12 June 2013
Lord Have Mercy
LORD HAVE MERCY
Japanese-method woodblock (moku hanga) and rubber stamp
Image size: 10.25" x 17" (26 x 43 cm)
Paper size: 12.5" x 19" (63.5 x 98 cm)
Made with 3 shina plywood blocks, 9 color applications
The movie The Wizard of Oz has stereotypically been associated with gay culture. This may be because the film can serve as an apt allegory for the coming out experience: knowing that you're different in some way and, upon acceptance of that difference, entering a new world. The tale of an isolated adolescent from a dreary place in the middle of nowhere being transported to a land where everything is brightly colored and friendly and fabulous is a perfect metaphor for the story of many rural homosexuals who have migrated to large urban centers. And in another metaphor easily understood by gays, the scarecrow, tin man, and lion (played in high camp style by actor Bert Lahr) are misfits who join with Dorothy to form a family, with all four of these characters loving each other into the discovery that what they were looking for was already inside them. This Wikipedia entry on Judy Garland as a gay icon makes more connections if you're interested.
In the book I'm working on, God Is Our Witness, this piece will serve as a transition from the first chapter, tentatively titled “The Curse,” into the second chapter, called “Counter Spells.”
I haven't done a step-by-step for a while, so here it is:
MAKING A WOODBLOCK PRINT IN 10 EASY STEPS
First, transfer your sketch to some blocks of wood using carbon paper.
Carve the blocks.
Begin printing the blocks.
On this print, you can see an emboss (indentation in the paper) where the tops of the socks will be. I wanted to see if I could get a deep enough emboss so that a white line would appear when I printed the socks in blue.
As you can see, the white line didn't work very well. I think the paper I'm using is too thin for that technique.
I went ahead and printed the line for the fold of the sock in a slightly darker blue. (It's still wet in this photo, but will dry to a more subtle tone.)
This photo actually shows two printing steps. First I printed the red shoes, then I did the stars.
The final step was to “typeset” some dialog from the movie using a rubber stamp alphabet.