Thursday, August 1, 2019

Teaching an old dog new tricks

Trick one: less is enough

Teaching this trick was tough. This dog (that's me, in case the analogy eludes you) knows how to do a festival, having bagged around 200+ in my lifetime. Those included traveling as many as 1500 miles, rain, hail, snow, 70 mph gusts of wind, 107 degree temperatures although, of course, nice weather and beautiful locales for most. So what can a smaller easy festival in an indoor setting (no tent!) teach the old festival dog?
Simplicity!

Here is my pile ready to go, hardly a dent in my muscles and hardly a load for my truck. Three print bins, a fold-a-carry-all-office desk (Flight-Table), a stool to sit on. Which makes me a bit panicky...do I have EVERYTHING???
Ready for festivaling
BTW 

Kyle Canyon Crafters Artisan Craft FairAUGUST 3-4 SAT and SUN 10am - 4pmTHE RETREAT 2755 Kyle Canyon Road, Mt Charleston NVlook for me inside the awesome lodge

Trick two: never enough tools

I have been reading about wood carving because, out of all the tasks involved in making woodcuts, this is what I like to do the most. So I am digging up all my used blocks and making some new blocks based on my existing images and making relief carvings. I started out shallow and will work to deep relief, maybe eventually go full 3-D. 
For now, I am enjoying carving every minute of my studio time and so I started reading to pick up tricks specific to relief carving. And here is an awesome one!

The traditional Japanese woodblock carver uses a toh or single blade knife to make the first cuts around lines. Here is a picture stolen from the incomparable Annie Bissett's blog https://woodblockdreams.blogspot.com/2008/05/more-about-hangi-toh-knife.html

Traditional hangi-toh knife for outlining woodblock carving
And a fine knife it is, however I'm carving cherry wood and very deeply so. The blade of my hangi-toh (toh's I own several) just felt a bit flimsy and I had to go over my lines over and over and over and... 
Always looking for efficiency, I came up with the versatile chip carving knife! Of course I already own about three different versions, the one pictured below folds for travel and has two blades, one sturdier than the other. 
Presto! deep lines, full control and quick but precise carved lines and stop cuts.

The very chip carving knife I own

Woodblock for Moonshadow and my arsenal
I am making the sky recede, the moon rounded,
and the lady of the moon will be left up front
with some rounding and reshaping

The chip carving knife being driven deep into cherry wood

My depth gauge (yeah, I have one of those) tells me
I'm about half-way through the block so that's enough
for the deepest layer

I reiterate...

Kyle Canyon Crafters Artisan Craft FairAUGUST 3-4 SAT and SUN 10am - 4pmTHE RETREAT 2755 Kyle Canyon Road, Mt Charleston NVlook for me inside the awesome lodge


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Sunday, July 14, 2019

A tiny festival? New works

Festival in the Pines

August 3-4 at The Retreat
(formerly the "new" lodge"
or The Resort, depending how old you are)
2755 Kyle Canyon Road Mt Charleston NV
Oh it's just a little one for Artisans residing in Mt Charleston Nevada or whereabouts. But I'm getting into matting a little, no framed works except 8x10s and just a few. Easy does it...I will be inside the lobby with my matted displays.

New stuff

Kind of getting into remakes of some older works, especially big ones that are near sold out. The online world is completely different from the "real" festival world,  in terms of visits, sales and resulting income. So we adapt to the little prints and some of my best selling works are getting "revisited" in smaller versions. Still original woodcuts as I am making some modifications and carving a completely new block or three, but smaller. The image is roughly the same.

Fun! Here is a tiny "Oculus" remade into "Fragile"

Print Title: Fragile
Paper Dimension: 10 x 10 inches
Image Dimension: 9 x 9 inches
Block: Cherrywood
Pigment or Ink: Gamblin and Daniel Smith
Paper: Daphne handmade
Edition: 100
Comments: "For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are"
Those lyrics are from a Sting song, later I heard it by Jesse Cook. I am a loner and enjoy solitude but time and again I am reminded how very much I depend on and cherish connections with friends and family, however fragile they may be.
The image is a revisit of an early large print with some modifications...and a new tiny block of course.




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Maria's Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/maria.arango.diener 
Maria's Twitter Profile: https://twitter.com/1000woodcuts 
1000woodcuts YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/1000woodcuts/videos