Here’s a new Vertical Spectrum print, done on the Vandercook No. 4 at the Bow and Arrow Press today.
New Layered Spectrum I is a concept print, done in several passes using PANTONE Warm Gray 7, which is somewhat transparent so the depth of the color builds up over time. What’s new about this spectrum, is that I’m doing it with string.
I cut a 7″ x 4″ block out of 0.75″ wood, and put little strips of Masonite on the underside of the outside edges, so it would sit on the pressbed with a gap underneath. The Masonite also elevates the block to about 0.9″, which is very close to type height. I then wrap the wood block with string, using various layers to build up a multilevel surface that tends toward vertical but can vary to about 60 degrees. Since the string extends the surface above type height, but is compressable, it makes a very nice impression on the paper. Making multiple print passes with different wrappings builds up a layered composition on the print of lines of various orientations. What’s nice is that the fibers of the string actually make separate impressions, so each vertical line is also striped. Various tangles and knots also modulate the lines, so it’s not as geometric as could be.
I had the idea a couple weeks ago, and built a 7″ x 4″ block and a 8″ x 5″ block to play around with, but didn’t have time to actually wrap string and print until today. I plan to use more colors, use different sizes of string, and even use wires as a different vertical texture.