Friday, April 11, 2014

Don't try this at home

I'm still waiting for the ink to dry enough on the eiders, so yesterday decided to tackle one last (?) black and white linocut for the exhibition.

Things didn't start out very well. For what I think was the first time ever (in my personal experience, anyway) a Sharpie marker imploded as I was drawing up the block. Black permanent marker ink all over my hands, my drawing table, the block. Not pretty.

I scrubbed up as best I could, finished the drawing, and not 30 minutes later started carving.

"Hm," thought I. "This lino is quite cold. I probably should warm things up in here a bit."

Newbie linocutters, if you don't know this already: LINO DOES NOT CUT WELL WHEN IT IS COLD. Set it in a warm window, place it next to the heater, run an iron over it, sit on it. Anything. Just don't try to carve it cold.

And do as I say, not as I do, because of course I went ahead and carved cold lino and then had to stop for another clean up. This one involved bandages and considerably more swearing. I'd show you my finger, but it's the middle one on my left hand and that would be rude.

Ordinarily after a rough start like that I might put down the carving tools and work on something else, but all this happened before 9:00am and there's that @$%# exhibition deadline. In the end I carved all day and into the evening hours, and managed to get an entire 6" x 18" image ready for printing.

Which I did today. Not the entire edition, mind you. But enough to be ready for the framer on Monday.

"Got Your Back," linocut, 6" x 18"


  1. The blood isn't visible on the print! Well done, Sherrie. Perseverance paid off. Really hard to carve with a throbbing finger. Love your little brood.

  2. Ouch! There is that split-second where you think it's not going to hope and say a prayer of disbelief as you stare at the wound...and then WHOOSH! No such luck...Dannnnng!
    Heal quick Sherrie!

  3. I think it's my pride that's wounded more than anything. Sure, once in a while I get a little nick, but I haven't done a full-on-bandage number in a long, long time.

    Watz... yes... it's amazing how much runs through one's head in that split-second. "Ow-that-hurts-please-don't-bleed-damn-ok-please-not-much-dang-that's-a-lot-please-no-stitches-okay-I-think-it's-not-so-bad-why-is-it-SO-HARD-to-get-bandaids-out-of-the-wrapper-one-handed." Followed by, "Well, THAT was stupid."


  4. And at this ancient and lofty age I am STILL amazed at how much leakage there can be from an itty-bitty little finger tip...

  5. ouch! :( the print looks great tho :D

    people look at me odd when I tell them to warm the lino up by sitting on it :p i've always done that with the hard lino, quickest way for me to do it I think

  6. Awww, poor finger! But the print looks lovely.

    At least you didn't do the stupid thing I did last fall -- trying to re-warm a block I was almost finished carving, I set it on top of the wood stove in my studio. Of course I intended to leave it there for only a few seconds, but something distracted my attention .... and you can imagine the rest.

  7. Ouch indeed! I hope the throbbing's past by now and that your finger's healing well. Of course, if you didn't raise your middle finger to the universe.... :)

    The print's great though, and the whole seabird collection you've produced is going to make for an incredible show. Congrats on rising to the challenge!

  8. Ooh... Kathleen! I've put blocks on heaters for maybe a tiny bit too long, but thankfully always caught them before there was any real problem. On a woodstove!?!? YIKES!