A guest post by Ania of Paper Cut Works.
Block printing is the exact opposite of paper cutting, a new adventure for my “x-acto knife-wired” brain & hand. You begin by transferring a soft-pencil sketch onto the block, then using a chisel to carefully carve out the portions of the design you’d leave intact in a papercut.
To stay true to my papercutting roots however I began with creating a stencil of a heart and then transferring it onto the linoleum. A drawing of the design does not create the same lines as an x-acto knife and I wanted to make sure to keep this piece in my original family of anatomy-inspired hearts.
Since this was my first attempt working with this century+ old technique I had to stop in the middle of the process several times just to think through the steps and make sure I’m not ruining my print! When I cut through paper, I’m used to being able to elongate a vein or thicken the artery if the proportions don’t look right. Here however there is no turning back. You can start out bigger and then slim image parts down, but you can’t do the reverse.
Linoleum sheets are fairly soft and easy to navigate, an interesting change from paper! & I really enjoyed discovering a new cutting/carving tool and working through its limitations. Printing & pulling are skills of their own! I had to experiment with the paint quite a bit – not only the shade but also the amount to get the color and texture just right.
And here it is. My first limited edition hand pulled block print. Big thanks to my best friend Robin, a talented print maker, for teaching me this new skill!
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