Day Fifteen. Putting Birds on Things.

March 28, 2011 § 2 Comments

On Day Fifteen, tired of eating or cooking, I decided to exercise my right brain in an effort to slim my face. A couple months ago I had bought a linocut kit on the interweb to try out. Day Fifteen was just as good as any other, right?

First, I had to find an image. I pulled out some old Dover Publishing books that I had bought off of ebay a few years ago. I go through crazes with the online auction house where I will search out some weird odds or ends to purchase. The books were part of that. I also have an impressive collection of random vintage photographs I mean to do something with…someday.

I found a few images. Not having cut a linoleum block before, needing a relatively simple image, and inspired by Portlandia’s hilarious mocking skit about putting birds on things, I chose a bird on a branch silhouette.

I enlarged the bird and traced it on one side, rubbing the other so the graphite transferred to the linoleum block. Then I started cutting.

When I was almost done pushing out the shards of linoleum, I decided to take a break. I felt as if I had contracted the worst case of carpal tunnel ever. I must have been working quite a few unused muscles. I could barely twist my arm back and forth, and the idea of going back to finish the two tiny areas that remained left me frozen. I strapped on an old wrist brace I had lying around (I have one for the ankle too…I’m clumsy) and got back to it.

When I was finished I looked at the carved piece of rubber. It was kind of cool; I really liked the cuts on the negative space the most. I wondered if they would transfer to the final print.

I poured ink on a glass plate, ran a brayer through it, then rolled the wet tool over the cut work. I pressed one of the sheets of cardstock and paper onto the stamp and buffed the back of the paper with a spoon. I slowly peeled back the image to see if it had adhered. I totally put a bird on a piece of paper.

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