Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Snowflakes are Carving

Let the carving begin.  A lotta-little lines.  The trick will be to remember the snowflakes and swirl lines are white on blue in the top and blue on white in the bottom!

Chip, chip, chip.  Repeat.


Another 45 min.  Time to stretch.


Another carving session.  Stretching.  Think I'll ice the knot at the base of my neck.


Another session.

And another.  


More carving.  Listening to Christmas music on Pandora to get in the mood.  ;- ]



Chip-chip-chipping along.

Faux print -- b&w and mirror image of the block to see what it'll look like.  Not bad.


Another carving session.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Snowflakes are starting to dance.

This is the portion that will show up on the card:

Need to tweak those swirly lines a bit.

Carving.  Finally!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cartoon Transfer

Transferring the cartoon now.  Went with the waxy transfer computer paper.  Used a wooden spoon.

Can barely see the image through the transfer paper, but it looks like the image on the right.  

It's a pale image, but it's enough to work with.

I go over the lines in pencil.

Tedious, but necessary.  The image on the right helps with connecting missing lines.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


I don't know what I think about transfer paper you run through the printer.  I've used it to good effect, but I keep falling back on my tried and true chalk-the-back and trace the cartoon method.

If I use the tracing paper, then I print out the cartoon in obverse:

And if I use the chalk method, then I print out the cartoon in reverse:

I don't have any strong feelings either way, I just have to make an executive decision.  You'd be surprised how hard that is.  ;- j

But decide I shall, and then I'll begin carving.  


Ok, so there's another reason a favor the chalk technique.  If I'm doing multiple blocks (and I'm still dithering about that too), I want to use the same cartoon, not a different print out.  I'm sure it's not really a problem, but I'm iffy on it.

The block is sanded and stained and drying in the garage.


Ok, there's a reason for using the transfer paper -- the image is too detailed.  If I decide to use 2 blocks I'll need exactitude.  Besides I stained the block and that doesn't take to chalk as well as when I blacken the board (used to use india ink and gesso, but I'm out of the habit).  So with the lighter wood the transfer may work better.  At any rate I've decided, so that's that.

But remember, print the cartoon the right way!!  I hate it when I get that wrong.  ;-*

Now I just have to stain the other side of the board for that mythical second block.

Monday, October 01, 2012


Got the cartoon down to a set of motifs.

I can play with coloring the background now, as well as the snowflakes.  The chop is just a placeholder for whatever I'll be carving, and probably in the same colorway as the rest of the card.

Bill did his math magic on the card size and what size to carve the image on the block (i.e., how much margin to leave so I can crop it to fit).  Now all I have to decide is whether I want to carve an 8x10 or a 9x12 block.  Tiny detail seems to call for a larger block.


Measuring now.  Bill worked up the measurements for me,

Print 4.61 x 7.17  
Bleed (full image) 4.72 x 7.28
On the 8 x 10, 10 inches high, 6.5 inches wide
On the 9 x 12, 12 inches high, 7 3/4 inches wide

but I really have to print out a cartoon and hold it up to the block to see what I think.  Still dithering between blocks, but I'm leaning toward the larger one.  That castle motif is awfully small.