02 June 2010

Test Driving the New Studio


My nephew Chris and his longtime girlfriend Heather are getting married in a couple of weeks. They used a black and white damask motif for all their invitations and stationery, so I thought it would be nice to make a little woodcut based on that pattern that could be given to guests as a keepsake.


Here's the happy couple. Now in their mid 20s, they met in high school, so we've known Heather for a long time. She already feels like part of the family but we're thrilled to be making it official. Lucky for us they don't read my blog, so I can show you everything.


I set up my little carving easel and both of my bench hooks, as I wasn't sure what height I'd want to set the block at. I ended up using the smaller bench hook (left).


Here's a closeup of the block with the computer-composed sketch pasted on. Usually I use wheat paste to glue the sketch to the block, but I happened to have some rice paste left from a class I was teaching so I used that this time. I won't do that again, as the rice paste didn't seem to have as much strength as wheat paste. The paper peeled too easily just from the pressure of the knife blade. I had to be more careful than usual.


Here's the block all carved and ready to print.


I slipped here at the end of the job and had to do a repair. I use Super Glue as it doesn't soften when wet.


By the end of the carving session the studio barely looked messy. I guess it's because this block is only about 5 x 5 inches. A nice small project for a studio "test drive."


As usual my studio assistant Ty was unperturbed by wood chips falling on the floor or on him.

Tomorrow I'll try out printing.


d. moll, l.ac. said...

Ty looks like his test drove of the carpet turned out pretty well. All the guests will be so thrilled to have print!

Wendy Willis said...

What a sweet story. The wedding guests will certainly be lucky to get one of your original prints!

Ellen Shipley said...

They are so going to love the woodcut. One of our treasured gifts from our wedding was a box with our wedding invitation etched on it (commercially produced, but a lovely thoughtful gift). How much more memorable is a hand pulled woodcut. ;-]

Kim Rosen said...

What a lovely idea and gift Annie! Looks like the new studio is working out quite nicely!

Oscar said...

Love your script !

Nice carving.


Unknown said...

Annie, what a great idea! Beautiful carving too. And you are right your Ty does look very much like my Izzy (Isabelle), and they assist their artists in much the same way too. ;)

Katka said...

A lovely and thoughtful idea, Annie. I'm sure it will be most cherished.

On another note, where did you get your carving easel? I imagine it goes a long way to alleviate neck strain?


starkeyart said...

Love your studio, Annie. Catching up on my blog reading this morning...Congrats on the move! Your house looks like a charmer. Enjoyed your post about looking at other's artwork as well.

Annie B said...

Thanks everyone. Printing still hasn't happened yet, but I'll post once I get to it.

Katka, see this earlier post for info about the carving easel I rigged up. Very low tech, but definitely saves on neck and back strain.