Block prints

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rick
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Block prints

Post by rick »

Anyone recognise the inspiration for this? Hiding for some well deserved peace and quiet in the oak tree last year?
Of course, it will be better viewed when inked up and on paper and I'll let you know when I get the paper properly 'sized' (experiments needed) and, oh so hopefully, comes out OK. It should ... a bit nervous for the next bit. I've tried several test blocks with mixed success and finally have the correct paper, tools and a rudimentary knowledge of how it aught to work.
IMG_20200407_125038-1.jpeg
IMG_20200407_125038-1.jpeg (82.08 KiB) Viewed 319 times
bigyetiman
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Re: Block prints

Post by bigyetiman »

Excellent, you are very talented, the printed result should be good. Looking forward to your next picture :-)08 :-)08 :-)08
MrsBiscuit
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Re: Block prints

Post by MrsBiscuit »

No idea on the inspiration, but I am full of admiration for this! I can't wait to see the finished article.
Margaid
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Re: Block prints

Post by Margaid »

I'm not very good at identifying them unless it's Aran or they have a leg ring but it is excellent. Really looking forward to seeing the finished print.
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Marigold
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Re: Block prints

Post by Marigold »

It looks amazing Rick. Could you perhaps let us know how you go about this? eg materials and methods?
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rick
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Re: Block prints

Post by rick »

Thanks for the encouragement! It would be a very long post Marigold but will do (in a while.) I've been trying to get enough of a grasp of the process - the real test will be coming up with new art in quantity worthy of the effort of becoming this sort of print. Its amazing how trying to do it makes me look at the old prints, both east and west (when it was the only way of doing it) with awe - especially for half a dozen colours!
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Marigold
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Re: Block prints

Post by Marigold »

Perhaps you could send us a link that would explain it for you?
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rick
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Re: Block prints

Post by rick »

Well this by David Bull has been completely invaluable resource
http://woodblock.com/encyclopedia/index.html
I'm having to stray from the 'pure' path a fair bit, not only being so far away from suppliers where you can go in and see things but also it would get very expensive to experiment with good cherry blocks. There must be some wood that comes close - high quality lime is very good but, again, you have to buy several meters of it to see what quality is actually on offer. The easiest, cheapest and most consistent material is printers ply which is what the above is on. It would be lovely to get hold of some proper cherry just to see how it works as a comparison (I have a feeling it would be a lot nicer to work with.)
Another thing is the traditional way of transferring the art to the block. That is sooo hard! A very thin paper is used on which the artist paints the black lines of the picture. That is then pasted face down to the block and the paper rubbed away leaving only the ink - sounds easy enough but as soon as the paper hits the paste it expands, That wouldn't be too bad if it was to stay 'black and white' but from the first block several prints are made - one for each colour block and then pasted and cut on a new block. Cutting the 'keyline destroys the original drawing so if anything goes wrong then the block cutter would be going back to the producer to ask the artist to draw it again - and that would be the last time they got the gig! The potential for mis-registration is enormous and, to be honest, it would be years of failure to get anywhere near a good result (even if I didn't sack myself!)
So I've cheated - well not so much cheated but used what they didn't have which is a scanner to capture the original and an inkjet printer to print onto wax paper and transfer the wet image to the block that way. Its still getting original brushwork on paper reversed onto the block but with the confidence that the subsequent blocks will be perfectly registered and any blocks that are messed up when cutting (all too easy) can be printed again.
So far so good...
The bit I'm really looking forward to is that when the blocks are ready then the colours can be experimented with. They can be changed and blended on the blocks so, even when the best effect is settled, no two prints will be quite exactly the same. Although Mrs G in the oak tree is ideal for testing the paper with a single colour (black), adding some greens with a simple second block should be nice.
Margaid
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Re: Block prints

Post by Margaid »

I wondered how you managed the registration of the different colours! I don't think using a bit of modern technology is a problem. A block maker would probably have served a very long apprenticeship to make a single colour block and years more before being let loose on multiple colours.
MrsBiscuit
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Re: Block prints

Post by MrsBiscuit »

What a shame, I know where there are plenty of felled old cherry trees, although they do belong to somebody. Its a real shame, about a mile off the road, along a track there used to be a field of mature cherries, seemingly abandoned. Then 2 years ago they were felled, but the owner hasn't removed them or replanted, although somebody is planting up new cherry orchards around here, they grow excellently.

Whatever you achieve I am sure it will be better than 99% of us could do, plus the creator is always hardest on themselves. I am sure the results will be great, I know we will appreciate them!
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