Thursday, December 19, 2013

Acorn Linocut - Printmaking

For our final project in printmaking we were free to choose whatever technique we wanted from those we learned in the course, including embossing, collagraph, linocut, woodcut, monotype, and intaglio.  I decided to carve this acorn from a Christmas card drawing I did a few years ago out of safety-cut.  I love this material because it is easy to carve (my friend calls it butter-cut).  The only drawback was I had to hand press it with a spoon because I didn't have good luck running it through the press (the paper shifted unreliably).

I wish I had taken some process photos but I was lucky to just complete the project.  The first thing I did was carve the background and then print the gold color.  This created the background you see here and a solid gold acorn shape.  I then carved the "fingers" where I wanted to reveal the gold, created a stencil in the shape of the acorn to protect the background, and printed the brown.    I then carved where I wanted to reveal the brown and printed the black (again using the stencil so as not to print over the background).  The process is interesting because you have to think backwards.

As you can see below I printed eight copies.  I was trying to use the press at first but was having registration problems so I resorted to hand burnishing with a spoon.  If I became a print-maker full time I think I would have very strong arms.

After I finished printing the color versions I printed four black and white versions.

Below you can see the final safety-cut plate.  You have to carve the reverse of how you want the image to print.  This is very important to consider if you have text in your image. 

I wanted to take the photo with the Speedball linoleum cutter but I turned it in already so I put a pencil in for scale.

This is a close-up of the plate. 

Overall this was my favorite technique we learned this semester.  I like it because it is easy to carve but also because I can do it at home without a press.  Hopefully you will see more of this to come in the new year.  I am not sure if I will be posting more this year so I wish everyone a very Happy Holiday and Happy New Year!!!

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