Friday, October 3, 2014

Carved wood au naturel

Nothing like wood!

Some blocks, for one reason or another, just look yummy as they are. These last two blocks, one cherry and one Baltic birch, looked pretty good after cleaning off the ink and applying some citrus paint stripper.
The cherry block I can explain; cherry wood is very tight grained and the ink used during printing didn't penetrate the lows and carved "scars". When the ink (and the dancers' clothing, apparently :-)was removed by the paint stripper, the cherry looked just as good as just after I first finished carving. The paint stripper has oils to protect the wood while the chemicals soften the ink (paint, etc.), so the block was finished.
Baile del Sol with details.
Baile del Sol, original woodblock
After citrus paint stripper and a clear urethane satin finish

A little more trouble explaining why some Baltic birch blocks clean up nicely and others don't. But if I recall, I believe I used linseed oil to seal this one before cutting and printing so perhaps that had something to do with the cleanliness. This second block, Uprooted, was grateful enough to clean up nicely and the wood grain shows exquisitely! Moreover, the lines filled with the ink residue and show as dark on a light wood background, exactly the opposite as the print. Cool deal!

Uprooted, original woodblock ready for exhibit
I uploaded a photo album to my Facebook page 1000Woodcuts if you want to see all the blocks together with details.
The awesome Nevada Arts Council worker bee came over a couple of days ago and picked up 5 blocks and 5 prints in their tuxedos (black frames) and the show will begin November 1st at the Nevada Arts Council OXS Gallery in Reno Nevada. I am planning a drive up there to document the exhibit...or perhaps because I like driving across the desert?