- [Baren 38632] Ten weeks for two woodcuts? (Gayle Wohlken)
- [Baren 38633] Re: Actor seeks Advice on woodcut printmaking (Diana Moll)
- [Baren 38634] Re: Actor seeks Advice on woodcut printmaking (ArtfulCarol # aol.com)
- [Baren 38635] J.Mundie-Hanshita (Andrew Stone)
- [Baren 38636] actor printmaker (Jennifer Martindale)
- [Baren 38637] Re: Actor seeks Advice on woodcut printmaking (Barbara Mason)
- [Baren 38638] Re: Actor seeks Advice on woodcut printmaking (David Bull)
- [Baren 38639] Re: Summit 2010 (Diane Cutter)
- [Baren 38640] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
Regarding the actor's questions, ten weeks for two woodcuts seems
reasonable to me only if they are intricate designs, but for me it
would be much less time. It takes me longer to plan a design than to
execute it. But I have a more casual style of working. I think if
you work slowly and carefully, you could take much more time to carve
something. I think if he's going to show the audience the two
letters, they probably should look colorful and fancy rather than
plain for the time he will have put into the carving and printing.
My 2 cents......
10 weeks seems a bit long, for a professional, who actually should
know better than to stay up for four days, you can't carve on no
sleep (well I sure can't). OTOH the whole point is that is takes
longer than a computer program and unless the audience is filled with
woodblock artists you have to exaggerate to make a point in the mind
of the audience.
How motivated and dedicated is this guy? He sounds pretty obsessed
and is trying to bring his art to the next level; 2 months of design
is long time to get something decent, but not too long if you are
creating something magic.
Waving from the eastern side of the Pacific Ocean,
About the actor seeking advice about an Alphabet series of woodblocks.:
Baren had an alphabet exchange. Those participants would have much to say.
For a photocopier-assisted hanshita I use the student-grade Shin Torinoko paper from McClains. I cut it to photocopy size and make sure it copies onto the smooth side. I glue it down smooth side to the board and when it is lightly moistened, the thick side will easily delaminate by gently rubbing until it starts to pill and I can roll/peel large pieces off and I can get it down to a very thin layer. It works much better than plain photocopy paper and with a touch of mineral or vegetable oil the paper really disappears.
I also use plain old Elmers white glue.
Don't make the mistake of using the other yellow products. I used another and couldn't get the paper off the block.
I am reminded of the old joke about being asked for directions, and the answer begins with 'I wouldn't start from here...'. Some months planning and sketching 26 letters seems reasonable to me, but I would want to cut 26 separate blocks.
However I suppose he could do 2 A1 blocks doing all 26 on each block with a different colour on each. ie a 2 colourway print. If he wants to have prints on a single sheet of paper, he is going to have to sort out the folding and cut the letters accordingly ie NOT in alphabetical order but in 'folding for the final book' sequence.
Is the final printing technique (ie hand or machine) relevant to the play I wonder? It sure is to the cutting decisions. Good luck
I cannot see working for 4 days with no sleep on carving, maybe on printing but you would not produce much good work with no sleep so I think they might say "little" sleep instead of no sleep. Maybe he just slept on the carving bench.
I have certainly burned the midnight oil in the printing but never in the carving. If I carve when too tired I surely carve things away I don't want to and do a poor job of the rest.
But I do think it makes a point of how much work it is.
I have been getting ready for an exhibit using solarplates, so it is printed with a press since it is an etching with color rolled over the wiped plate. I have an assistant drop paper for me and it has taken us a week of printing 8 hours a day and we are nowhere near done. My assistant says art is darn hard work and no one who sees it will have any idea the amount of energy that goes into it...and this is just the printing part. I am doing 4 copies of each image, one to keep in my book of work, one to frame and two to send to galleries. Then I will need to do it all over again some day soon since this is not really editioning the work but sort of just proofing it, although I do number the first 3 and make really good notes on the one I keep so I can print the next 4 of each one in a few weeks.
I can honestly say that printing 200 of an etching would take weeks and weeks and weeks....with the two of us working I get about 6 an hour and if they are larger, maybe 4 or 5. It is a lot of work. We do suffer for our art, don't we????
I think printing woodblock is faster if there are only a few colors, but I am working a lot larger so maybe if you were inking a large block it would be the same. I know Dave sure spends weeks printing one image.
Here's a follow-up from the actor:
Thanks you all for your comments. It's great to have people who know
what they're talking about helping one who doesn't...
I think perhaps the world of the play and the real world got a little
mixed so to clarify:
The character in the play, Mark, was something of a protege at art
college, winning scholarships and bursaries but has struggled since
leaving. He has recently quit work (at a Post office) to concentrate
on his craft and has spent the last few years maturing his technique
and style. He is producing an illustrated Alphabet book for children.
The project has been 4 months in the planning, it''s the one he's been
'holding on for' and is intended to be a 'stunning calling card' for
If this was you, 4 months of planning? Perhaps drawing the 26 letters
and illustrations, sound reasonable?
And in ten weeks he has completed two Woodcuts: A for Aardvark and B
for Bunny. - Currently the play's designer has created two black and
white illustrations both A2 Size with gothic lettering in the corners
that serve as Mark's first two prints. Ten weeks two woodcuts? If they
were 'exquisite' would that be a 'superb start'?
In answer to Diana's question I'm trying to work out how dedicated and
motivated he is. I believe he thinks he is but whether or not he is
functioning as efficiently and as creatively as he might I don't yet
know, hence hounding you lot for answers. He is certainly obsessed
with the idea of his work being great, and creating something magic.
He says: "My plan isn't to fall into someone else's niche but to
create my own".
His partner, a graphic designer, is pregnant and she has been paying
for everything for the past 6 months, since Mark quit his job,
including the champagne he has bought to celebrate his "fantastic
start to the book" at the top of the play.
My question is how fantastic a start is it?
Also working from home how much would it cost to professional equip
yourself with a Woodcutters Studio?
Thank you all again for taking the time to read. I really appreciate
any ideas you have. Even if it's not a direct answer to my vague
questions, any thoughts or feelings that might help me better
understand the artistry of woodcutting and printing.
Ah, Maria... I am disappointed as I was truly looking forward to a Nevada gathering... but I know how important family matters are and understand. You are such a dynamo and part of the guts of Baren and I know you gave this a lot of thought before telling us the unhappy news.
Thank you for contacting Le about the alternative. I just hope, should this one take off, that we'll see you at a San Antonio summit. And I wish you the very best for you and your family.
Postings made on [Baren] members' blogs
over the past 24 hours ...
Posted by: Georgina
I found that the second cutting was much more satisfying with wood than lino, infact I don't do second cuttings in lino! the woodcut was slightly more elegant and the printing of wood is preferable to lino. Now I love instead of loathing my block, so how do I protect it when using water based inks, I wiped as much off as possible then wipred with a wet sponge and it seemed to clean up OK. Yes and I really got the hang of using the tools and sharpening them which was very satisfying also. I am surprised by this result. The cut woodblock is quite beautiful and could nearly (I stress nearly, infact make it possibly) be a wood relief icon. What do people do with their woodblocks when they are done, oil them? have them on display?
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