Monday, March 24, 2008

Chocolate Pages

I printed page images on one side of paper last week and now, this past saturday, I printed the same thing on the other side of the pages. When they are folded and trimmed into signatures for binding, they will read like a journal. I have to carve one more block with a title page and an ending image to finish off the text block. It will be tricky printing those as printing them for hard bound books as well as pamphlet stitch books will be two different processes. I've gotten this far so I guess I'm up for the challenge. After all that, I will carve an image plate for the front of the book and whip those out on my C&P Pilot on some pink paper. I've already sanded the book covers for 10 books so I'm really excited to see what my end result will finally look like. I know I still have a lot of work ahead of me but starting is always the hardest!
In other news, I got a show at the McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville VA on July 2009 so consider yourselves warned! More on that later as I'm am bursting at the seams to tell you that it will be an interactive process on this blog. The resulting works will hopefully reflect the feedback I get throughout my posts and there will even be a constest!
I'm still jogging every day to every other day and am looking forward to reaping the benefits. This is the beginning of week three! I wished I had my camera as yesterday my husband and I caught a dog fight as we were coming back from our jog. We were on our way up the driveway when a murder of crows began cackling and jeering. We looked up to see a red tailed hawk being chased by the crows over our heads. Once they got past our fence line, most of the crows doubled back to our property but two were still in hot persuit. It was entertaining to watch as the hawk clearly had the advantage of tight manuevering in the sky. The crows dove and scratched but always missed. I think he was toying with them. I'm sure exchanges like this will become more common as recently our rabbits have been popping up and the crows do not want to share their territory. We had so many rabbits last year that there were 5 hawks in the tree near our house. So much for my garden......

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sailing Along

Well, here it is! Bill Boys printed up this lovely edition of prints from my block and I had a really good time with this project!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Chocolate Books

We're in action! My plan is to try and teach classes at McGuffey during the Fall and Winter and then to do Festivals and Art Fairs during the Spring and Summer. Before this can even be attempted, one needs products to market. There is a market for fine art and such at these things but it's mostly a pedestrian market where people will more openly part with a bit of cash for a nick-nack. I figure that my letterhead and bound books would fit nicely here. Here is the beginnings of my attempts with the I Love Chocolate Journal. I carved this block of poplar after finding that linoleum didn't offer me the precision I wanted. The design really pushed the limitations of poplar as some of the hand carved letters are as big as the fibers of wood themselves. In the long run, the poplar was a hair more detailed than the linoleum but this is lost when accounting for the fact that the grain prints up. Cherry or Maple you say? Maybe so but Poplar was faster to carve through and easy to get and as far as I know, sustainable to this area. It's an experiment and not altogether unsuccessful. The prints definately have a rustic feel to them. My Vandy is a manual hand roll press and thus there are variations but I am slowly but surely beginning to like variation. I will never, however, call outright mistakes and blunders a "beautiful variant." That's just sacrificing quality. Anyways, after tweaking out some trouble spots, I finally got a good print run going and now I'm eager to carve and print up a title plate! I can't wait to see how it turns out. Even the ink looks like chocolate!

Friday, March 14, 2008

I think now it's time for a change. I originally reserved this blog for fine art and current work posting. There is supposed to be no content featuring my private life/opinions but I've found that those are the arteries to my working process and often the roots of inspiation for me so it's not going to be strictly about work now but you'll see that everything leads there eventually.
So my husband and I have recently gotten back into making beer. He possessed the knowledge to begin with but I naturally enjoy helping because I'm the one who wants a garden and chickens. This is a photo of our brew at the beginning when you must simmer the grains in a muslin sock at a moderated temperature. For those of you who are thinking about learning, go to They are the best! Anyways, there is a piece of my heritage in this photo. When we pulled everything out to start brewing (it was kept scrunched up in the corner of a cabinet....bad....bad...bad), we found that his thermometer was broken at the end. Yikes! I love antiques and have a small collection of things my ancestors have used down the generations (I've got my great uncle's cattle cane with notches carved in it to represent hash marks for heads.) including my great grandmother's candy thermometer. I don't know how Mawmaw would feel about her candy thermometer making beer but it sure did work! Pat bottled the beer yesterday night and we have to wait 3 weeks to see how it will turn out. I hope it'll be good!
Perhaps I will post later as I received some copies of Bill Boys "Small World" entry that I carved the blocks for. They look great in color and I was glad to participate in a collaborative effort! (Hint, Hint for those of you who would like to collaborate on a piece with me!)