These days I feel inclined to write a lot about ways to reuse or recycle things we sometimes think of as waste. Let’s talk trash!
I have always used soy-based inks for letterpress printing, except for the metallics which don’t come in soy. When I mix an ink color for a job, I try to only mix the right amount… you only use a teensy bit really to print. But sometimes it just happens that the ink blob gets bigger and bigger as you try to get the right shade of whatever. It just happens….
When I was working at soolip in west hollywood as the designer, the printer at the time, Joel Larson, would make crazy paintings with his leftover ink. They were beautiful abstract works that he would layer on to whatever scraps of paper he had lying around.
I took that as inspiration when I had extra ink to get rid of. So even though I tried only to mix as much as I need, there is always some leftovers and so I started making paintings of my own.
These two birds are my favorites so far. Soy has a much faster drying time than most oil or rubber based inks for some reason. And what is cool and sort of unique is the way it dries when layered on the paper thick. It takes a sort of brainy texture giving the ink pile depth, almost sculptural.
Just a side note, the cardboard pieces are the packaging from the letterpress plate shipment. Making art from trash….my favorite thing!