New Year 2021

Happy New Year!

My New Year card for 2021 shows a telephone kiosk.

New Year, 2021, “Connection”, woodcut 6″ x4″, on Japanese Kozo paper

I am of a generation for whom the telephone kiosk was, at one time in my life, an important feature of communications. You looked for them. You found them. They were either working or not. The inside smelt of old metal, coinage, leaves and urine. The phone was heavy and cold. The thick cord was twisted. You had to have the right coins. Sometimes coins jammed in the slot, or went straight through the mechanism without registering. So if you were experienced, and organised, you had a whole series of coins of different denominations ready to put in, in case the first one didn’t work. If your call was important, or if you needed to write something down, it was helpful to have a friend with you in the telephone kiosk, standing by with the coins, poised to enter them rapidly as the pips went. There was a risk-based calculation about what denomination of coin to enter, and in what order. You might enter small change first, while you worked out if the person you wanted was in, then drop in the big money for the important conversation, so that the pips did not cut you off at a critical point. You might enter a variety of change at the beginning in the hope that some of it would be returned if the call was shorter than you expected. But your money was not always returned.

Connection, Woodcut.

Above all, a telephone kiosk represented hope: the hope of connection. That’s my hope for 2021.

Also in the woodcut I put some people. These might be the three wise men, looking for hope and salvation in a humble building.

I based my woodcut on phone boxes I have encountered recently. It is a K2 phone box, like the one at Lower Marsh, Waterloo. You can tell, because it has six rows of windows.

Here is work in progress:

The background gold colour is, amazingly, watercolour: Daniel Smith Iridescent Gold. The red is Schmincke relief printing ink. The paper came, via friends, from “Paper Nao” in Tokyo. It is kozo paper, I think K-148, and brilliant for hand-printing. It doesn’t crinkle, it takes the colour well, and it’s really strong so it doesn’t tear when you pull it off the plate.

I like phone boxes. They appear in various of my drawings, see for example, these posts:

Some previous New Year Cards are here:

New Year 2018

Here are my greetings for the New Year, sent as cards. They are woodcuts, two plates. The orange/red colour was printed first. The black colour is the Schminke “Aquadruck” black relief ink diluted with extender kindly lent to me by Connie at East London Printmakers. Her extender was from the Caligo range, and was slightly … Continue reading “New Year 2018”

New Year 2019

Happy New Year! I made a woodcut. This is a greetings card, about 7″x5″. It is from two woodblocks, one orange and one blue. Here is work in progress at East London Printmakers: In the background you see the Albion press I used for printing. It is a wonderful cast-iron machine. As well as the … Continue reading “New Year 2019”

6 thoughts on “New Year 2021”

    1. Ah – those were the days! The calculations one had to do. Save up that half-crown to use for the long-distance chats. I hope she said “I love you too” before the pips went.

      Happy New Year Billy and thank you for all your “likes” and comments.

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      1. Thanks, Jane. She pretended she didn’t hear me, which looking back was probably a sign that it was not meant to be. Happy new “something” is what a friend said this morning.

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        1. A greetings card from a friend said “Hold back and hang on” which I thought was a good greeting too – or should that be “Hang back and hold on”?

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