|Image of intestinal tract letterpress tattoo|
Today was an interesting day. A curious cyclist stopped by to see what the studio was all about. I talked to him briefly about the Book Arts, letterpress, paper making and hand binding and then, while I worked on setting up a chase for an order, he took his time looking at all the prints, broadsides, cuts, type, etc. After a while he brought a half tone over to me. He thought it looked like intestines and wanted to know if that was what the image really was. From just looking at it I had absolutely no idea! I'm not familiar with what intestines look like. I decided to do a quick proof of the cut. I still couldn't really tell what it was. It kind of looked intestine-y. I passed the proof to him... yup. Intestinal tract with esophagus!! He loved it... then he asked if I could print it on him! Ummmmm... no, he didn't mind that it was going to be printed with rubber based ink as long as it was black. Okay! So I gave him some alcohol and a tissue to de-grease wherever he wanted the print. At first it was his wrist, then it was changed to his torso... okay...
I inked the cut in black with a hard brayer and then pressed it by hand into the side of his stomach. Good thing he was really fit otherwise I don't think it would have printed as well as it did! After a bit of clean up around the image with vegetable oil and a cotton bud (he was impressed that I had the rubbing alcohol, veggie oil and cotton buds!) the pseudo tattoo was ready to dry - I hope. He suggested I do a sideline at the studio in temporary tattoos using images from the cuts. Hmmmmm. Some not too attractive images of me pressing inked cuts onto skin in all sorts of places grossed me out and I told him probably not.
He was happy anyway. He bought the actual cut of the intestinal tract, took several of my business cards and, after I told him that I considered him to be a partially porous surface and that the ink would probably dry in about a day, he thanked me, shook my hand, told me his name, jumped on his bike and rode away.