Open studio

Yesterday KKV opened its doors to the public during a city-wide open studio event, and I had offered earlier in the week to participate for a few hours. Last year’s event attracted a large number of visitors to KKV. Anticipating this year’s event to be as popular, I was hesitant to print during the event, since visitors asking questions would interrupt my concentration, so I’d planned to simply show my work and talk about process.

The event began at noon. But no visitors came through our door. It was too boring to just sit, watching the other artists work, so I decided to go ahead and print the fourth layer.

Unlike the previous layers, the fourth layer would be printed using multiple colors. Hand-rolling the ink onto the plate offers this advantage. I mixed the ink, rolled it out with a small brayer (one devoted to each other), and labeled the inks so I would remember which area of the plate to ink with each color.

The colors ranged from a light cool grey to a light beige – subtle differences that would make the final print more interesting.

In the image above, you can see the 5 images on the plate that are inked plus the ink that’s been pulled from the plate as the blue roller passed over it. You can also see a shadow of ink that the roller has pulled from the images I printed on the page the day prior. I’m using an oil-based lithographic ink that hasn’t quite dried. When I push the green button to return the roller to its original position, it will lay the ink on top of the page.

Sadly for KKV, only three visitors showed up during Open Studio from 12 until 4 p.m. However, it worked out well for me, as I was able to complete my print run without disruption. The layers are beginning to sing together, but not yet in harmony. Still a bit off key. It’s a bit disheartening, given all of the effort so far. We’ll see what happens with the next two layers. I’m taking a break from printing today to let the ink dry, explore the coastline north of Malmö via bicycle, and stop at one of the beaches to swim in the Baltic.

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