Printmaking in California! – Part 2

October 8, 2012 § 7 Comments

Adjusting the Jackrabbit and Poppy linoleum block after pulling a test print.

Triumph! After two straight intensive weeks of printmaking with artist Don Mackessy down in California we have the start of a body of work!

So far we have nine prints designed for a linocut series of the flora and fauna of California. This week I wanted to share some images of the initial steps in our process.

Panorama of the ocean at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz, CA.

Carving the California Poppy print at night.

Our process – step by step:

1. Concept and image design
2. Transfer images onto linoleum
3. Carve linoleum blocks
4. Run test prints and adjust carving
5. Print editions!

The old 100 year old stereotype printing press we are using to hand print our linocut editions. After we drop the felt cloth over the block, we slowly turn the crank and run the block through the press.

Pelicans and Surfer at Natural Bridges, Santa Cruz, Graphite on Paper, 5 x 8.25″, 2012

We put a lot of thought into which natural elements to combine for our imagery. Each design was then transferred onto our linoleum blocks using acetone and old magnetic style photocopies (not ink jet prints). For the blocks themselves we mounted cut sheets of linoleum onto fitted pieces of cabinet grade plywood.

We then meticulously hand carved the imagery into the linoleum.

Once the linoleum block was completely carved we ran test prints. Our press is a hundred year old stereotype press from Chicago with a hand crank. It feels amazing to run a block and to feel the pressure imbedding the ink onto the page.

We still have more blocks to carve and will update next week with more images of our linocut editions!

Thanks for reading!  <<<>>>  More next week…

Sneak peek at a print featuring the San Francisco garter snake.

Don’s inky fingers patiently carving up a linocut of silk moth.

A large tree filled with woodpecker holes at Quail Hollow Ranch.

In process image of my carving of the Jackrabbit and Poppy print.

The carved linoleum block for the Jackrabbit and Poppy print inked up during test printing. Whatever is carved is left white on the page.

Making red colored drawing ink from collected redwood seeds.

For some of the delicate detail work we used magnifying lamps.

Snake and mushroom print in process. It was so pleasant to work outside among the trees.

Beautiful art deco Masonic and Egyptian themed mausoleum at a cemetery in Santa Cruz.

California!

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