litho printmaking


Litho print 1 alley

I have taken 3 courses at the Cultural Center on the River Cualle. The teachers are exceptional, the classes small, and the artists talented and sharing.
In fact, I think I go to PV just because of these amazing little gifts.
Here is a somewhat lacking tutorial on a lithographic process I’ve been learning, thanks to my teacher, Ireri Topete.
1. Reproduce a high contrast image(either a photo or drawing) at a photocopy shop, making sure the piece is copied at the highest toner possible.

Lots of contrast image


2. Slowly and carefully heat your image over an element, until the image appears shiny. Approx 1 minute.

Heating toner 'til shiny


3. Prepare a gum arabic solution: Add 7 tablespoons of gum arabic to approx 3/4 cup boiling water. Stir, rest, and then stir again, adding approx 2 cups of room temperature water to the solution. Stir, heat and cool. Keep remaining solution refrigerated after each use.

Heating gum arabic solution


4. Sponge the back and front of your photocopy with the arabic solution. Let dry. Repeat.
5. Mix up an ink batch, consisting of 1 part offset ink(your colour choice(s)), 1/5 part calcium carbonate, 1/5 part vaseline. Mix well with a spatula.

Additives:vaseline and calcium carbonate


6. Roll your prepared ink very lightly over the image with a brayer(roller), starting from the center…out. If one rolls from the outside in, the image will buckle and rip.

Ready to roll


7. Squeeze a small puddle of GA solution on top of your image and then gently wipe ink off with a sponge soaked in GA solution, from the center …out.
8. Re-ink.
9. Wipe off gently with GA solution.
10. Repeat this 3-4 times. The last rolling with the brayer should be done without ink. Dab any highlights that should remain white with the GA soaked sponge. All edges should be patted until ink free, as well.
11. Place the inked image, face up and topped using a good quality paper(cotton rag) on the press bed of an etching press. Protect the press felt by adding newsprint on top of the cotton paper. Run your print. Every press will be individual, so you will need to run a proof to see if the print is acceptable.

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