Monday, July 30, 2007


Foggy, 4"x6" print on 5.5"x7.5" paper

The fog comes on little cat feet..., Carl Sandburg.

Foggy was the definition of scaredy-cat, which is probably why he lived to nineteen, far out-distancing his more adventurous sister, Smoggy, and later, Stormy. He knew when to make himself scarce, but then he was there again, creeping back into view.
I started carving a block with a Summer & Winter weaving pattern -- so named because when you flip it over, the dark/light color pattern is reversed to light/dark -- called Cat Tracks. (Summer & Winter weave coverlets were popular with the Colonial Americans, who presumably reversed them seasonally.)
I used the alcohol/baby wipe technique to transfer a printer image to a Baltic birch plywood block, which was more than adequate to carve the detailed weave pattern. I used Daniel Smith ochre water-based ink and a baren to hand-print the block onto cream-colored Arches paper.
I then carved a second block and tapped on a grey mixture of Daniel Smith black water-based ink and an opaque white etching ink, in a splotchy manner to mimic fog. I used a baren to hand-print an off-center image of the cat, as if it is just drifting into the image.
This is my SWNS07 exchange print.


m.Lee said...

This is a really interesting piece! Do you have any images of the image transferred to the block? I now am stocked with plenty of baby wipes of course but I am a big fan of the glue technique.

Ellen Shipley said...

Hi Marissa,

Yes, I uploaded an image two posts back.

You're my gold standard when it comes to multiple block printing, so I'm pleased you find it interesting. 8-]

Diane Cutter said...

What a delightful piece, Ellen. I love that weave and the cat is inspired! Glad I'm in this exchange is all I can say!

Annie B said...

I love the Colonial weave pattern. Must've taken you a good chunk of time to carve that! Neat effect with the black and white inks, too. I like this piece a lot.

Letter C said...

Oh I am so glad I'm in that exchange!

Ellen Shipley said...

Thanx guys. 8-] *dog wiggle*

Ellen Shipley said...

Carving the weave pattern wasn't difficult, but it did take time. I got into a rythmn, but I found I couldn't stick with it for very long. So this small block took days to carve!

Being a weaver, I'm pleased I finally found a way to work weaving into my printmaking. 8-]

Lin said...

I think adding Foggy really jazzes up the pattern of the weave. There's something about asymmetry that makes a picture more visually interesting.

Planet Janet said...

How cool and creative of you! I really like this. Remember Bianca's prints in spring? I made some like hers (with her OK) and am printing over them, kind of like you've done here. Hope to see you next week in class. Janet