Friday, February 26, 2016

The Brayer

A brayer is the roller used in printmaking to apply ink to the surface of a plate. In the following image, the roll-up of ink is used in making a monotype with the subject image of a brayer. This was done in the print shop at C.W. Post campus of Long Island University, where I teach printmaking.

"Brayer," monotype, 9" x 12" 2015
This monotype started with black ink rolled up onto a Plexiglas plate. The ink was removed with a rag wrapped around my index finger, to reveal the shape of the black brayer and handle. The handle of a paintbrush was used to make some of the thin white lines. I left some black marks as shadows. The print was made on dampened white Hahnemuhle etching paper. The first pass through the press yielded a black and white print. I used yellow and red ink diluted with #0000 plate oil, rolled up on a second Plexiglas plate to make a second pass through the press. This is called a double-drop print. It requires accurate registration on the press bed. The ink transparency of the second drop allows the black image to show through.
     I drew this from observation, directly on the plate. The inspiration came from the cover of our printmaking textbook, The Complete Printmaker, by John Ross, Clare Romano, and Tim Ross. Here is the link to the book on Amazon:

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