Thursday, November 10, 2016

litho print - members

One huge block has been prepared. Margins sealed. Members of the Nelson Atkins print Society divide into two groups and work as a team to draw, drip, scribble, and distribute grease on the open space.

Four minutes.

"was struck by both the sensuality and physicality of the lithography-making process. The way I view and appreciate lithographs will be changed thanks to the afternoon spent with Mike Sims at Lawrence Lithography."  Stephanie Knappe

Drawn stone waits to be moved over to the press bed.

"I will say it was fun to participate as it has been a very long time since I have participated."  Beth Lurey

Five minutes. The 21 x 30 inch Bavarian limestone BLOCK is heavy.

During our visit to Lawrence Lithography Workshop, I was most surprised at the amount of time required to go from a blank stone to a completed edition. Making a lithograph is not just about art, it is also about understanding the chemistry behind the process. Now I understand why lithographers such as Bolton Brown and George Miller were held in such high regard. To become a master lithographer requires dedication, skill and perseverance.  My personal take-away after "marking up a stone" was that when I look at a lithograph (black and white anyway), I have a better understanding of how the marks were made. Not so sure with color. I saw a Miro color lithograph recently and I was completely stumped.  John Mallery

Four minutes. Talc powder on block keeps on grease from smearing. It also acts as an acid resist.

Tricky calculations take experience. Guesswork. Deciding how to etch the block. Mixing it each time. A WEAK mixture lightly etches delicately drawn areas. A STRONG mixture etches everything else. Mike Simms, who manages the Lawrence Lithography Workshop in east Kansas City, is a Master Lithographer.

The etch is a chemical change that locks the grease into portion of the stone. After the etch is done, Simms uses solvents to remove the surface grease. Water is sponged over the whole block. Then ink is rolled on. Then a water wipe and another ink pass. Ink sticks to portions where the grease is locked into the stone. It is time consuming. The number of water wipes and ink rolls are measured. Then a paper sheet goes over it and goes through the press. One image is pulled off. 

Then the process of water wipes and ink roll-ons are done exactly the same as before. Building up the layer ink and water. Then paper through the press and a second image is pulled off. As so on.

Simms proofed the block with six individual sheets of newsprint. Until he was satisfied with the image's appearance. Each member who participated went home with an approved inked lithograph.

Details from both group lithographs follow:

 Group A


Group B

All on one sheet of BFK printmaking paper

Videos and photos by Karl Marxhausen, print society member