Creativity: Carving and Printing

The invention of printing is one of the most important for our culture, allowing for multiple images or words to be produced with minimal fuss and effort. This led eventually to the tabloid press, but let’s not think about that just now…

Carving an image into a flat plate means an artist can make many versions of the same image, all the same, only not quite identical. I helped recently with a children’s week workshop at Ararat Regional Art Gallery in which the kids made simple plates by drawing into a sheet of foam, the images then printed on paper to take home and keep, and a second print onto a large banner with their school mates work. This activity re-whet my appetite for print making!

I’ve been carving and printing when I get a few minutes – often when I ‘should’ be going to bed. The old truck was done a few years ago (the actual truck is no longer trapped amongst saplings), and the Ginko leaf I’d drawn but not carved until I rediscovered it after the workshop. The red-inked one is of two peony flowers, taken from a Japanese textile design. I found the multi-image frame, and decided to put 5 themed prints in it, starting with the Ginko leaf. The Japanese stone lantern is from our visit to Portland, Oregon, and the teapot from tea related stamps I’ve done for cards and tags. I think I’ll use a conifer from the three I’ve made so far, and I did a Japanese style tea bowl to complete the set. I’m pretty happy with it – I just have to make a print on suitable paper and add it to the frame.

Being creative so often involves all kinds of practicalities and problem solving,but that’s all part of the fun, don’t you think?

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