Characters from Theuerdank Remade as Playing Cards
woodcut print, ?"x?"

This assignment came after the callagraph project for which I adapted imagery from "Theuerdank". Now in printmaking 1 it was time to learn about a type of print called the Monotype, which we would do by transferring a xerox/photocopy from the crappy photocopy paper onto the expensive paper commonly used in traditional printmaking. We learned various ways to do this... for some reason the use of a hot clothes iron to transfer directly to paper was not discussed - probably because it is easier and gets better results... but they sure don't smell as nice. The transfer technique we learned was one where the photocopy is places face down on the nicer paper, Wintergreen Oil is applied to the back which loosens the toner, and the whole thing gets rolled through the intaglio press to smoosh the loosened toner into the paper that is being printed on.

For this assignment we were to make photocopies of our collagraph prints and use them to create a new print. I think there was also something in there about using another intaglio technique somewhere in the new print. Since part of the idea for my collagraph print had come from the deck of playing cards I was designing, and because the concept that figures in that print were the king, queen, and jack of swords did not come through at all in the collaraph - I decided to cut the figures out of the copy of my print and would come up with a way to print them in a way that would suggest their conception as playing cards. I used wintergreen oil to transfer them to my fine printmaking paper; next I cut a piece of plexiglass down to a rectangle measuring something like 4" by 6" and beveled the edge as is done with intaglio printing plates to keep sharp edges from damaging the heavy felted press blankets. I inked the edges of the plate to sort of frame the faux cards on the larger paper. I printed this plexiglass card template sort of thing over the jack and queen; then before printing this outline/border around the king of swords I engraved "Neidelhart", which is the name of the character in Theuerdank who I was using as the king of swords....

Other students seemed impressed by the whole thing and told me how great it looked, and expressed surprise that I had finished with mine so quickly... but wait... not done yet... no, still quite a lot to do. I had only used the figures from my original collagraph. I was actually planning on using the whole thing. I cut up the background of my photo copy and pieced it in all around the "cards". I was rather impressed with my self, mostly at stupid random luck, that I managed to use the entirety of my original image - no extra copies needed to fill in a hole, and no extra little clippings left over. This print was printed as what is called a bleed print, where the printed edges of the image go off the edge of the paper.