Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Carving in a new way...

I have been thinking a lot about linoleum block printing for the last two years. Whenever I carve a pot, I thinking about how well the design would translate to a print. I had a very small experience with block printing in high school and that was a long, long, time ago! Last week I finally decided to buy a tool set and give it a try. 
As usual, youtube is a great place to find tutorials. The BEST advice I found on "Instructables". The artist recommended using a heated blanket to warm your lino block before carving. I don't have a heated blanket, but a heating pad is actually a better alternative. The artist who suggested the heated blanket was young, and probably hasn't experienced the aches and pains that I have, therefore he probably doesn't even know that such a thing exists. The warm linoleum cut very smoothly and with less effort. Which for me translates into less stress on my shoulder.



I finished carving my block this morning and was ready for some test printing...

 Not bad for a first block. Next time I will leave more raised line in between the leaves. I also will go back and carve some of the veins a little deeper. You can see where some filled with ink.

 One of the reasons I wanted to carve a lino block with my design is to be able to print bags for our pottery. I know it sounds like a daunting task, but I think it will be an enjoyable evening activity during the winter months. I am also considering creating some note cards.
Jeff is also going to carve a block and we are planning to do one together with our names and chop marks.
I was super stressed in September when I injured my shoulder. Losing nearly a month of pottery making before the last show of the year was scary. I have to say that I learned something from it. It's better to take care of your body than push it over the edge. There will always be enough pots for a show, even if they aren't exactly the ones you planned on... and while you are taking it slow, learn to do something new.

5 comments:

  1. WOW, thanks for the tip on how to warm up the lino before cutting.

    I almost gave up on linocutting due to the amount of force needed, - now I'll give it a try again.

    Love the idear with the paperbags. Great.

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  2. What a really great stamp! I love this. When I first started doing shows, I was much more enthusiastic than I am now and I stamped all of my bags with a wood block stamp that Gerry had given me. It's a really nice personal touch. I would definitely make those notecards, you have a beautiful design there.

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  3. Looks good. I've been stamping bags this year and I like to see them walking around the midway at shows. You aren't the only one who knows what a heating pad is.

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  4. This year, I bought the tools and carved my first stamp. It's something I'd like to put more time into. Don't know a thing about lino, but your ginkgo leaves came out beautifully!

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  5. Yes, make the note cards. Picture this, one of your pots, wrapped in some tissue and ribbon inside a bag stamped with your design, and a hand crafted note card saying something sweet, again, with your design. It all ties together beautifully. What a lovely gift that would be for someone.

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