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Fresh Ink!

So what was in the mystery boxes?

Over a month ago, I told you that my tiny print shop was undergoing a major upgrade. Sorry for the delay. One of the many things I have learned this past year is that the time commitment required to teach Art History is no joke. 

Now I am happy to finally share the secret of the mystery boxes: 

 Ink!

Fellow printmakers will understand my enthusiasm. This was not a minor investment, but I am thrilled with the results.

I now have the inks, both etching and litho, that I need to loosely follow the Pantone color formula guide. I say loosely because they are not official Pantone colors. That's ok. I don't need to mix exact Pantone formulas. I am only using it as a guide. 

I chose to buy all the new colors from Hanco Ink. I've always had good results using their product, and their customer service was truly outstanding.

The inks are oil based, and "all inks that Hanco Ink produces are vegetable-based products". Oil based inks are often seen as a detriment to a safety conscious studio, but this is due to the traditional solvents used for clean up. Since I clean up with vegetable oil and a non-toxic all-purpose cleaner, this is not a concern for me. 

The beautiful new custom ink shelves were built by the other half of Team Necessary. We have a good production system going at our house. I design and draw what I want. He corrects any physical impossibilities and builds it. Then, I paint/stain the finished product. 

For this project, I used a gloss ultra white paint. A word of advice, don't try to save a couple of $$ on the paint. I did, and it ended up taking four coats of paint plus one coat of primer. FOUR COATS OF PAINT! That was another reason for the delay in this update. I won't be doing that again. An electric HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) spray gun is now firmly on my wish list.  

I'm also really excited to see these guys! I have been saving honey bears for a few years now, just waiting for this moment. Each bear contains a different viscosity of litho varnish or burnt plate oil. These are one of the many modifiers you can use to change the characteristics of your inks to facilitate different print processes. 

Now it's time for the really hard decisions. What will I print first? What color will it be?