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Mystery pattern revealed ...

Posted by Dave Bull at 7:58 PM, May 23, 2007

Do you remember the 'mystery' block from a few days ago?

Well, today was the day to test it out. It is - of course - for printing a pattern on the book covers. There will be three such blocks carved for this project; this is the one for the 'river' episodes. Here is a sequence of photos taken during today's test run. The pattern area just 'happens' to fit the width of my best roller:

The ink is normal litho ink, in white. The paper - dry - fits into the registration mark and is rubbed the usual way:

That gives us quite a nice result, but I don't want just the 'bare' white ...

So, a little scoop of powdered 'pearl' powder (seems like it might be a mix of mica and ground shell, not quite sure ...) goes on top ...

... and then gets brushed off with a soft brush:

Final result is a nice sparkle to the pattern, giving - hopefully - a little bit of 'luxe' feeling to the books when they are bound!

The paper for this test is green, and this will be the colour used for the three stories set in the summer. Other colours will represent the other seasons, so the rotation of four colours and three patterns will result in all 12 books having a different cover ...


Following comment posted by: Diane Cutter on May 24, 2007 9:12 PM

The stylized pattern with the mica powder is inspired. The Baren Summit group received free sample packets at McClain's last year and my packet has been sitting around because I had no clue of how to used it... Now I do, thanks to your very clear explanation! Gracias, Dave!

Following comment posted by: Julio Rodriguez on May 25, 2007 2:32 AM

Dave, if the paper is dry what makes the powder stick only to the pattern ? the still wet ink ?

Following comment posted by: Jacques on May 25, 2007 6:03 AM

I'm happy to see you'll be using one of these beautifully stylised Japanese water patterns in your new Solitudes project, even if only on the green covers containing your Summer prints and stories...

Following comment posted by: Dave on May 25, 2007 8:23 AM

what makes the powder stick only to the pattern?

The paper is dry, and thus the powder just brushes off - except where it sticks to the wet ink.

Although I use a baren to pull the impression, there is nothing inherently 'Japanese' about the printing here. The pigment just sits up 'on top' of the paper, rather than going down 'into' it, as with typical water-based pigments printed on damp paper.

Following comment posted by: Bette Wappner on May 30, 2007 1:01 PM

the water design looks great printed up and the pearl powder is a nice touch.

that last photo is great.

Following comment posted by: Dave on May 30, 2007 2:16 PM

the water design looks great printed up

It did turn out nice ... but unfortunately, I've posted those pictures too soon. The other day we received the shipment of green paper to make the covers, and it turned out that most of the sheets were defective. After talking with the supplier, it seems they can't guarantee good service on that product, so we're now back to square one - trying to find a suitable paper to use for the covers. :-(

Following comment posted by: Lin Golden on June 3, 2007 11:28 AM

I'm glad I discovered these pages...the web cam changing at long intervals is like watching paint peel. The wave carving is beautiful...but using litho ink, how do you avoid smearing while brushing on the powder? Is there a substance you could mix into the ink itself or would that diminish the sparkle?

Following comment posted by: Dave on June 4, 2007 12:28 AM

how do you avoid smearing while brushing on the powder?

Not sure what to say ... it just doesn't smear. The brush I use is very very soft - light goat hair I think - so maybe that's why ...

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