Experimenting with ink

Trying different ways to ink lino. First thing I discovered was my roller had some dried glue and medium on it after using it for other stuff so there are some unintended textures and added variation to the ink coverage. I also did some ghost prints and sprayed water onto the lino when there was barely any ink left. I got a surprising amount of ink onto the paper just from spraying the water. It gave quite a grainy texture to those prints too. Even wiping most of the ink off the lino and running it through my small press with newsprint transferred the wiping marks to paper.

For my paper I used some old scrappy pieces and newsprint to print on. They are more interesting to me than better quality papers at the moment. It will probably age badly but I find those changes interesting.

Water sprayed onto lino to use up ink residue

Water sprayed onto lino without re-inking

Akua liquid ink

Bought some Akua liquid ink and had my first try using it yesterday. I'm probably not getting the retarder and ink ratio right on the first layer as it was a pain trying to get a completely opaque layer of black. You have to do lots of layers to get the opacity complete with their black ink. Other colours only need a few coats apparently. The ink didn't lift off my plates as much as I'd expected and has a very grainy appearance as a result.

Will try again with till I get it right or get to the end of the bottle at least! These first attempts are now going to be used as backgrounds for other bits of collage. I have a screen-printed astronaut that I did a few years ago and I wasn't sure what to do with it so cut it out to probably use with these and some other pieces.

Source material for the astronaut. Astronaut John H. Glenn, Flight Surgeon Dr. William Douglas and equipment specialist Joe Schmitt leave crew quarters prior to the Mercury-Atlas 6 (MA-6) mission. Glenn carries a portable ventilation unit.Image by NASA. Nasa image in context.