Posts Tagged ‘ex libris’

bookplate blanks

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Since I’d already brought the bookplate into vector for other reasons, I figured I’d post up some blanks in case people want to make their own. You can print them on regular paper and use rubber cement or glue sticks (the latter might get a little lumpy) or you can print them on adhesive paper – either way.

Download Illustrator File 01
Download Illustrator File 02

Linocut Bookplate for Ma

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Mom’s birthday is Saturday and she’s coming up to visit. She’s always loaning out her books (she’s an English teacher) and never remembering who has them or getting them back. So I made her a pile of bookplates. Well, 30. Maybe I’ll do more tomorrow, we’ll see.

I’ve had a lot of trouble with the ink when block printing in the past (it was always too thick, but if I didn’t put it on so thick, it wouldn’t print, and so it was always all clumpy and lumpy and awful,) and so I did a bunch of reading up before I did this run. Whatever it was that fixed my earlier problems, I do not know, because I changed almost everything, but it was a lot better this time around. One thing I did try that clearly helped a ton was to dampen the paper before the print. I bought new ink for this – just Speedball black, but I think it might be a notch better than the stuff I was using before (smelled different, anyway) – and I got a soft brayer instead of my old hard one, which I also think helped a lot. I still haven’t found what I would call an ideal substrate, but the Utrecht generic Easy Cut stuff did me all right this time. Far from perfect but far from lousy, too. Lots better than that beige true linoleum I used to use ages ago, that dried out constantly.

Most of the prints are on mulberry paper for sumi-e. It’s incredibly thin and porous – the ink comes out the back side of the paper as you press. But it looks super and it should work out well for bookplates, I think. I did a few on watercolor paper too.

Here’s the result on the left and the drawing on the left (drawn normally and flipped so I could use it for reference. I also coated a piece of tracing paper with graphite and traced my drawing onto the block, with very blurry results – redrew the whole thing with pen onto the block before carving) –

And a picture of the block before I started printing, and one of the prints hanging.