29 April 2008
Hours and hours of carving lie ahead of me right now for this Lumbini (Buddha) print. To help my back stay pain free I've rigged up a little carving easel to hold the block more vertically, so I'm not bending over the block. My rig is not nearly as elegant as Graham Scholes' carving bench, but I don't have the woodworking skills to make a bench like his.
My setup is based on this adjustable tabletop easel from Dick Blick Art Supplies. I had to add a thin piece of plywood to the back of the easel to help it withstand the pressure of carving. Then I just drape a bench hook from McClain's Printmaking Supplies over the top of the easel and rest the block on the bench hook. I can't do heavy clearing this way -- for that I put the block down on the table -- but for detail carving like I'm doing, this is a back saver.