Sunday, March 17, 2013

the making of a giant linoleum block print

Last autumn we were asked to be a featured artist in an event called Roadworks, a fund-raiser for the San Francisco Center for the Book-- the place where we learned to letterpress print!

This entailed creating an original design and carving it by hand into a 36" square linoleum block. At the event the block was inked up, placed on the street with a sheet of paper on top and run over by a steam roller. Yes- a steam roller!!

It's an exciting event that draws a great crowd and we were so honored to be asked to participate. 

Here's a little "behind the scenes" on how the print came to be. 

What started as a sketch became a digital illustration that was scaled from a 6" square to a 36" design printed in 6 inch blocks and assembled in a grid. 

The fully assembled grid was then transferred on to the linoleum using a very stinky liquid solvent. 

We carved the block one quadrant at a time using these Speedball carving tools. 

I inked it up and took a proof:

Five of the prints sold at Roadworks to benefit SFCB and we have just produced a pair of editions that are for sale NOW in our Etsy shop. We have a very small number of prints available- 17 in black ink and 21 in red. 

The image area is 36" x 36" and the paper size is 40" x 40. It was printed on a flatbed french etching press on archival 100% cotton Arches Rives BFK. 

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