ORIGINAL LIMITED EDITION RELIEF PRINTS
This series of block prints began in May 2004, partially in response to being
selected as the featured artist for Amphora, Number 135, the journal of
the Alcuin Society, and partly just because I wanted to. I consider many of my
pen and ink drawings to be one step short of being a block print, as the
images have already been selected, focussed, filtered, and presented as simply
as a block print would be. Some drawings are intended to be used as the
template for a block print. I just hadn't previously taken the time to start
Tools I use for lino cutting: X-acto knife with 011 blade; palm gouge; hand gouge.
My antique J. Smart press (originally called a copying press).
A vertical assembly of the components that I use for printing.
A planholder drawer full of relief print blocks and copper etching plates (upper right).
I enjoy the quiet workmanship involved in cutting a block, and the
mental rigour necessary to decide what to cut and what to leave - all
of it in the negative, and hopefully mirrored before starting to cut
the block. Making the prints is another enjoyable physical process, one that
connects me to centuries of printmakers, with its slow repetitive pace of
rolling out the ink, placing the paper on the block, pressing the print,
peeling it off the block to see the results, placing it to dry, then
re-inking the block for the next print. I recently discovered that the
press was made by J. Smart in Brockville, Ontario. The Diamond-G logo on it
(for Gill, a previous owner of the company) was discontinued in 1912, so
the press was made before then, and still works perfectly!
I saw this spider web ten years ago in Barclay Park, it was huge! The snake is
imaginary, although it has the tail of a rattlesnake. Test proofs are in progress
for these two prints.
A number of snakes hand-tinted with Pitt india ink brush pens.
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