Earlier this spring, I signed up for the La Calaca Press International Print Exchange. Print exchanges are a favorite activity among printmakers: you send in x number of prints to the coordinator, and you receive an equal number of prints back. Sometimes there is a theme, or specific size or style requirements. This one: Calacas, or Day of the Dead, interpretation up to the artist.
Well, who can resist a whole exchange of skull-related prints? Not me! And, as often happens, an image immediately popped into my head. I would do a print of a balloon!
For extra fun, I decided to do a reduction print. The clever part was using two different colors in the first run through the press, since the horizon line makes a handy demarcation line. Here’s the print, with the green/blue layer.
Today, I finished printing the second pass, being the black layer. Here is my inking station. And yes, that is a phone book. Phone books make the best inking pads. If you have any extra, let me know.
The hard part today was lining up the black layer with the green/blue layer. I had used a template when running the first layer through the press, which would have ensured that the paper and block would line up on the second pass. Alas! I was clumsy, and dropped an inky block smack dab face down onto the template, rendering it unusable until the ink dries. And, procrastinator that I am, there is no such leeway in my timing. The prints are due in Chicago by June 1. So, I used the tried-and-true eyeball and steady hand method to line the layers up.
I am calling this print Les Montgolfiers, after the Montgolfier brothers, inventors of the hot air balloon. And, appropriately enough, I have learned that their family business was making paper. Today, the Montgolfier Paper Company is known as Canson, maker of BFK Rives, the paper on which this is printed.
Here are the prints drying in the garage, ready for takeoff!