Monday, November 29, 2010

Test Print -- Xmas Card

Very rough test print, just to see how the blocks work together.  Poor alignment is operator error.  ;-j  I definitely think it's going to work!

Stonework's a little dark, but I think it'll work.  Have to work on inking techniques next.  I need to make myself some felt daubers.

This one's better.  And I can see how I have to carve away more of the board, around Tay especially.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Block 2 Almost There

Almost there on block 2.  Still a little more to clear away on the stonework before I can test print, but Thanksgiving prep may postpone that until after the holiday.

I like how it's coming.  I just hope I can align the two blocks!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Block 2 -- Christmas 2010

Starting to carve block 2.  Outlined the antlers and working on the stonework.

I finished up some detail on block 1 as well.  Anything else will have to wait for a test print.

And back to block 2.


And back at it again this morning.  Got another hour in.


I powdered the block to get a better view of the stonework.  I'm trying to decide whether to carve the mortar or leave it dark.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Carving -- Christmas 2010

 I started carving the first block last night, just to get it off the ground. 

Back at it again today.  This took a couple hours.

And here's a close-up of the block.  I may have to clear away a little more around the elements.  I'll see when I test print it.  Still have more details to carve.

I have a couple small brayers and bake, or Japanese stencil brushes that should work nicely for inking.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Transfering Cartoon -- Christmas 2010

Transfering the cartoon to the blocks today.  I'm tracing the same image on both blocks, even tho I won't be carving the same elements on both.  Partly for alignment and partly because I'm obsessvie/compulsive about it.  ;- j

Here's the process.  I carved a couple of kento-like notches in the cartoon to aid in placement.

Here's where I've chalked the back of the cartoon so I can trace it onto the blocks.  Normally I use a pink or yellow chalk, which works really great with black dyed boards.  But I had to switch to black chalk for it to show up on the stained boards.  I just have to remember which system I'm using and stick with it.

I like to carve details like the stonework or the antlers freehand as I go.  There has to be some surprise in the piece to keep it lively.

Enough displacing.  Back to work.  ;- j

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Coloring Cartoons

Working out the colors for the two blocks.  The first block will have the major areas of color -- sky, reindeer, Tay.

The second block will have the detailed bits -- stonework, antlers, harness, initials.

Actually I'll carve this:

And this:

I can roll on the major areas of color and tap on the fiddly bits, like the harness.

It works on paper.  We shall see if it works in wood.  ;- j


I restained the boards, so I won't be able to transfer the cartoons today.  Tomorrow.

Also, in restaining the boards, I noticed a straight line coming up on both boards.  Looks like a spot where one top laminate sheet was attached to another.  It's smooth to the touch, but I don't know if it will show on the print, like wood grain.  I've considered the cartoons, and I'll probably be able to avoid the area for most of the printing surface.  Guess we'll see.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas Card Chimera

Here's my chimera.  Something only a mother could love.  ;- j  I'm about to draw my cartoon.  Then I'll sand and stain the boards.  Going for two this time...I hope.  We shall see!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Design Stage -- Christmas Card

The Schuyler House Christmas card is in the design stage.  That's Tay, the office dog (or one of them, but he's there most days).  He greets everyone with the hope of getting up a game of tug or fetch.  I imagined him greeting Santa's team on the castle ramparts.*

I googled oodles of reindeer, castle crenellations, even the harness Santa prefers.  ;->  I don't know what I'd do without the internet for inspiration and research.

I might crop out some of the reindeer to give the impression of the rest of the team behind him.

*The Schuyler House logo is a castle.