52 Postcards | Week 13

This was a quicky. It has been a long week. The success here is that I actually got some printing done. Small victories are still victories.

Spring has arrived early here in Portland, OR and the flowers are exploding. I spotted these lovely daffodils on a walk awhile ago and it seemed like the right time to carve and print.

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Materials:
Niji Carving Knives + Speedball carving tool
Moo Carve
Speedball yellow, red and white water-soluble ink
Utrecht American Masters 100% Cotton - White, 90lb/250gsm, Acid Free

52 Postcards | Week 12

Ugh. I really wanted this to turn out better than it did. These work as long as I view them from a distance without my glasses on. Up close they are a hot mess.

I shouldn't have used the retarder in the ink mix. When used on the Moo Carve, it is a slippery combination. So, lesson learned.

At some point I would like to reprint these using different ink, maybe even recarve a larger block. And it would make a great framed print or a t-shirt. Someday, probably once kohlrabi is the new it veg.

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Me carving. W trying on L's new fancy shoes, overseeing my progress.

Me carving. W trying on L's new fancy shoes, overseeing my progress.

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Materials:
Niji Carving Knives + Speedball carving tool
Moo Carve
Speedball blue, yellow, white water-soluble ink + retarder
Strathmore Printmaking paper, 400 series, 280 g/m2

52 Postcards | Week 11

I made this Darth Vader postcard for my little guy who turns 7 today. He mostly liked it but informed me I missed a detail. Thanks for the feedback, bud.

I used a new carving material, Moo Carve. I really liked it, although there was little carving involved in this week's block. I have given myself few specs in this project but I still bump up against them. This time, I wanted the image to bleed off the postcard. I pre-cut the paper and then printed. While not a total failure, I think my results would have been better had I trimmed after printing. This project is all about the process and learning, so I am putting this in the "learned" column.

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Materials:
Speedball carving tool
Moo Carve
Speedball black water-soluble ink
Strathmore Bristol paper, 300 series, 100lb. 270 g/m2

52 Postcards | Week 10

What's brown and sticky?

A stick.

Or the Akua intaglio ink I used to print this guy. I liked that it stayed wet longer than the Speedball ink I have been using. But cleanup was a bear. And of course my brayer went on a joyride off the table, across the floor in the middle of the printing. I'm not sure I will make the switch for my small postcard project but if I get into printing larger pieces, I will definitely try it out. I got this jar for free, thank you Angela.

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Materials:
Niji Carving Knives
Speedball unmounted linoleum
Akua intaglio ink in van dyke brown
Utrecht American Masters 100% Cotton - White, 90lb/250gsm, Acid Free

52 Postcards | Week 9

This is my last Hawaii-inspired postcard. I am sluffing off the last of the sunburn on my legs. My kayaking injuries are nearly healed. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to get away with my lovely wife. During the trip, we repeated "Mahalo" back and forth to each other as our little inside joke. Connection comes in mysterious ways…

I really wanted to incorporate an image from the trip into one of my Hawaii postcards. I used my inkjet to print out this image Laramie took on our last full day on the island. The photo paper is glossy which made getting a nice print a challenge. I switched from using a barren to using a bone folder to rub over the paper.

As the postcards are drying, the white ink is mixing with the inkjet ink to change the white to a pink-ish. Hmmmmm, I should have waited a bit longer to see how my test print turned out. Really, with the week I have had, I'm just glad I carved a block and printed a handful of cards.

Listen to this interesting story about palm trees from 99% Invisible.

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Materials:
Niji Carving Knives + Speedball carving tool
Speedy-Cut white block
Speedball white water-soluble ink
Inkjet photo paper

52 Postcards | Week 8

Beach Drinking. I don't typically like sweet, fruity drinks. But the one drink I loooooove to take to the beach is Malibu and Grapefruit. So packed to Hawaii, among the shorts and swim wear, went a brand new bottle of Malibu rum. In an attempt to eat locally, we bought a pineapple. Now, add those to things together…and we finished the bottle.

While I'm not thrilled with the pineapple, I do want to share the drink. In these miaerable days of winter, one could turn up the heat, put on some shorts and sip this while sitting under a SADD light for a quick hit of summer. Let's call it Liquid Summer.

Liquid Summer

3 ozs Malibu Rum
4 ozs grapefruit juice
1/3 cup fresh pineapple chunks
2 pieces of lime

Pour liquid ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Strain into two glasses filled with ice. Garnish each glass with half of the pineapple and a slice of lime. 

Now, on to the print. I used some new carving tools that were not the best for the finer lines of the pineapple outline. You can see the difference in the line weight in the top leafy part vs the finer lines of the pineapple bottom. All about the right tool for the job. This image would be nice smaller on a recipe card or on top of a photo maybe. Not one of my faves. I'll just have the drink instead.

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Materials:
Niji Carving Knives + Speedball carving tool
Speedy-Cut white block
Speedball blue+yellow water-soluble ink
Utrecht American Masters 100% Cotton - White, 90lb/250gsm, Acid Free

 

52 Postcards | Week 7

I had a fantastic vacation. Part of me hoped to have started the Hawaii postcards while there, but I took full advantage of being on vacation. I took a few notes and made a few plans for the next couple of weeks.

This first postcard is inspired by the coolest little fishy I saw while snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. It is the Kikakapu, or the Threadfin Butterflyfish.

This was the first for several things this week.
1. I used two colors, which leads to
2. I had to use registration marks to get alignment.

Angela, my neighborhood printmaking resource, helped me out with the registration issue. She also reminded me that I am more of a visual learner than I think. Many of the printmakers I am following on the internet are printing onto fabric. So they lay out their bolts of fabric and "stamp" the print onto the fabric. Angela schooled me in the correct way to make a print: ink the block and then place the paper on top of the block. This works much better with a single image print. I do think repeat patterns are easier to do the "stamp" way.

I felt uneasy all throughout the block carving and even printing of this project. "Will it look ok" "My lines are not perfect" "blah, blah, you are a faker…" But the more I look at my final postcard, the more I LOVE IT. Thanks little Kikakapu.

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Materials:
Flexcut Palm carving tool
Easy-to-Cut Lino
Speedball yellow & black water-soluble ink + retarder
Strathmore Printmaking paper, 400 series, 280 g/m2

52 Postcards | Week 6

I'm on vacation. If this grey squares postcard posts, it is because I've been swallowed by sand, sun and saltwater. I haven't had a moment to work on a cute sea turtle or a yellow hibiscus flower or a neon humahumanukanukaapuaa. You can hate me if you want. I'll eat some pineapple for you.

I love this postcard. I love the grey. I love the solid ink and the break of the squares. Initially I carved a small leftover square with just the squares. As I was contemplating the printing, I decided I wanted the reversed squares on a band of color that spread across the entire width of the card. I spent about a day trying to come up with a way to do that with my little square What I realized was that I just needed to recarve the squares on a larger block. I needed to include the entire band in the block. Fortunately it was a quick carve. Totally worth it for the results.

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Materials:
Speedball carving tool
Speedy-Cut white block
Speedball balck+white water-soluble ink
Utrecht American Masters 100% Cotton - White, 90lb/250gsm, Acid Free