Sunday, October 5, 2008

Here Comes the Sun!

Yay! My shining sun came out better than I thought! I was going to free hand rays coming out of the sun orb but some how my original drawing left me with a lacking feeling. I had an old hemisphere ruler laying around and decided to get all technical. I hope it prints up as well as it appears to me. The precision almost gives me the feeling of a pattern for money but I think that the clouds, rain, and mountain will balance everything out and the technicality of it will not appear cold. Originally, I was going to have little "hooks" (thumbs) attached to the ends of the rays to mimic Egyptian mythology but I think I would be the only one who would get what was going on and, in this case, that was not my goal.

I got a little happy with the camera but "fly by" shots of one's woodblock are fun and the topography of the block give the impression of a planetary surface sometimes.

I've been informed by my sister's husband (who happens to be a cabinet maker) that poplar just so happens to be one of the worst woods for warping in VA and that it will even absorb moisture out of the air on a rainy day. These things I know to be true. Once, I did a large tree print and I did not put my block away properly. I left it on the printing table with no weight. It curled into an elbow macaroni shape! Yikes! I soaked it for five minutes in a bathtub for 5 or 10 minutes and then laid a towel beneath and above it. Then I piled a stack of flat wood on top of it and left it for a week. It did return to its original shape and retains it to this day. This little story was brought about because this block is made up of two separate planks of poplar glued and hammered together with nails. Even so, one end lines up flat and the other end has one of the planks bucking up about a sixteenth of an inch. I'm hoping that I can get around that but only proofing day will tell.
Lastly, when I first carved the opening in the middle the contrast between the two planks is striking. I like to think of it as my yin and yang showing up! It should be noted that these two planks were cut from the same board. Ah, variety!


Daniel L. Dew said...

I love the "fly bys"! It looks like those images you see of crop circles and stuff.
So cool.
How did you carve the rays, with a knife or a carving tool?

Lana Lambert said...

Thanks! I carved the rays with a small V-gouge. It's funny. The baren talk has been about v-gouges as of late and I do find they are a pain in the ass to sharpen but once you get it right there is nothing else like it! I have a u-gouge that I've screwed up (the angle on the trough is not steep enough) and I groan to think of the time I'll have to devote to fixing it but once it's done it's such a relief! Thanks for your feedback!