First leather binding since the NYC class in November. Soooo glad I remembered all the details, except this one is not without errors. Good news is I learned some new things not to do. Like do NOT pare down the whole piece of leather for spine! I pared it so thin that all the sewn signatures can be seen through the leather. Oh well. Anyway, leather is buckskin, darkened with a bit of linseed oil, and it’s full of cast off prints on handmade paper, grid paper, and pretty awesome for writing/drawing in. Looking forward to making more.
Weekend Schedule for Sue:
Friday: Cutting 2 new blocks. Printing a new (Dexter) tee by end of day.
Saturday: Cutting and printing 2 new reduction relief blocks.
Sunday: 1st of 2 blocks should be nearing completion.
5 new card designs
Both hard and soft cover versions of CLUCK: From Jungle Fowl to City Chicks is also available.
Now in it’s 5th year, the Spring Art Tour features 21 artists who will open their studios to the public for 3 days in June. This year the open studio event is June 10, 11, 12 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), 10-5 daily.
So, I’ve been wanting to do a big woodcut for some time. At the Frogman’s workshop this summer, we cut on birch plywood−first time for me, so I thought (when buying the 4′x8′ sheet once home), “why not use the whole sheet?.” So I cut a 4×8 hog−the model being one of my full-grown feeder pigs. And how great would it be to do a big pulltoy with this big print on one side? It would be perfect for a piece for our 3rd-year grad student show. So, here’s the progression (click any image to see it larger):
1.) Carving the woodblock: a 4ft x 8ft sheet of birch plywood. Here, I’m cutting with a reciprocating carver (as opposed to a rotary−it moves back and forth−it’s an electric gauge). Definitely saved my hands, wrists and forearms…. Almost no pain cutting the entire block, with alternating between the reciprocating carver and the hand-tool gouges:
2.) And here’s the cutout shape upon which the print would go. I was going to use a jigsaw, but J says: “No, you have to use a Rotozip.” “But how do you know? The wood girl said use a jigsaw and she’s a woodworker!” I stupidly asked/retorted. Argument ensued. J went and got the Rotozip out and showed me. He was right. It rocked!! And more, I could cut it out myself and do an ok job. Super (pretty super) fast. Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah! Cut out 2 shapes out of OSB, screwed in 2×4′s in-between the 2 (to give it some depth), then cardboard was stapled all around the edge of the whole shape (to enclose it, make it look as if it was a thick, solid wooden cutout−like the little wooden pulltoys). Here’s the cutout, with Zuzu for scale:
4.) Once block carving is finished, it’s time to print. I have an awesome Takach roller, which helps immensely (a good quality, large roller), although I gotta say, inking the damn thing was a pain. Think about it (I didn’t, really, beforehand), you have to roll over the whole 4ft x 8ft sheet, without actually stepping on it/in the ink, meanwhile getting a consistent layer of ink over the whole thing. All I can say is that it’s a good thing I’m tall with long arms, and that I didn’t thoroughly think this through ahead of time (I don’t tend to trully consider the potential problems of a thing until I’m in it, which I think is my way of not talking myself out of something−I vaguely consider/imagine how it’ll happen and just mentally “ok” the process). Oh, and the paper. I couldn’t find any 4ft wide paper in a roll, so in keeping with my previous collaged work, I printed on feed sacks−not really the ideal printing surface. But the thing I loved about the final print was that the feedsacks showed through the overlaying hog print. Here are the printed sections on feedsack sections (top) and practice prints on big sheets of tracing paper below that:
7.) Printed side finished! Rope aged (dipped in bucket of water, black ink, acrylic paint), and attached with chain and hook eyes. Wheeled the thing out to the road, with little dogs pattering beside me and then posing. Such good little terriers:
8.) On the other side, I wanted to do the cuts of the hog, when butchering–I love making things educational. I didn’t have time to cut the blocks and print all the words, so I painted in a graphic style (as if it was printed) with somewhat-transparent acrylics, again on top of feedsacks:
You can see this piece for a few days still, at our 3rd-year graduate student show: Triple Crown at the UW Art Lofts in Madison, WI.
Corn King t-shirts now available!
For those of you who expressed interest in the Corn King shirts at the Consumption reception (noting that I didn’t have prices on them–doh!!–my fault for running out of time before the reception), they will be available at the Spring Art Tour this upcoming weekend, at my studio (see S.V. Medaris at the M.H. Spring Art Tour site, #10 on the Google map). More info about tour, maps, etc. at: Mount Horeb Area Spring Art Tour.
I will be printing some t-shirts on Friday, June 11th on the etching press, around noon.
If you have an old shirt you want the Corn King printed on, bring it along. $10 for printing on your shirt, $20 for a printed shirt on one of my tees (a variety are available–a few in each size). You can place an order for a tee in your size if I don’t have what you need–tees, tanks, long-sleeve…. If ordering a custom shirt, turnaround time is 1-2 weeks (depending on t-shirt availability).
Also, some other blocks are available for printing on shirts, such as “pork cuts” (a couple tees and an apron available).