New Jumbo Woodcut: Blood and Bones

Hey everybody! Here are some process shots from a giant woodcut I recently wrapped up.  It’s called “Blood and Bones” and was created for a Day of the Dead show at the Art House Gallery in downtown Fresno.  When they invited me to do the show they said I had a 4 foot by 4 foot space.  So naturally I decided to carve a 3.5 foot by 3.5 foot block.

I  started by making a small drawing which I then blew up to the appropriate size.  Here you see Tali helping me piece the blown-up image together.

 

LeeAnnDiCicco_Bones9

LeeAnnDiCicco_Bones8

All pieced together and ready to be transferred onto the block!

 

Then a lot of carving happened…

LeeAnnDiCicco_Bones3And then some more…

LeeAnnDiCicco_Bones4And then we changed directions entirely…and did even more carving!

Tali, get out of the way!  "But I'm helping!"

Tali, get out of the way! “But I’m helping…by being adorable.”

 

Finally it was time to ink up and print.

Like my big periodic table block I printed this big fella with a wooden spoon.  Here I am just peeling back the paper a bit to check my progress.

Like my big periodic table block I printed this big fella with a wooden spoon. Here I am just peeling back the paper a bit to check my progress.

 

And here’s the completed piece in my state-of-the-art drying rack (taped onto the wall).

 

LeeAnnDiCicco_Bones7

Woo hoo!  I’m loving doing these over-sized blocks, even though printing them with a spoon is starting to lose some of its charm.  Though taking a full day to print one of these guys with a spoon does give me a chance to visit with an old college friend. And that friend, of course, is tendinitis. On a related note, I was wondering if any of you have any experience printing with a print frog? I’m thinking of picking one up and would be interested in hearing about your experiences with them.  Please let me know in the comments!

 

 

Big Skull

Hello everbody!  Here are some photos of a new print I’ve been working on.  It’s big.  It’s a skull.  It’s called BIG SKULL!bigskull2 bigskull1These are a few shots of the first few proofs I pulled in black ink.

bigskull5 BigSkull3And here are the blocks rolled up in color.  When I started this piece I didn’t have any large blocks handy, so the image is actually kind of a mosaic made up of nine smaller lino blocks.  You can see in the picture that the small blocks are being held in place with a jig. The image was large and simple enough that I was able to roll on ink of different colors without having to use a stencil, reduction cut, or any of the other more comlicated techniques usually required for achieving multiple colors.

 

BigSkull4The first color proof!  But wait, that’s not all!Bigskull7 bigskull6I wanted to bust out some sweet chine-collé action. And if you are asking yourself  “What the hizzety is chine-collé?”  first of all, you are bad at cursing.  Second, allow me to explain! Chine-collé is a printmaking technique in which colored paper is added to a print.  In the pictures above you can see that I am using one of my proofs as a template to cut out some nice pink and red unryu paper.  I apply some glue to the colored paper, and place it just so in between the blocks and the thicker white paper.  It is like the beautiful filling in some kind of printmaking sandwich.  Then it all goes through the press and comes out looking like this:

 

bigskull11Bam!

bigskull8

The chine-collé version is on the left. The regular two-color version is on the right.

I did a couple of different versions and am looking forward to doing a few more with different color combinations. bigskull9bigskull10

Big ol' pile of  chine-collé stuff.

Big ol’ pile of chine-collé stuff.

 

In other less fun news, my cat Gary died this week and I am now super sad.  I am going to miss him a lot, and know that it will be a big adjustment not having him around sitting on my feet while I’m trying to print and climbing into my lap every time I sit down.  He was the best cat ever, and not just because he made my process photos way more adorable.

GoodbyeGary

He could do more with one eye than most cats could with two. Except when it came to depth perception. He had really bad depth perception. Now I guess he just has DEATH perception. …alright that was a pretty bad pun, even for me. But give me a break, okay? I’m grieving. : (

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