Into the woods

I did a drawing I was pleased with, because of the trees, textures and path. It was pencil, but when I took a photo of it in less than perfect light conditions, it turned sepia, which suited it, I thought.

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I’m now trying to turn it into a print, drawing it again, simplifying and changing it a bit, ready to be cut, possibly as another black and white print using both wood-cutting tools for removing the large areas of light and wood engraving tools to make patterned textures and greys/mid tones. I’m not experienced in doing this, so it’s exciting, but could be a disaster.

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I’m using vinyl flooring again. It’s a surprise how well wood engraving-type cutting prints on this stuff. You’d think fine lines would fill in, but they didn’t on the last plate I made using this method¬†http://wp.me/p4W8Uu-a0

This is how the latest one turned out, after a long time removing the sky to show the trees with lino cutting tools and using the same plus wood-engraving tools on the foreground.

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I was pleased with the print, but wondered how it would look if I made a second plate with more trees on it. I printed it first in a light grey, then printed the main trees on top. I spent a long time fiddling with the tones, and trying to stop the light grey trees showing through. Where they crossed the black trees there was a kind of ghost image, but I don’t think it matters – it looks a bit like shadows.

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More handmade books

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I’ve improved the method. On the plus side the books hold together better and are stronger and neater. On the negative, they still take a long time to make, even when I do several of the same size at the same time. For each book Somerset paper is torn by hand ¬†into 15 pieces, which are then folded and smoothed flat with a bone folder. They are carefully sewn together on to an inner spine of bookcloth. Boards are cut for the covers with bookcloth cut to fit between and hold them together, then two prints are cut to fit front and back. A liquid wax-like coating is then brushed on to the print to protect it.

 

Handmade Books

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I’ve recently learned how to make handmade sketchbooks/journals and have been practising. It’s quite straightforward, but fiddly and time-consuming cutting the paper, sewing it all together, then cutting bookcloth to cover the spine, but rewarding to make something. I think they look good with a print on the cover and back from my drawer of proofs. Now I need to see if anyone wants to buy one.

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