Big Chicken, foam and gelatin print on mulberry paper.
The most difficult aspect of printing with foam plates turns out to be supply. It sounds easy; just save up your foam meat trays from your grocery store purchases, or beg neighbours for the same. It turns out, however, that most packaging is damaged in less than intriguing ways, such as raised rectangles in the centre, glue spots, or deckels that are so strongly stamped they raise the inside surface.
I took to scrounging from an office garbage can, were the workers preference for take-out food led to a steady supply of polystyrene clam-shells. Usually the top clam-shell was useable, but of very small dimensions (4x6). Then there is my supply of dollar store polystyrene plates, that give me a 6” diameter circle. I love the circles, and the thinness of the plates—they are lovely to draw on, but highly limiting. And so I continuously searched for foam plates, and finally, here they are.
See how I lovingly view my newly acquired ginormous stash of 500! Yikes. Smaller quantities were not available, as I had to purchase from a whole-sale supply. The usable surface is 7”x9”, still limiting, but a good size for me to work with. Of course I had to play, and scribble with a plate. It was a sample (the supplier let me have 1 tray as a sample), so after printing up it’s flat surface, I had some fun. Even these plates have a flaw. Small dots appear on the surface, but it turns out that they can be flattened into submission with a roller.
In other news, I decided to abandon making decent ‘sales’/professional pages on my blog, and decided to use Etsy as my showcase. The only exceptions will be permanently framed art (as I don’t want to be in the business of shipping glass), and very large works of art (shipping, once again being the Etsy achilles heel, as one must come up with fixed shipping prices that are highly variable when it comes to non-standard sizes).
My revamped Etsy is not just about sales, but also a great presentation interface for sharing my art (without all the blog blather). so I’ll be mentioning it now and again, and leaving this blogs focus on a personal artist’s journal.
Available at Etsy, and an example of foam plate printmaking (this is one of my literal foam plate works).