As a follow to my previous post about repairing linocuts, here is the finished print:
And here is section of detail from one of the repaired areas (the black shadows of the steps):
So it finally happened… there you were, cutting away happily when, whoops, you cut out a spot you didn’t intend to cut. Or you cut too deep and tore up some of the linoleum from the surface. Or you just don’t like a bit of detail you cut. Of course, nothing like this has ever happened to me, which is why I know so much about fixing a problem like this.
Now when it comes to fixing a woodcut, it’s relatively easy. If you have a spot you don’t like, you can use wood putty to fix the surface. Linoleum though, presents a special problem because there really isn’t a “lino putty” available.
Enter Bondo. Yes, Bondo, the same stuff decorating the cars of many art students, I’ve found Bondo to be quite an effective “putty” for linocuts. It adheres to linoleum, can be cut with the same tools and can hold a good amount of detail.
So here is my process for repairing a linocut with Bondo:
First think about working with Bondo, and I cannot underscore this more, have PROPER VENILATION. Bondo reeks of a solvent smell and the vapors can easily fill an entire room. I STONGLY recommend always mixing, applying, drying and sanding Bondo outdoors. Wear gloves and a respirator too.
1) If the linoleum (let’s call it lino) you are working with isn’t mounted to a rigid surface, mount it to one. The reason I do this is because lino is flexible and Bondo isn’t. If you apply it to an un mounted sheet, the Bondo can crack and crumble away if the sheet is flexed.
I use a sheet of MDF cut to the same size as my block. You can either use spray adhesive to glue the linoleum down or wood glue. I use wood glue, spreading a coat on the back of the linoleum block and the surface of the MDF sheet. Then after adhering the lino to the MDF, I weight down both with cinder blocks and extra piece of MDF as buffer between the blocks and the lino. I do this to keep the surface on the lino flat. Give this a day to dry.
2) If you can, apply painter’s tape as perimeter around the spot you intend to fill. This helps to keep the Bondo from filling in details you want around the area you are fixing.
3) Mix up a batch of Bondo per the directions on the can. Apply it in layers to the surface using a plaster spatula. I use the disposable kind because the Bondo will adhere to the spatula if you’re not quick enough in cleaning it off.
Apply enough to fill the detail you want gone with a thin layer over the entire surface you are repairing. If you only fill the detail, there is a potential for the Bondo to dry lower than the surface, and you will have to apply more to ensure a totally flat surface. It’s better to have extra on the surface to sand away to smooth out, rather than messing with multiple applications and extra sanding.
4) After letting the Bondo dry, time to sand. I use sanding blocks to maintain a flat and level surface. I start with 60 or 80 grit sandpaper to remove the texture left in the Bondo from application, and to start leveling the patch of Bondo with the surface of the lino. Be careful to only sand the area of Bondo and not scratch up the surrounding linoleum. This first sanding job will take the most time. If you really want to move things along, use a handheld power sander for the first step as it cuts down on the time this first round of sanding takes
Then I move to 100 grit to continue to smooth down the surface and blend the thin layer of Bondo into a smooth transition to the surface of the lino. Move to 220 grit for a smooth, finished surface.
5) Check the your work. Make sure you achieve a completely flat and level surface. Run your fingers across the surface, if you feel hints of the texture of the previous detail, apply another coat of Bondo and sand again. DO NOT TRY TO SAND AWAY THE TEXTURE. This can result in a divot in the surface of the block, which can cause trouble with printing later.
After you’ve got your surface flat and level, you are ready to re-cut your detail.
"Blood on the Dance Floor" will be on display at the 2012 Pacific States Biennial National Exhibition as juried by Karen Kunc!
This is very exciting for me as Karen Kunc is a very renowned printmaker, whose color woodcuts are some of my favorites! If only I could have packed myself up with my print, I would be off to Hawaii for sun and printmaking, hmmm....
It's been awhile since I've participated in a print exchange, so when I ran across an ad for the "Your Printshop is in Another Castle" I knew I needed to join in. Hosted by Kimberly Fredricks, the theme is "personally influential video games" and since yours truly has never done any work about video games the conceptual challenge was quite refreshing. Give a look at the exchange websites: http://yourprintshopisinanothercastle.tumblr.com/ or http://yourprintshopisinanothercastle.blogspot.com/ to see some of the of the other sweet prints submitted. There's going to be show of the exchange so keep your peepers peeled for announcements about that too.
The Ink and Destroy Buttons have arrived! These 2 /14" buttons are great for any headbanging ink slinger and look awesome on denim and motorcycle jackets! Of course, you don't need to be a metal head or need a leather jacket to enjoy a great design either. Get 'em here: Ink and Destroy Button
I am very pleased to announce that "Shhhhh" will be exhibited at the Americas 2012: Paperworks as juried by legendary printmaker Micheal Barnes! The show will be at the Northwest Art Center at Minot State University, Minot, North Dakota.
Americas 2012: Paperworks will run from 1/9/12 till 2/22/12 with a public reception on 1/18/22. Micheal Barnes will be giving a gallery talk at 7pm during the reception which will run from 6:30pm till 8pm.
For more information, see the Northwest Art Centers website : http://www.minotstateu.edu/nac/
For more on Micheal Barnes and his work see his website: http://michaelbarnes.us/
For a good article on the show see: http://www.minotdailynews.com/
I'm very excited to announce that "Spirit in Black" will be on display at the Barbara Archer Gallery in Atlanta GA, as part of the Atlanta Print Biennial! Organized by the Atlanta Printmakers Studio, the Atlanta Print Biennial is juried by Beth Grabowski who is a Professor and Associate Chair at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's Art Department where she teaches printmaking and book arts. Grabowski is also co-author with Bill Fick of Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials and Processes. I've used this book to answer a lot of my own printmaking questions and get some new ideas from so it's really exciting to have a piece accepted into a show juried by one of it's esteemed authors.
For more info see: http://www.barbaraarcher.com/ and http://www.atlantaprintmakersstudio.org/