Having read of an intense black pigment for linocut printing called Bideford Black – I set out to find it. My quest came out in conversation with a colleague working on exam board moderation. It just so happened that she lived in nearby Appledore and her husband, a talented painter, knew of and used Bideford Black. So last week we set off for Bideford and were taken on a two mile hike out if Westward Ho! to locate and collect the raw material – a form of coal.
Today I set about grinding it up and trying a first print or two. Using coffee grinder and mortar and pestle I produced a fine powder which I then mixed with boiled linseed oil using a glass muller.
I am encouraged with the results – considering the powder has not been refined or finely sieved.
First prints on some Japanese paper too.