Monday, June 28, 2010

Endpapers, gilded suns and non-drying ink

          With the main bulk of the printing out of the way, I turned my attention to the endpapers, an important item in the book as they the first thing you see when you lift the cover. I like to relate them to the content of the book in some way. I had decided to go with the tea-stained paper (see previous post Feb, The Real Leonardo) and overprint this with two of Leonardo's line drawings that relate to flight. One of these is the dragonfly, the other is his little drawing of a man hanging from his 'parachute', which he describes as a wooden frame covered in fine linen, and treated with flour paste to make it air-tight.
          It involved several applications of tea to get the depth of shade, then I dried them completely under weight, then re-dampened, printed, dried and pressed again. A bit fussy to do, but I was pleased with the result, and it is a way of incorporating more of Leonardo's delightful line drawings into the book.
          I've also been working on the illustrations, using the PVA gilding idea (see previous post, April, A Sticky Gilding Situation). This is how two of them look. You can see why they call gilding 'illumination'.
I had a bit of a set-back with one of my images, I printed a figure in a red oil-based ink, using a stencil and brayer. So far, so good. But it took weeks to dry, and even when seemingly dry the red came off when gently rubbed with a tissue. I did't want to risk it inside the book in case it offset onto the opposite page. 
          So what to do? I looked back through all my experiments with various papers and media and looked at the ones where I used the same paper and Akua Kolors. The colours I have are the ones used for wood and lino cut printing, they are quite liquid, but if you leave them out to air-dry then can be used with a brayer, or you can thicken them with tack thickener. As mentioned, I was low on paper for the images, so by this time I was working on small offcut pieces of paper. They were big enough for the image, but tricky to print on, and I intended to overprint the figure with a cloud image on polymer plate, which I did. To stop the little pieces of paper dropping off the press I used a dab of the roller non-permanent adhesive on the mylar sheet I have on top of the tympan, and that was sufficient to keep them in place and prevent them from sticking to the plate. This image goes with the words "the triumph of a human being ascending, in the dreaming of a mortal man", so I hope this looks sufficiently dream-like and insubstantial. 

2 comments:

Sue said...

Gosh, this is going so well, Jan. I'm fascinated by the gilding process and how it enriches the image.

Jan said...

Yes, it livens up the page. The old scribes had some great ideas.