Wednesday, August 14, 2013

marking the spot

My latest lot of printing was to finish off an idea for some bookmarks.  It takes time, and a bit of planning to get anything done around our house at the moment.  We seem to have so many projects on and then there are all the usual things of just doing life with 5 kids. 

I was all set up to print on my first free day for a while, and after doing the first one, I realised that something was up with my trusty baren.  This little piece of equipment, for those who don't know, is a cheap but important piece of lino printing equipment for those without the luxury of a press.  (that's me!)  It is a traditional Japanese hand printing tool that is used to press the paper onto the inked lino block evenly to make the print.  The epitome of low-tech!  I think its bamboo leaf or similar that provides the perfect surface to burnish the ink off the block and onto the paper.  I love the timelessness of simple tools!

I've had my trusty baren for over 4 years.  I can't even imagine how many prints it has helped me produce in that time.  But whatever the number it marks the life-span of my baron.  The leaf began to disintegrate and I was left to tape it up and cut my printing day short.  

It's good to have these little bookmarks done though - there are now three in the series and they make great little gifts to mail to loved ones far away.  That's what I'll be doing with them!