In My Printing Apron

debbie little wilson

Tag Archives: Salina Kansas

The Salina Project… printing and listening to my iPod

I am blissfully printing away and listening to my “Favorites” Playlist on my iPod.. and just when I am thinking I can handle this, I glance at my stack and notice that even though I have printed 25 etchings and I have 20 sheets of paper in my paper pack and 20 sheets of paper soaking in my water vat, it doesn’t look like I have even touched my stack…. I thought measuring would make me feel better….. sigh….

still a stack of paper

It is still HUGE….. sigh… back to printing…

The Salina Project.. Oh Dear…

stack of paper

Oh, MY…. this is what a stack of 250 papers for this edition looks like… It took me over 2 hours just to tear these…. okay… now I have to go to my Defensive Driving Class and dream about printing all of these…. or take a nap…. 




As requested by Mary Fischer, here is a photo of my stack of paper with a ruler next to it to further show size…. But truthfully, even that doesn’t do it justice….. It is BIG and it looks like it is expanding the more I stare at it… and while I was cutting it up, I kept thinking, surely, I am almost finished…. 

measuring this stack..... yikes....

The Salina Project… let the hard work begin..

the arrival of all the paper

So now the labor of  this project begins… I just got my shipment of paper from Daniel Smith and I need to tear it in to same sized pieces so it will be ready to soak and print.  I, also, ordered glassine paper to go in between the etchings when I ship it so that each print will be protected. 

I forgot to mention that I  made a paper template that I placed under the plastic sheeting that protects the bed of my press. This template shows where I will place the solar plate on the bed and where I will place the paper over the plate. This will make it easy for me to print each etching in the edition squarely in the middle of each piece of paper. One less thing to worry about. 

The paper I am using is Arches Cover White… just so you know.

So I am now off to tear my paper before I  leave for the  Defensive Driving Class that I have to take… I have a lead foot when it comes to driving…  This is where life gets in the way of work… Tomorrow morning, Ken and I have to go and jury a Science Fair at the elementary school where our daughter teaches… She is in charge of the Science Fair and we have been judges for about 5 or more years…. This is where the fun part of life gets in the way of work..


The Salina Project… Second Test…

I think I got it… this second plate is much better… after adjusting and reworking the band instruments some, I got my detail back and I am much happier with the look of the image and the plate is a beauty. I am much relieved.

the second plate

Again, you may not be able to see the changes on this one but they are there.  Now, how many of these do I print???? OMG… now I am off to print 250 of these… wish me luck.. I am going to cut up the paper that I have and start printing that and wait for the rest of my paper and ink to get here… Okay… I can do this… I have to get back to work….


The Salina Project…. First Printing…

Well, I got down here to the studio early because I am excited to start this Project. I already have on my apron… that is a good start… my apron is on before noon… LOL

I had to trim up my plate first …



Now that the plate is trimmed it is ready to begin printing…

I have the paper soaking in a vat of water to soften the fibers so that they will bend into the lines and dips in the plate to pick up the ink…

I need to prepare the ink. For this etching, I want to use a sepia color but I would like it darker.. I will be using Graphic Chemical ink.. Sepia and Intense Black and some Easy Wipe…. Since I am going to be printing 250 etchings, I will need to be mindful of my mixing so that they will all turn out the same color….

The Salina Project

Well, I had to set my “starts” aside so that I could get knee deep into my Salina Project.

I was commissioned by the Salina Arts and Humanities Commission  in Salina, Kansas to produce an edition of 250 etchings for them to give to their donors. I have been working with Karla Prickett who is the community art and design coordinator to come up with an image of an interesting woman (since my subjects are usually women). We decided on a woman named Mary Campbell. She is a daughter of one of the founding fathers of Salina. She was quite fascinating and there were some killer photographs of Mary doing everything from swimming, skating, rifle shooting and music.

We decided on a photo of her conducting a small band of children on the porch of her house. Mainly because of it’s relevance to the arts…I love this photo..And after reading about her and looking at all the photos, I love Mary ( so does Karla)…. Anyway, so I played around with it and superimposed a journal entry probably made by her mother of Mary’s accomplishments.  This image that I am going to make into a Solar plate etching……

Mary Campbell..... leader of the band

I have to make a transparency first so that I can make the solar plate…..

Guess that means that I have to go put on my Apron……

Okay so I have made a plate ….. I put the transparency of the image on the solar plate, covered it with my light box and exposed it to the light. Then I submerged the plate in warm water to wash out the photo emulsion that didn’t harden by the light.

Here is a photo of the plate… it is a little hard to see right now but it will be easier to see once I ink the plate… I will do that tomorrow…

exposed solar plate