Tuesday, February 2, 2010

block printing for all

Whenever "A" makes a piece of furniture, he marks it with an original carving—usually hidden (like on this table), always incredible. Recently, he decided he wanted to explore wood carving a little further, and try his hand a woodblock printing. With this, my mind started zooming. I wanted a piece of this action, and I wanted to introduce the girls to some block printing, too. Since wood carving requires very sharp tools, the girls and I opted for linocut. (...and then I remembered Maya's beautiful cardinal. Oh, the possibilities!)

I recalled the techniques that had gotten dusty in my head (too many years since the days of art school). After we fooled around with the tool and the different tips for a while, we all started to work the kinks out. Still struggling with controlling the lines, the girls decided they would create images that were mostly black (good call). Here's what we ended up with:

a second grader's solar system

a kindergartner's rose

a woodworker's tree scene

...and a metalsmith's hen (this is "Rocky", the beast who continues to eat her own eggs)

We have plans now, many plans—starting with more practice. Custom stamps for friends, prints on cards, teeny little icons to carve, as well as bigger woodcuts. Working in new mediums has a way of stirring up the creative juices that the daily work (in metal, for me) sometimes lets settle.


  1. This is so cool! Wow, you are one very creative family. I have just started to work with wood block carving, and linocut, and I am enjoying both a lot. This is a whole lot of inspitation

  2. Check your spelling Heather, inspiration :)

  3. beautiful. absolutely lovely. thank you for posting about this. i might have to try it. and your husband's woodworking? gorgeous. my husband does woodworking as well. much of his skill is now put into home repairs due to time limitations, but when he makes furniture, i am in awe.

  4. These are so beautiful. Though I am impressed with all of you, I am truly humbled by the kindergartner's rose. As an adult woman I wouldn't be able to turn out something so lovely. I'm laughing so hard about your renegade hen.:) My son wants to start carving so bad but like you I'm very worried about the sharp tools. This would be a nice welcomed activity. Where can I learn more about lino-cut carving? Thanks for such an inspiring post.

  5. i've been wanting to make block prints for years! i think i need to just break down and buy the supplies. thank you for the inspiration! i absolutely love the barred rock hen (yes, it's quite funny how similar our headers are right now). would you by any chance be interested in a trade? a hen print for something handmade by me? let me know!

  6. What a creative family you are! I can imagine how much fun you must have, working on projects together or being inspired by each other's creativity! I really like the block-prints, and yeah, it brings back hazy memories of art school! :D