Okay an update from last week. I spend days trying to figure out how to get the shadows of leaves over other shadows. Thinking about the marks on the driveway. I made several transparency images in deep black to tape under the thin etching plates. Here they are keeping company with that deplorable pincushion that has escaped the company of like kind in the toilet paper drawer. But only to allow for daily jabs of frustration at his carelessness and stupidity. But I digress here, sorry.
And of course when I get a plan, I always assume it is going to work out just fine. So why bother to test out the theory with only one etched plate?
I make four the size of the image to be printed on the page. These I can use in different directions to look different. Then I make four small ones to use over text from a letter. These are tracings from asphalt patching marks that look very much like writing. And the good part is that I decide to use my Dremel tool to carve and scrape into the thin plates. There are going to be no clear lines, just shadowy blurs, which I thought at the time was a good thing.
They have to be taped onto the press bed because they are slipping and miss being directly over the photo image on the paper being passed through with them.
This is messy and very blurry and not always well lined up. But several sheets later I manage to get something that made me question why bother.
If I want the black image over the grey image, why not just do it all on the computer? It would line up easier. It would all be so much simpler. But it just misses that layering of messages that seems most important to what this book is about. And I think I would like to physically layer the marks on the page with stitching and/or cloth. What I have so far seems too cold, too letter press, too distant from the hand, the touch. So next might just be using those plates on cloth to fragment and stitch. Hand stitch the text….maybe.
So I am letting ideas percolate while I go back to other things. The plates are still laying there, handy and reminding me to find a perfect fabric. Also reminding me to just do a test page first and not assume just because it is a good thought, it is going to be a good product. Seems that is a hard lesson for some of us.
So I went back to the Specimen Journal pages.
This last image got me to thinking about the journaler’s tools. Here he is using the tweezers and magnifying glass. So the next several pages are all tools.
Besides all of this, I am watching the approach of Irma, trying to read a book called The 36 Hour Day about living with dementia, finishing off the latest Louise Penny Inspector Gamache novel, thinking about the pile of mending, getting involved in Australian students projects for next March, scheduling short times away from home, and wondering if I have lost the art of focusing.
Next week I am sure something more will get done and hopefully it will be done right. For now I will concentrate on just taking it a day at a time and make something even if it is only dinner and some cookies.
Til next week.