Three of a Kind

Here’s another set of images of my adventures in printmaking. The latest technique we tackled was paper lithography and it’s pretty fascinating. It almost works like a magic trick.

Things you will need:

  1. a black and white image (photocopy or laser print) on decent paper
  2. gum Arabic
  3. ink
  4. brayer (the width of your image if possible)
  5. sponge
  6. bowl of water (with citric acid added)

First, apply gum Arabic to your work surface. There should be enough to place your image down in it with a small amount around the edges. Press it down with your fingers, then place more gum Arabic on top of the image. Completely coat the image. Really work it in.

Get the sponge wet and squeeze out most of the water. Move the sponge over the paper, removing the excess gum Arabic. A thin coat will remain on top.

Ink your brayer and roll out the color on the image. Start from inside the image so you don’t pull up the paper. Charge the brayer and repeat, changing direction each time you begin the inking process so you don’t build up too much ink in any one spot.

Fill the sponge with water. Squeeze directly over the image and wipe very gently. Ink will wipe away from lighter areas, but will adhere to darker areas.

You can charge the brayer once more and then ink the image a final time.

Then, gently lift the paper from work area and place on the bed of the press. Align and cover with the fancy paper you are printing on, and run through the press.

And remember kids: if you image has text like mine did, you might want to flip the image BEFORE doing any of the above so that the text will read correctly AFTER printing.

Day 30/30 of the Tupelo 30/30 Project (20170830)

My final poem is one stanza of a renga that all the Tupelo 30/30 Project poets participated in. This marks the official end to my participation in the challenge for the month of August.

I had a good time.

I’ve said elsewhere (and to anyone kind enough to listen) that participating in the project was harder than I thought it would be. I’m used to writing every day. I’m not afraid to write a bad poem; I’m pretty sure I’ve written a lot of it. You can’t avoid it if you write every day, and I’ve been doing it for a couple of years no. I can usually manage to peck something out on the keyboard. Some days it comes more easily than others, and this was true for the challenge as well, but overall, the challenge was just plain harder. It seemed that I had to call on different wellsprings of energy or inspiration.

It’s possible that committing to raising money for Tupelo added some kind of pressure to the old wavy matter sitting thick and still in my skull. But, no one stood behind me cracking a whip. It was very much, “We’re just happy with what ever you can contribute.”

And maybe that’s it. The idea of being a contributor. Sitting alone at my computer, I can write something I like, or hate, or think is funny, and hit the publish button. Some of you are kind enough to let me know if you like it or think it is funny; some of you will even call me out for taking the easy way out in a poem. no one has said they’ve hated one of my poems, or that I’ve ruined their life. Yet. And I enjoy being part of the community, interacting in the comments and sometimes in email.

But that still seems to be fundamentally different, that being a contributor. Contributing implies you believe that you have something to offer. Contributing means that others, who are on the receiving end of your beneficence, expect that what you are submitting has value. I don’t usually think of what I do as a valuable thing. It’s just something I do because I need to do it.

So, for all of you who have willingly or otherwise treated me as a contributor, I thank you.

The renga is available to read at the Tupelo 30/30 project page.

Day 27/30 of the Tupelo 30/30 Project (20170827)

i am in line
it’s a long line even though there are plenty
of registers open and i think when the young woman….


My poem in the line is available to read at the Tupelo 30/30 project page.

Three days left, three days left. Man, the month really flew by, eh?

Day 26/30 of the Tupelo 30/30 Project (20170826)

can you really say
that the stars have no influence
over your life?….


My poem she was tuesday’s child is available to read at the Tupelo 30/30 project page. Today’s poem is brought to you courtesy of a SPONSORED title from D. Ellis Phelps of FORMIDABLE WOMAN SANCTUARY. Also, today is her birthday!

Happy Birthday, D!

Day 24/30 of the Tupelo 30/30 Project (20170824)

waiting for bird song
i realize it is
not the mockingbirds or sparrows
not the finches or the robins
i long for but….


My poem self-portrait is available to read at the Tupelo 30/30 project page.

We have only a few days left of this fundraiser. Remember, every time you contribute to Tupelo Press, somewhere a poet’s tongue is reunited with her mouth and beautiful, powerful words explode out. So donate if you can. If you can’t please visit the site check out all the poets.

You might get some words on you.