The Way I See It

Studio Gremlins


The gremlins were very active in the print studio today. Everything I did was sabotaged by some mysterious negative force.

Before I even started printing, I realized that I penciled my initials and the center mark on the front side of each sheet of paper instead of the back. Doh!  I intended to print an edition of my Net Square print first. So I inked the plate, soaked the paper and pulled the first print. O.K. One print down, 11 more to go. But wait! What are those little marks within the net part of the image? I didn’t notice them when I proofed it last week. Grrrr. This was not a good sign. Now what?

I decided to pull another print thinking I could do a better job wiping the plate and making the marks less noticeable.  But, no, those same little marks appeared in the same place. Definitely not good, I thought. But, I reasoned to myself, who will notice them but me? I tried to rationalize the fact that no one else is even remotely as obsessive about such miniscule imperfections as I–that no one would ever really see them or think they were a mistake. Why be such a perfectionist? No one will notice. No one will notice. No one will notice. I said it like a mantra hoping that the more I said it, the more it would be true, that I would believe it.

I pulled another print. And those damn little spots were still there and they made me even more upset. I realized I would never be happy with those tiny dots screaming at me every time I looked at the print. They were like a chunk of spinach on someone’s teeth when you are trying to talk to them–it’s the only thing you see and the only thing you think about. I will just have to expose another plate some other day to make it perfect.

But the Gremlins didn’t stop messing with me here.

I decided to print my Solar Mum plate.  Without going into too much detail, let’s just say things got worse than those tiny little marks.

Out of 15 Mum prints, one was printed with the plate upside-down, one printed crookedly on the paper, one printed on the wrong side of the paper, one had its top border too narrow, one had ink spots (obviously they were on the press but seen only after the print was pulled), and to top it all off, I dropped the plate ink-side-down on a very dirty floor right before I was about to put it on the press.  Everything that could possibly go wrong in the print studio happened to me today.  I finally had enough and can’t tell you how glad I am I got out of there alive. Damn Gremlins!

Whew! I need a drink.

Image of Stripe from Toyark’s website.


  1. February 12, 2014 - Reply

    I hate when that happens. Damn gremlins.

    • February 12, 2014

      That’s exactly what I was saying the whole time. That and some other 4-letter words.

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