I made a woodcut of a valley in the Lake District in the moonlight. The hills on the skyline, right of centre, are the Langdale Pikes.
This was was made at the request of a friend, who has a house in the valley. Their house is one of those small rectangles you see, centre left, under the shadow of the hill.
Here is work in progress on the woodcut. Click to enlarge the picture.
The wood is Japanese plywood, 12″ x 9″. The ink is Schmincke Aqua Linoldruck relief printing ink, ivory black. It can be cleaned off with water. The seal is a hand-carved stone seal made my friend and mentor in Japan, who also supplied the special red seal ink, and instructions for its use.
I used “Masa small sheets” Agawami Japanese paper from Intaglio Printmaker. This is thin enough to use for hand-printing but strong enough not to tear when you pull it off the woodcut. It is pure white and very even, which seemed to be apt for the moonlit scene. One side is shiny-smooth and the other is more textured. I printed on the shiny side.
Here is another print, with a crescent moon:
And here is an outtake, a mistake, which I rather like:
My New Year card for 2021 shows a telephone kiosk.
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.
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:
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”
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”
It’s a two-plate woodcut. I call the design “VICISSITUDES” because it shows the ups and downs of the year. The star and the sunrise are cut from a magazine, Vogue or the FT “How to Spend It” supplement, both of which contain high quality paper which cuts cleanly.
The background that looks a dull beige on the computer screen is gold paint. It glistens. It is “Schmincke Aqua Linoprint 35ml Metallics” Gold relief ink from Intaglio Printmaker. It was fun to use and very effective. The black ink is “Schmincke Aqua Linoprint Ivory Black 19 735” 120ml also from Intaglio Printmaker. The paper is Fabriano Unica from Great Art. I did this printing on the Albion Press at East London Printmakers.
Here is one of the cards ready for posting. I tried to get the light on it so you could see the gold ink.
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 whitish. It seemed to work better than the Schminke version.
The gold star is punched out of some golden wrapping paper I received last year.
The paper is Fabriano Unica, cut to size on the marvellous electrical guillotine.
Woodcut, after a statue seen in the British Museum “Sicily Culture and Conquest” exhibition, 24 April 2016. He stood about 12 inches high and dates from 1200AD or so.
This woodcut is done in Shminke Prussian blue AquaLino relief ink, on the marvellous Albion press at East London Printmakers. Fabriano Unica Cream paper from Great Art. Woodcut block 16cm by 11cm from Intaglio Printmaker.
Woodcut is such a great medium. It’s satisfying to cut the wood with the sharp tools. The character of woodcut allows approximation, and fast working. There’s lots that’s not quite right about this image, but I am reluctant to mess around with the blocks. I feel that the woodcut has its own language and I let it be.
Two blocks, postcard size about 6inches by 4inches, printed with Schminke Aqua Liniprint ink using the ancient Albion Press at East London Printmakers.
After an original photograph in the Guardian newspaper 19 December 2015, by David Davies, under the headline: “Carter’s precision thwarts Saints’ revenge bid”.
Northampton 9 Racing 92 9
The caption to the photograph reads: “Racing’s Dan Carter attempts to flick a pass out of the back of his hand before Northampton’s Mike Hayward can drag the New Zealander to the ground”
This is a woodcut, inspired by a huge stone sculpture in the Berlin Tiergarten.
The sculpture was made in limestone in 1961 by Pierre Szekely (1923-2001), a Hungarian sculptor. It stands about 7 ft tall and has depth, about a foot thick. Wikipedia gives the name of the sculpture as “Contact”. I don’t know if it is still there. I saw in in 2012, in the snow, and it looked like an amulet, or sacred object. The shape is both anthropomorphic, and other-worldly. I like the fact that it has feet. I find the shape is satisfying. If I had an amulet, it would be shaped like that.
Woodcut with prussian blue Schminke Aqua Linoprinting ink. Size of woodcut, 2 inches by 3 inches, approx. Done yesterday at East London Printmakers.