Thursday, October 14, 2010

Is it January already?

Well, no, it's not January yet...but I did finish my contribution for the Wood Engraver's Network 2011 Calendar. This is an exchange of sorts, where volunteers print up 100 copies of their assigned month and receive a bunch of hand-bound calendars in return. I can't wait!
I must be getting picky in my old age because I stopped "production" to clean the block four times before I was satisfied that it was as clean a print as it would be. By cleaning the block I mean stopping, removing all ink, and recarving spots that were picking up ink without my explicit consent, the rascals!
Didn't help that I just knew that wood engravers carry around a magnifying glass everywhere they go just so they can hone in on the details. I know I do.
In any case, here is the final image. Two blocks, a standard background woodcut block and the engraved foreground in all its gory detail on end-grain maple. I used Daniel Smith inks, Traditional Black oil-based and a black/white/transparent mix for the background.
See? It is snow, it HAD to be clean! The image is from my garden, a quirky Mojave yucca that has the funniest looking seed pods. There was snow two years ago right here in the city, so I'm not completely inventing the composition. I imagine those strange looking pods dumping their seeds in the snow so that they can regenerate during the perfect spring.

I will leave you with a couple of details:

Hmmm...still see a speck or two...drat!