Sunday was christmas card printing day, having finished engraving the block (see below) on Saturday evening. It was our first time printing from engraving plastic and we learned quickly from our mistakes: 1, don't print with the ink too wet as it fills in all the fine lines; 2, Stay off the sherry. Don't drink and print kids, you know it makes sense.
Once we'd realised that allowing the ink to dry on the inking slab a bit before rolling it on the block was the way forward, things progressed very smoothly. Seeing as we don't have (and can't yet afford) a press, everything is done by hand. In the case of the Christmas cards the block was inked, placed face down on the card, rolled over quickly with a rolling pin, then flipped over and burnished with the back of a teaspoon. Crude, but fairly effective. Using acrylic rather than oil based inks made cleaning up after each colour a lot quicker. Forty cards later and it was time for a rest.
We also started printing our Christmas gift tags, a scroll design cut from a small offcut of Japanese plywood:
All the cards were written and sent yesterday, and we've even been organised enough to start wrapping presents and writing tags. After a trip into the city yesterday, ostensibly for Christmas shopping, we managed to find our way to the art shop and buy our first block of Resingrave, so look out for updates on how that progresses... A busy week ahead, buying a christmas tree today, driving to Cambridgeshire this afternoon and getting a train to Devon tomorrow. Still, 'tis the season!
J and S
Currently listening to: The Decemberists, The Crane Wife