Back in July…remember July? During a brief moment when businesses attempted a nod at normalcy, I dragged Adventure Buddy to a workshop at 400 West to learn how to lino-cut and make prints with Angela of Midwest Mermaid. Her artwork is amazing and her mermaid logo would make a sweet little tattoo.
The workshop was small and set up for social distancing with tables as pods of the people attending together. Angela provided everyone with tools, a practice block, a choice of two of her preprinted designs, and much tutelage.
I was a bit jealous of the skill level a table over. They were able to carve really smooth outlines whereas my bee looks a little frazzled around the edges. Overall the process of carving the blocks was extremely soothing, and making the prints had an instant gratification quality. Adventure Buddy immediately bought supplies to enjoy the meditative carving. She digs a pile of shavings.
I knew I wanted to play with this more, but held off on purchasing supplies until I had an idea which, of course, had to marinate procrastination style. Instead of tormenting the cats– sadly, I don’t think they’ve donned costumes in ages– I decided to create my Christmas cards with lino-cutting. Once I got going though, it was the work of an evening or two.
Attempt 1: Miles & Sookie. I don’t have a functioning printer to print designs so I had to draw on the blocks. There is a way to print your design and iron transfer it onto the blocks. I enjoyed the problem solving challenge here of considering how the negative space would work and where would the design best be served to have the ink printed. I also figured out that after making an initial print, I could use that as a guide to clean up spots in the carving. For example, Sookie’s nose needed to not be a blob, but unfortunately I appear to have TNR ear tipped Miles.
Attempt 2: Christmas tree with all four cats. Look closely for Birdie’s calico butt. After the ink dried, I went in with Sharpies and colored in some spots like the bulbs and berries in all the designs. Survey says it is time for bifocals. The glasses are in the pile of shavings because I had to take them off to see the little lines.
Attempt 3: Olivia Wigglebothum and holly. My cleanest one. Fortunately I had a photo to work from with this one.
…and then I had an army of cards! A day later, I discovered that Blick Arts had a whole section of supplies and added a magenta ink to my collection. It worked well with metallic Sharpie accents.
As always, Sookie is my toughest critic. I probably should not have shown her the print that smeared and needed lots of Sharpie scribbles. She says it looks nothing like her. I told her it’s just symbolic of her in 2020.
Happy Holidays to all and a Happy New Year!