These reduction woodcuts are a very special limited edition of 6. The block is destroyed during the process, making it impossible to recreate the image. The prints are designed to be the perfect Valentine’s Day card for the one-of-a-kind sweetheart. It folds to allow a personalized message, and includes a hand-made envelope for $60.
Here is a short video of the final cutting and printing of the block.
I had a meet up with my friends to play with the press. I only gave 4 days notice, and expected 5-6 people to show up. We had a full house…i don’t know how many people came, but everyone had a lot of fun…especially me!
During the meet up, I got to put a few antique etchings through the press. The ink is permanent. These are my hands after much scrubbing with acetone and soap and water! I am eager to try etching…it’s a beautiful process.
These are my latest monotypes…loosely based on friends of mine. I am interested in making pictures with people. Instead of using models, I’m going to use my friends whenever I get a chance.
I finally have my printing press up-and-running! I am still learning how to use it, but would like to share the experience with my artist friends…so this Wednesday, (Jan 13) you are invited to join me for an afternoon of creating monotypes. I’ll have everything you need to make a monotype, but you might want to bring your favorite brush and an idea or photo to work from…and don’t dress in your Sunday best…it might be messy!
We’ll either meet at my downtown studio or the Art Guild’s Building in Old Washington (depending on the number of participants)
Let me know if you are interested so I can plan accordingly.
I haven’t been able to hang out with my friends during the holidays, and this will be a fun way to catch up.
Here’s a few pictures of my latest monotypes to give you an idea of the process.
Here’s a link to a great series of videos by the Smithsonian Institution demonstrating the process:
A monotype is created by covering a sheet of glass with ink, then removing the ink with brushes, rags and Q-tips.
When the image is complete, a damp sheet of paper is pressed against the ink, resulting in the final image.
You can only print once, so each monotype is a one-of-a-kind unique print. If the paper is too damp, or the plate moves during the press, the image is ruined.
You never know what you’ll get until you pull the paper from the plate, it’s an exciting process.
One of my first loves in art is pottery. When I moved to Augusta, KY 9 years ago, I opened a small pottery studio on main street. I loved the entire process of making something using earth, water and fire. I dug clay from the banks of the Ohio River, and experimented with pit firing.
I don’t get to make much pottery anymore. My focus is on 2D work, but I still love the craft. I am replacing the dishes in my kitchen with hand made pots. I’m trying to collect Kentucky potters, but a few great ones from Ohio, Tennessee (and beyond) have found their way into my cupboard.
I created this woodcut to promote my friend, Ann Legris’ pottery studio for her Open House (tomorrow). She is recognized by collectors as one of Kentucky’s most important potters, and was a major influence in my decision to explore traditional printmaking techniques.
My goal with the woodblock was to get 6 different prints from one block using the reduction technique. My designs do not accurately reproduce Ann’s elegant wheel thrown pots, but I feel they represent the joyful energy that comes from looking at a wheel thrown pot.
If you would like to see Ann’s wonderful pots, There are a LOT of great activities this weekend, so
Her studio will be open through December call Ann at 606.584.2679
While working on a block print of Augusta’s ferry, the Jenny Ann, I made an interesting discovery.
you can use different inks in different stages of the process, resulting in a variety of styles.
For my next woodblock project, I wanted to print an ear of corn where each print is unique. I carved 3 blocks in the reduction technique, using a different color combination for each pattern.
The biggest challenge was cleaning the block, and brayer every time I switched colors. The results were worth in!
I decided to title the series “Everyone Is Unique…Just Like Everyone Else” because the prints can be a metaphor for each of us. We are all unique and beautiful, but we also have a lot in common.
Each print is 1of 1. The woodblock was destroyed in the reduction process, so I will never be able to print more corn prints. Below is a photo of the block after printing. Notice that everything has been carved away except the leaves and border. This single block was used for all parts of the print.
The finished prints are going to be matted in acid free mat board, with one of my classic black handmade wood frames for $120.
If you want to give one as a gift to one of the unique people in your life, let me know, because they ARE one-of-a kind.
I also have 10 Jenny Ann woodblock prints available for the Augusta lovers out there.
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Ken is a self-taught artist from rural Kentucky, whose work includes painting, printmaking, animation and ipad art. He considers himself to be a 'lifetime learner' and he uses art as the vehicle to explore and learn more about the world around him. Much of his work reflect his optimistic views on rural folk culture, river life and simple pleasures.
You can visit Ken every Final Friday of the month at studio 400 at the Pendleton Art Center in downtown Cincinnati. He can also be found picnicking near his home in the Historic Village of Old Washington, KY.