Kitchen Litho: a non-toxic print process for your home

I haven’t been posting this last week because I’ve been exhausted.  Going to All the Hours in the Day definitely threw off my internal clock, but I’ve also just been running myself ragged with my various jobs and commitments.  I don’t know why I keep signing up for things, thinking I have time for more!  Just because I’m finally done with school does not mean I have all the time and energy in the world.  I must remember this.

Moving on: Joining the Printmakers team on Etsy has been good for me creatively.  It’s helpful to have a forum of printmakers to engage with outside of my PNCA circle.  Everyone thinks their method for printing is the best, but – as my grandmother used to say – there is more than one way to skin a cat.  The best way to learn other techniques is to engage with the people who make use of them, and then experiment.

Even though I am blessed with being a TA this semester, and therefore get to continue using the Gilke Print Center’s impressive array of tools and equipment, I am keeping my eyes open for new ways to make prints.  What will I do when I no longer have access to PNCA?  What if I can’t afford to purchase a membership to a print studio?  Will I turn to solarplates?  I can’t imagine loving that.  I would make do if I had to, but it would not be as satisfying.

Well.  At least I have a method I’m excited to try for at-home litho! Larry Vienneau, a fellow Etsy seller and member of the Printmakers team, shared a curious video of a technique created by Émilion Aizier Brouard, where she uses Marseille soap in lieu of litho crayons, cola instead of nitric acid, and vegetable oil to rub down the plate.  Testing this out is on my to-do list.

If you’re not already familiar with lithography, this video probably is a little baffling.  It’s not a “learn lithography” video so much as it is a “how to do adapt lithography for at-home use”.  And while the video does show a technique to print a kitchen litho without a press, it is not recommended.  The labor intensiveness of that process would make editioning a nightmare; it requires far more elbow grease than a relief print produced in a similar manner.  Luckily, I have a small etching press.

I am going to try this out in the next couple of weeks.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

*Edit 1/29/2012: Émilion Aizier Brouard has posted a new video.  Not only does it show her pulling two-color prints, it shows the kitchen litho process in more detail.  I still have not tried it myself.  But I will!


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