Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Digital Printing on Amate Bark Paper

Still experimenting with the amate process for making bark paper to print.  It is hard to see from the pictures, but this substrate is incredible when printed.  The textures and subtle peaks and valleys in the paper itself, do wonderful things to the print.  Here I will show you what I did to print the paper that I made a month or so ago.  I have a new pound of kozo from Japan, which is a little different then the kozo from Thailand that I used for this printing.  In the next month I will be back to boiling, pounding and using the amate process to create more paper.  The prints you see here will end up in an art book.  I will be printing other surfaces to go along with the bark. 

2010 is right around the corner, I would like to make great strides in further expanding my substrates for digital images.  Since learning curves are sometimes steep, it could be awhile.  Making this paper, I got a little carried away and ended up with some raised parts that were too high for the printer.  The Epson 4800 shut off each time I got to those high points in one of my longer, wider sheets of paper.  I couldn't get the printer to resume printing.  I turned the sheet around to print from the other end.  The printer shut off in the exact same spot of the image.  Then wondering if I was going to have a real problem, I set up another carrier sheet and was able to print the whole length which was 17" x 45", with no problems.

Before I started printing I needed an image.  Looking to combine photographs to get a extreme textural look, I found a picture of bark from Yosemite's Mariposa Grove.  This photo as you will see is very out of focus. It"s in the middle below.  It was around 8am in the morning and still pretty dark in the grove.  That morning we spent over 5 hours hiking the grove for pictures, and I sometimes get too hurried.  Well I didn't hold the camera steady enough and got a crudy picture.  I used that blurry picture, separated it into 8 layers from selections of the image.  I filled these selections with other images that were photographs of some of my textural art books.  From there I made patterns and added them to my pattern palette in Photoshop and used those patterns to texture the layers.  

Rectangle on the left is one version of the altered image from the center.  The rectangle on the right is another version with one or 2 of the layers changed. The middle is the original blurry image.

I combined the images in a file to print.  I merged the image on the right for printing, but could not merge the layers of the image on the left.  The image changed when I merged it, so I had to print a larger file, but I didn't want to alter what I had.

Here below is a detail of the panel right below that.  If you look closely or you click on the detail image, to make it bigger, you will be able to see the print going to the carrier sheet between pieces of the bark.  Several pieces are taped to the carrier sheet before printing.

The 2 pieces above are from the carrier sheet.  The 2 below are details of the print.

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