Tonight we had folks over for dinner and made blueberry smoothies and a simple pasta with some delicious arugula pesto made by the lovely Kate from New Orleans.
Siena’s been hard at work carving a block with the house to make the print rewards. Let me tell you, there’s nothing more production-inspiring to me than someone else sitting next to me, making art. I remembered a piece of birch plywood found when we were moving out of the apartment and decided to join in on the woodcut glory. We’d also planned a collection of all-occasion cards and I wanted to add something whimsical.
I mapped out a card-sized area and started brainstorming ideas, clicking through an accumulation of images I’d saved on my computer to jog my creative juices. Lujia asked if he could join, so we went downstairs and found a saw and divided the large board into two matrices. Another friend, Netta, also wanted to carve, so they headed to the basement to split the wood again.
I had been looking at old-fashioned prams as possible imagery for graduation invites, and decided to pull them out again for the card. I’m also quite attracted to sea monsters and nature illustrations, so I turned to a collection of these and found a lovely narwhal. Putting them together, I sketched a baby narwhal nestled snugly into an antique pram.
Although I learned basic techniques in a printmaking class, the others hadn’t done relief carving before, and Siena shared her techniques. I work slowly, so by the time I finished my sketch, Lujia had already started carving his chosen subject, a horned man floating in the open sea with a giant whale tail rising behind. Netta, too, was miles ahead. She’d already photographed her feet, sketched them out, and dipped into the surface with the gauges and chisels Siena generously shared.
It was getting late, so we called another potluck the following evening to finish our work.