The Terroir Creative Writing Festival commissioned me to create a broadside for the Oregon State Poet Laureate, Peter Sears. It was once again a pleasure to collaborate with the festival in this manner.
For this broadside, I studied snowflakes. Did you know that even though every snowflake is different each one has six points? I enjoyed learning about and designing my snowflakes based on actual photographs. This book was interesting and helpful: Field Guide to Snowflakes by Ken Libbrecht.
On the broadside, there are two batches of snowflakes which required two linoleum blocks to print the two different shades. I carved these two blocks before purchasing a wonderful magnifying lamp. It was tedious and rewarding--all thirty-two of them.
This broadside passed through the press six times and is five colors. As in all of my letterpress broadsides, the type is handset.
The original artwork is carved in four linoleum blocks.
This broadside measures 9" x 12.5"" and is printed on Savoy 118# Natural White 100% Cotton Paper.
As I mentioned in the previous post, a major element of each broadside commission is research. I spend time turning over every image in the selected poem, consider how they work together or create tension, and see how the various elements fill up or let the white space of the page expand.
For this broadside, I conducted many days worth of research. As for images in the poem, I couldn't get past the falling leaves. I kept wondering what kind of leaves Wendell was considering when he wrote this poem. What leaves he was watching out his window, or perhaps what leaves were falling while he was out walking across his land.
Through Wendell's essays, I researched his land, noted the varieties of trees that he wrote about, and researched various sources regarding the state of Kentucky specific to Port Royal, the area where Wendell calls home. A large percentage of trees in this area are oak trees. Once I settled on the image of a quercus or oak tree, I considered every aspect of the tree from macro to micro, and settled on the cell level.
The artwork reflects a microscopic image of an oak tree cell enlarged to dinner plate size. This was created through a process called reduction block. Through this process, the linoleum or wood block is carved and printed, and carved again and printed, and on, so that the art can never be printed again.
Oh, boy howdy! this was a fun project for the research and the carving.
This limited edition is 44 signed and numbered prints.
The dimensions are 12.5" x 13", and it is printed on Savoy 118# Bright White 100% Cotton paper.
The print is four colors.
The artwork is hand carved in linoleum by reduction block process.
A major element of each broadside commission is research. I spend time turning over every image in the selected poem, consider how they work together or create tension, and see how the various elements fill up or let the white space of the page expand. For this broadside, I watched the wonderful documentary on the Chauvet Cave. It is titled: Cave of the Forgotten Dreams and I wouldn't blame you if you ditch me here, make some popcorn, and settle in for a glorious time. Truly.
Anyhow, if you're still here, I watched the documentary at least twice and then I researched each image in the cave. I completed this via the documentary and online through some interactive websites. I spent hours and hours playing around with the images in my mind before I set anything to the page.
Alison's lovely poem includes the line: "vulva coaled on pendulous rock". I ended up choosing this image, the believed to be oldest known image of a woman's body. I love the fact that unless one does his or her homework it is unlikely that the vulva will be apparent in the art. Otherwise, it's just an intriguing image on the page.
This was wonderful opportunity to explore and learn not only about Alison and her work, but a place far away from my everyday world, a place I will never forget.
This broadside measures 14.5" by 12" and is printed on Savoy 118# Cover Bright White 100% cotton paper.
The Terroir Creative Writing Festival commissioned me to create a broadside for the Oregon State Poet Laureate, Paulann Petersen. It was an extreme pleasure to work with Paulann's words and honor such a beautiful human being in this manner.
This beauty passed through the press six times and is three colors. As in all of my letterpress broadsides, the type is handset. The original artwork is carved in linoleum blocks, and include a nod to Native American design elements
This broadside measures 8.5" x 11" and is printed on Savoy 118# Bright White 100% Cotton Paper.