Woman vs Machine

Woman vs Machine

There have been several small tussles, believe me!


The day started well with my usual quick run round.  A little overcast this morning but it’s remained warm and sunny all day.


I went to take a look at the newly cleaned Public Library building, which looks stunning now it’s done.  Almost eerily white, it shines out like a beacon on Fifth Avenue.


Into class then, and another idea for the list – printing on the thin mulberry leaf papers using a kitchen cutting mat as a carrier sheet.  I’ve got the things secured and primed but haven’t yet printed – there’s one for the list for tomorrow.


I had a whole heap of papers primed and ready to go, including that black sheet on the top.  Having sifted through my images, I’d decided on that photograph of the flatiron building I took last evening and prepared both image and paper for printing.  As I did, I spotted a look of concern on Mary’s face and over she came with a sheet of tyvek which she suggested using to fool the printer into thinking it was printing a normal, white sheet of paper, because unsurprisingly, it wouldn’t like printing on black.


Both sheets were fed into the printer, but before the print button was pressed, the white tyvek was to be pulled out at the last minute.  But my printer wasn’t so easily fooled – as soon as we took the white sheet away, the error message came up and all was lost.

Time and again, we reloaded both sheets.  Time and again the printer thumbed its nose at us.


Not so easily beaten, Mary explained about the front feed – these printers have three feeds and perhaps by using the one at the front, we might be able to fool it in a different way.

As if.  Once again, the printer won.

By this time it was getting near lunchtime and I’d achieved very little.  Time for a quick win.  I loaded my textured sheet and created a composite sheet of images for it hoping that this one would go through easily.


At last, success.  Four good clear and crisp images on the sheet, well placed and a satisfying enough conclusion for the morning.  I went to lunch feeling determined to get that black print sorted this afternoon.


As we headed out of the building, the great images on the walls stopped me in my tracks again – this one is on the way to the ladies loo and makes me smile every time I see it.  I’ll save Jordi’s blushes by not posting the photograph of her posing as an additional character!


We made a dash over the road to Kinokuniya, to take a look at the new craft books there


That embroidery book!  So cute!

We grabbed a bite to eat before rushing back to tackle those printers again.  I’d already set myself the challenge of printing the flatiron photograph in a “frame” created on a funny piece of paper I’d brought from home – we’ve spoken a lot about the placement of images, getting them set up just right and how we want them to be – for the first time, I was 100% successful and felt rather pleased with the outcome here.


I still hadn’t printed the black sheet, however.


Just as I was summoning up courage to tackle it again, Mary demonstrated the aluminium transfer technique and prepared another aluminium plate for direct printing tomorrow.  Hang on a minute, I thought – if I can’t print a sheet of black paper, how on earth am I going to print a sheet of aluminium?


As I prepared the image and the paper, Jordi had a suggestion.  Perhaps…just maybe it might work?  Who knows?  Worth a try…


Ta dah!!  Not only did her idea work perfectly, my experience this morning of locating the image perfectly on the sheet, right way up meant that I was able to get the variation in coloured substrates in the correct place to work perfectly too.  I had applied red inkaid in the area around that red sign on the left, to make it “pop” and to get a kind of shadow on the building.

And what little flash of brilliance did Jordi contribute to this success?


A strip of washi tape along the leading edge.  Brilliant!


Returning to the studio, we found Mary demonstrating the gel print to Louise’s mirror.  Now, having just conquered the black paper issue, were we ready to contemplate peeling off what amounts to a sheet of handmade cling film, printed with an image to be applied to a 3D object?

Not really.  We watched and promised ourselves that tomorrow, we’ll tackle it with ease.  Fingers crossed.


We returned to the hotel for a quick freshen up before dinner, noting that once again, the news crews were outside (I’m staying in the same place as a certain notorious Frenchman) and headed downtown to Otto.


Otto is a favourite of ours and yet again, we enjoyed a memorable meal.  The food is delicious, the atmosphere buzzy and service charmingly efficient.


Of course, there is also the added attraction of the gelati.  Our all time favourite Olive Oil gelati, the seasonal favourite Sweetcorn gelati and my favourite pistachio too.  Oh my word, were we full?


We walked through Greenwich village past this shopfront – Textile Arts Center opening soon?  I have a sneaky suspicion that my friend and mistress of the washi tape will be back.


We waited for the bus reflecting on another great day.  We’re tired but delighted with what we’ve done so far and with one more day to go, have plenty to keep us busy.

And, in the woman vs machine stakes, I think we are still ahead. 


Last day

Last day

Heard on the street

Heard on the street