Friday, December 18, 2015
Printshop holiday 2 -- linocutting
I wrote yesterday about the first day of my printing workshop at the Portland Museum, where we typeset and printed a short poem. The second day we each cut a linoleum block to print the top of the broadside (technical printer-speak for a big piece of paper, suitable for display).
I was disappointed in the poem, from the standpoint of having to make an illustration to go with it. Not that I have anything against horses, but I don't know how to draw horses, don't want to learn, and didn't want to make some lame picture that would look like third-grade-drawing-school-dropout. So alone among my co-participants, I went abstract.
In four years of daily art I have discovered a personal affinity for the spiral and the eye; can't count how many times they have showed up in my hand-stitching and collages. They have become my default imagery, and they stepped up to the plate again in the printshop. I focused on the last line of the poem -- I want out -- and decided the trapped eye was an excellent depiction of that emotion.
Here's Gray Zeitz, our master printer, getting my block on the press. His meticulous makeready was fun to watch -- the block was a shade too low, so he built it up with several sheets of paper underneath -- and ensured a perfect impression when we printed.
Here's what the final broadsides looked like: