Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Conversation With a Canyon, Lure Me In

Oh those canyons

They let you in
One of my first homage to canyons
this one in the Valley of Fire

Hiking alone sometimes results in some strange and wonderful events; as the feet trudge through rocky washes and rugged trails, the mind goes off on a fantastic journey of its own. Around these parts, there are a myriad of slot canyons, many well off the beaten path. I like to find them and then...
What are you looking at?
I'm trying to see how deep you go
Oh, I'm deep alright, why not come in and find out
It's really cool in here and the breeze is fresh and smells like wet sandstone
Are you trying to lure me in?
Why not, what are you afraid of?
Not much out here...your eyes are staring at me, is there a way out?
The water carved me and my eyes, the wind rounded me smooth, both of them found a way in and they found a way out
just follow the water
    follow the wind
        then follow the light

Lure Me In

The first in the series (of two, not so ambitious!) is now carved and ready to print. Following the "color field" challenge, I decided to carve a key block first, then divide my color block into the fields of color. Not a new method with me and it was much fun to revisit my old puzzle color woodcuts.
The key block gets transferred to a single color block and that poor thing gets chopped into as many colors as I want to have in my canyon. Scroll saw in hand and a few hours and presto! I mixed inks yesterday according to my sketches more or less. Ready to print.

Key block all carved up

Color map top left, and some notes on newsprint
bottom right

Inks mixed, tested on the tan paper
and into the color coded tubes

That's part of my brain spilled all over
that piece of paper, makes sense
to me!

Tentatively, first pieces get cut

Three hours and six scroll saw blades later...

The scroll blade kerf is so thin
you can't hardly see the divisions.
Once inked, the lines between color
fields disappear under the key block

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  1. Amazing. How do you do all that sawing? By hand? Unbelievable. Keep going forever.

    1. An old scroll saw with a weetie bitty blade. I broke 6 blades because of the right curves and the 3/4” cherry I’m using but it was all for a good cause 😂❤️