Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Steamroller Print - Block Carving Pt. 3 something new this way comes

Every once in a while you get a gift. You make a breakthrough and you know it's going to change how you work. My brother gave me a dremel knock-off tool probably 10 years ago. I just never had the need for it but I always wanted it. He used it often as he worked in wood, but I was happy with my hand tools and the marks I got from them. In printmaking class I saw my teacher use the dremel making intaglio plates with the dremel on sheets of acrylic. I tried it. It didn't catch me. But I woke up with a nagging feeling that I should get it out and try it. It turns out it was exactly what I needed to give this block that little push over the edge that is so exciting.

I had to move my work into the studio due to a week-long forecast of rain. I got myself set up for the duration.

Having never used the dremel tool before I just picked it up and tried it. Risky but whatever. It worked. I knew I could just carve it away somehow if it went wrong.

So the first thing I got were these delicious circles! Wow! I hope they are deep enough to print but we'll cross that bridge later. I used the dremel to texturize the shoulders of the road as well.

And then I knew it would make or break the only text in this image. It is a key part of the piece and if I carve it wrong, by hand or with the dremel, I am really in for a hard time to get this print looking right. So, very slowly and very very carefully bit by bit I carved away the wood to reveal the sign at the side of the road. Text must be carved as its mirror-image so it will print properly.

The sign is complete and intact. 

I added some lines to the trees behind and around the sign and left it for the day. Next will be bringing out some details in the farmland, adding some shading to the housing development and then the rest of the block, over half of it, is the sky. A lot of work ahead.

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