Twenty-six linoleum block prints in one month. Process. Breathe.
I am really excited to be doing this project. Throughout December I’ll be illustrating the alphabet using linoleum block prints. I was lucky enough to be invited to blog while I work, and I’m hoping you’ll find something of interest in what I write.
So here goes.
Carving a linoleum block is not hard, really, although the first block proceeds slowly at first. I have trepidation, I am tentative and I fret over details. Finally, peeved, I simply draw the image, reverse it and transfer it onto the linoleum block. Time to carve. I’m excited now, as I love carving, and it goes quickly for me. I love the lines that emerge, and I fall into a rhythm, remembering my style, sinking into the work. I carve and shape, heat the block with an iron (easier to cut a slightly warm linoleum) and then shape and carve again.
An hour or so later, I ink the block, and the lines solidify themselves in black. I pull several prints; the quality varies. Ink again, pull. I try different papers: tracing paper, thick printmaker’s paper, the pages from an old dictionary just for kicks.
I am giddy, my first linoleum block is done.
But this is just the beginning. I know from experience that some days will unfold seamlessly, while on others I’ll despise the work, dreading it even though it is deeply satisfying and I gain from the practice of doing it daily.
This should be interesting.
Jennie Nuese is an artist and designer living in Madison, WI. Following a childhood spent in small town Iowa and several stints of travel, she landed in Wisconsin where she attended UW Madison, graduating in Geography. Today she works in a range of mediums, from photography to paint to collage and printmaking. Drawn to meanings often reticent in simple daily life, her work reflects the textures, shadows and beauty of life as she has experienced it.
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