04 March 2010
Caleb and Joel
Their names were Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck and Joel Iacoombs, and they were the first two Native students to attend the Harvard Indian College, class of 1665. I'm totally making up what they looked like.
When I first started making woodblock prints I would plan out all the colors and layers, carve all the blocks in succession, and then do all the printing at once according to the plan. Lots of times the prints came out pretty close to what I had planned, but I found that the printing phase felt sort of rigid and I would get all tense trying to make it come out the way I had planned.
Over time I've developed a more leisurely approach where I carve a block or two, print a few passes, evaluate what I've got and then carve another block or two and print some more. This lets me respond to the various surprises and ideas that crop up as the print progresses. I still work with a plan, but I'm willing to change it as the print takes shape.
In this case, though, I ran out of paper. I ordered some from McClain's and since I had to wait a few days for it to come I did the old method of carving all the blocks. This morning I printed the first one (above). It's funny, because already I'm thinking that one of the blocks I carved is unnecessary. We'll see what happens later, but if I don't use it I'll show it to you at the end.