It worked! Flooding the plate with shellac and hardening it with heat for a couple of days totally did the trick!
Controlling Plate Absorbency
[Old plates with lots of absorbed ink]
[New plates don’t absorb ink]
A few days ago I tried using extra shellac on my plates and drying them in a warm incubator box in the hopes that this would make them impermeable to ink. The dark ink was bleeding into subsequent light-colored plates and ruining them.
As you can see in the images above, it worked. The dark inks are not soaking into the wood grain and squeezing out under pressure.
This block was used to print a deep blue yesterday, but today it is allowing me to print with a transparent orange fading to almost completely transparent. Any tiny amounts of leftover blue would show up immediately in this print, but they just aren’t there.
One by one, I’m overcoming the beginner’s problems that keep me from producing good work. Soon I’ll be done dealing with technical problems and ready to tackle creatively challenging stuff, I just know it!