Friday, March 15, 2013

Sunday, March 10, 2013

     One of the biggest problems of early printing was Censorship an example of this is;

"in 1637 an Act was passed to limit the number of printers in England by decree and in 1644 a Licensing Act followed, which required all publications to go before an official censor for approval.  By the end of the century there were just 20 master printes in England, and 18 of these were in London.  These moves reflected the mood of the country as a whole, and the determination of these in power to protect their status.  For this was the century which witnessed the English Civil War, Great Plague, Great Fire of London and one economic depression after another.  As the power brokers sought security for their authority, printing became a dangerous occupation with the penalties for breaches of the Licensing Act including fines, imprisonment and the confiscation of equipment and even death.  But things eased in the 1690's and the way was set for a mini-financial revolution, which lead to the industry's progress to the late eighteenth Century.  In 1694 the Licensing Act expired and was not renewed, largely because of Parliament's Declaration of Rights in 1689" Jones printing History & Development

Sunday, March 3, 2013

one thing i wondered about with formschnider prints why they never left any of it solid black.    i was looking at the prints in the book  '' the triumph of maximilian i" And i may have gotten the answer  there are a number of prints in the book were they left the scroll work and coats of arms uncut and thus printed as black and almost all of them show defects WHITE SPOTS ETC. in the solid black areas. Could this be the reason they never left anything all black?
Just because an opinion is in print doesn't mean i have to accept it as if given to Moses on the mtn. "Even in the early German prints this tendency is already visible and as time went on their superior technique led them inevitably towards the use of the material as a purely reproductive medium. Their preoccupation with the peproduction is in direct relation to the use of cross-hatching.. There is no simple directness in this technique. It is a 'tour de force', requiring immense skill and as the effect, the varying density of shadow, could just as easily be obtained by simpler methods more in character to the means, IT IS ENTIRELY USELESS." J.B. WRIGHT P 173 later in the same book he gives an example of Durer (from the Apocalypse which he doesn't even give its title p 178) and a example from a Anonymous French artist LES LOUPS RAVISSANS p 179 Which he gives as a example of what wood cuts should be. the work is anonymous because it was more than likely made by an apprenctice in some local print shop clearly not the master work of even a minor artist.
on the tools used in the fifteenth century,
"About half-way through the fifteenth century, lines of shading were added, sometimes with the help of a pushed instrument, a sort of thick scrive, which is a hollow V tool with the point set back from the top edges." "ETCHING AND THE ENGRAVING TECHNIQUES AND THE MODERN TREND" John Buckland-Wright p. 172
Albrecht Altdorfer "Lamentation over Christ" pen and ink of woodblock 123 x 94 mm. Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich.   This block shows a complete composition.... including the artist's monogram and the date 1512.  --- Altdorfers's intricately finished design tells us a good deal about his procedure and the approach to cutting such a block. ( it is very clear if you look closely that some form of 'v' was used as well as a small 'u' gouge to do the clearing. j.c.) First the Lamentation is oriented parallel to the grain, as was technically preferable for woodcut compositions in vertical format.  When the fine, reliefed ridges of a woodblock are badly worn from printing, the fiber gradually breaks down in the softer wood between the striations of the grain leaving a jagged profile along the ridge of lines cut across the grain. (none of my editions were ever that large even the aga prop ones but many of the formschnider school blocks were printed for decades even centuries in Durer case).  This registers in late impressions as an irregular, dotted line where once a continuous, printed line appeared.  From the evidence of impressions taken from deterorated blocks, as well as from many actual sixteenth-century blocks, we can see the preference of woodcut designers for laying out compositions on an axis parallel to the grain.  This orientation tends to mean that the fewer lines are cut against the grain where they are more likely to splinter and become unstable over time.   THE RENAISSANCE PRINT  Landau/Parshall