Monday, January 10, 2011

Wood blocks on the way!

Puzzle Piece by Ruth Leaf in Baren Puzzle #1
I ordered the wood this past weekend. Suffering from the dreaded plague (some kind of evil influenza-thing that has invaded the sanctity of my sinuses) couldn't stop me from clicking Buy It Now! on six beautiful pieces of 3/4" (about 3 cm) thick 7-layer cherry plywood.

Since I now have a bigger press and I have also been invited to print elsewhere, I thought about going with larger blocks but decided against it. In case anyone is thinking about doing something like this, the issues with wood are various.

First, it is easier to handle 24" x 32" (61 x 81 cm) blocks for a person my size, still fortunately enough taller than wider, but not very tall at all. The blocks have to be drawn on, stained with walnut ink on both sides, sanded smooth, and cut with a jig-saw. That's a lot of block twirling.

Second, the size lends itself nicely to printing on 22" x 30" (56 x 76 cm) paper, which is standard size for Western printmaking papers. I have to either trim each block a bit, or I believe this project I will leave a border to cut a registration mark in order to facilitate paper placement on each block.

Third reason for not going larger is shipping cost, which is enough already for blocks these size but almost doubles the price of wood when shipping larger pieces and they always come with dented corners anyway. Every penny counts!

Why six blocks? I really will only need five for the project but there are always replacement blocks to be cut and the potential of my jig-saw going horribly wild. Besides, cherry makes me feel good and it will drive the evil flu-spirits away, I'm sure.

I will have photos soon enough. Meantime, everyone might want to check the detailed instructions for the project, in PDF format. Just click on instructions from the main page:

And if you get bored, viewing the previous projects is always fun and brings many good memories to mind. Links at the bottom of that page.
I'm now going to work on my two New Year resolutions: daily long walk and daily short nap.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Welcome email to City of the World participants

The City of the World is now 111 citizens strong and your humble instigator is ready to get going.

Please keep this page in your email files forever, save it close to your heart.
This is the main information web page for the project:

We now also have an official blog, where I will post all the emails that I send (including this one), progress reports, pictures, and so on. Everyone can comment at any time and you can add the blog to your favorite reader to stay informed:

A bit of business to take care of. Those of you who have not yet contributed to the project, please do so before the end of January, about 4 weeks from now. The project gets expensive and, most importantly, the blocks are very tedious to replace. I will send blocks only to paid citizens...aaaahhh those pesky city taxes...
Anyhow, contribute what you can, however you can; instructions on the project's main page.

Detailed instructions are online for everyone who wishes to start reading. Go to the main page of the project and click on Instructions from the top menu.
It's a PDF and it's good reading, I swear!
If there are any questions at any time, please contact me.

What's next?
I'm buying wood, that's what! New scroll saw blades maybe. I will unveil the design as I get it done.

Once more, WELCOME!!! to the City of the World.

Instigator, Mayor, and Chief Wood Chopper

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

City of the World: Call for Participants!

Current participant count 81

This email went out to all my printmaking friends at the end of 2010

Read all about it:
EVERYONE INVITED! The City of the World shall be built in 2011!!!
Sign up is open now until end of January 2011. Deadline for returning a very small carved block is December 2011.

As the page says, monumental puzzle projects are a collaborative effort among printmakers world-wide to compose an awesome print with little effort on the part of each printmaker.
Basically, each printmaker receives a smallish block of wood which fits neatly into the overall puzzle design. Each printmaker carves their block, returns to the coordinator and receives in turn a huge print containing the creations of printmakers from all over the world.

I am extending the invite to other groups so if you have your own group of printmakers, everyone is welcomed.
Please send me questions/comments directly at 1000woodcuts AT gmail DOT com

PS For those of you who have never done one of these before, here are the pages from the previous Monumental Puzzle Projects:

Once more, the information page outlines requirements, sign up form, and all the details.

Maria, Instigator of the MCPP