When printing with blocks carved from MDF (medium-density fiberboard), which are economical (cheap) but also typically warped (cheap), a bit of chance is added to the printing mix. One solution would be to put on my big-girl pants and buy some nice wood sold specifically for wood carving, but that can get pricey. So, for a project like this with simple graphic shapes, I wanted to go with an economical (cheap) solution for the blocks.
In this case I carved two blocks, one for each color (opposed to doing a reduction print or making my second block from a print of my first, Peach Farm Studio does a nice job explaining some of these methods.). The blocks were basically the same size, but due to the inconsistencies in the MDF as well as the cutting of the blocks, and the carving, there seemed to be quite a bit left to chance. If I could have closed my eyes when pulling the second color, I would have. To my delight the second color registered really well with the first and I didn’t have to do any adjusting to achieve good registration. I’m guessing this will be the first and only time it works out so nicely.
Late October we took a quick little trip down to the Seahorse Guest Cottage in North Beach, MD. We’ve stayed in our fair share of rental houses, (full disclosure: we do know the proprietors) but this was by far the cleanest and most comfortable we have come across. In addition to the cottage being perfectly decorated with some really lovely mid-century modern furniture (which is unfortunately not pictured above), you’re only a few blocks away from the Chesapeake Bay (which fortunately is pictured above).
Added bonus: seasonally available art and music studios with porch. Although out of season, Gus made use of the artist studio porch to work on his bone chewing skills even though he is already quite the master chewer.
If you need yet another reason to visit the Seahorse Guest Cottage, on display (and for sale) is some local artwork, including my ‘Down By The Bay’ print series.
If you go:Don’t pass up breakfast from Blondie’s, a short walk for a great croissant breakfast sandwich.
I’ve always loved silly old proverbs and folk sayings, so I was delighted when I came across this pair: The Goose Hangs High (meaning everything is on the up and up) and The Fat’s In The Fire (meaning there is trouble ahead). What better way to show them off then to do a bit of carving and printing?
Printed on my 6.5 x 10 Craftsman Superior on 8×10, they pushed the size limitations of the press (in this case pushing overall paper size and placement, while keeping the individual printed area sizes within the presses capabilities). With newly found access to a larger press, you can keep an eye out for more (and larger) prints.
Lately I’ve been looking around at some really good linocut illustrations and decided to give it a go. Compared to wood, linoleum blocks are much more cost effective and cut much quicker.
With a bit of practice (more patience, and frequent tool sharpening) I think I will be able to get tighter cleaner lines. But for this sweet little birthday album for my nephew, it worked out well. It has 18 pages and a label for each year, ideally a photo from each birthday will be placed in the book and when he turns 18 he will have a quick look back at one very special day throughout his childhood.