Printing digression

I’ve produced my very first woodcut print. Hadn’t really planned to. I saw a lovely photograph of a black-headed seagull in the Café on Brownsea Island. Took a photo of the photo.

I wanted to do a sketch of the photo and just thought that it would fit nicely on the chunk of plywood I had in my studio for some other purpose. Having sketched it in black chalk, I thought, “I could just cut around that and print from it”. So I did. Carved the outline with lino cutters (probably to their detriment) and then hacked out the background with carpenter’s chisels. Is a horrible material. It doesn’t chip out, it just rips. I lost part of its tail and nearly lost its head.

But in the end, I like the print. Just lively and perky, like the original bird. I will try it again, but not with shuttering ply. I have a nice block of lime wood which I think will be much better.

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