brush stroke is meant. The gesso absorbed a lot of ink and cleaning oil and by the time I got home again it was beginning to flake off the acetate. So I don’t have that plate anymore!


This is a slightly out of focus photo of the two plates together; blue and gold.
Registration is a bit off. Damn those light weight plates.
Now high lit stars? Over print or nude paper?

I will be making a new second plate probably with corrugated paper with stripes in different directions in different areas, but it’s going to take a lot of patience.

And here’s a photo of the honeycomb plate with all that extra button polish.


I drew the outline of the square areas for the maps and applied more lacquer. this is to make the surface smother so it picks up less ink. It’s clearer on the smaller outer squares than on the centre one. I also added polish to the centre of each honeycomb. When I schlep all the prints home I’ll add a photo of the original proof for comparison. I’m not sure whether to repeat the performance and increase the contrast between the edge and squares or leave it be.

When I was buying paper recently I got some samples for chine collé. These are all Japanese papers that vary in weights between 18 and 54 gms. Using silver ink I rolled out  a thin layer and sprayed on paraffin/white spirit. Half the paper was used to absorb the excess thinned ink and the other half was relief printed.

This is half the investigation, seeing how the paper took up the ink and the influence of the texture of the paper. I tried to soak the paper, but it was very hot last week.
The other half of the experiment is laminating the papers with another plate.

I was looking for a paper that  picked up the most details…