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new stamp!

I take a lot of pride in hand carving and printing my woodcuts and linocuts, and worry that people who aren’t familar with printmaking don’t understand what they are looking at. I designed a new stamp to put on the back of all my notecards.

rubber stamp that says 'hand carved and printed in old washington, ky' kenswinson.com

Now instead of just my website, there’s a visual cue to illustrate the unique process that goes into the work.

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new brayer and sheep dog linocut at the log cabin print shop

photo of log cabin print shop in Old Washington kentucky
Greetings From The Log Cabin Print Shop!

We have a new brayer at the log cabin print shop!

linocut of herding dog with sheep on a traditional press

 It’s a heavy duty piece of equipment; with a 2 1/2″ diameter.  Giving it a much wider roll out. I can print almost 3 prints without having to re-ink the brayer.  The roller surface is rubber, which is MUCH more durable than the craft brayers we have been using. 

How do you like the print of the dog herding sheep?  You can get a better look at the linocut, with information on how you can add it to your art collection here:

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Blue Cat In The Tree – Work In Progress Video

Hi Everybody, it’s ken from the log cabin print shop, and today i’m going to start a new linocut.

Right now, I’m going to start carving my tree, and let’s see how it turns out! I’m working in a size that’s a little bit new to me. It’s 6×8″ which is a little bit bigger than a notecard, but it’s not so big that it would take me days to do all the carving. I like that it’s big enough, i can get some details that I can’t get in a notecard.

I’ve already worked all the composition out, so it’s a meditative process to just follow the lines and to cut the design into a block of linoleum. I’m working on a theme of a tree with birds and cats. I’d like to have 4 new linocut prints that all relate to each other.

Keep checking this post for updates. I’m printing the blocks right now, and will be able to share them real soon!

UPDATE: here they are in their bright blue glory!

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Goat Eating Tulips – new Linocut notecard

I have some new colored paper, and thought this new design featuring a goat eating tulips would look good on orange with brown ink. This short video shows the hand carving and printing process with a traditional press to make a unique linocut notecard. If you’d like to support my work and add one of these cards to your collection, you can order one here:

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Block printed goodies from my sewing friends!

Remember a few weeks ago, when I started printing on fabric?

photo of kentucky artist ken swinson, wearing a block printed mask with a bear holding a heart.

how awesome is this?!?! a mask with my Woodcut on the fabric?!?! thank you Polly and Toni! I love it!!! it’s really comfortable too!

beautiful blue pillow featuring block print on fabric by kentucky artist ken swinson

One of my favorite things about printmaking on fabric, is getting to see my friends use my designs to make something new and unique. It’s even more exciting when these handmade masterpieces arrive in my mailbox as a gift!!! Thank you so much Beth Akins!!!!! I love it!!!!!

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I’m trying a few new things

I’m trying to find the perfect social media/life balance. For the month of September, I’m trying something new- I’m limiting my social media: only posting on facebook on Mondays, Instagram on Wednesdays and twitter on Fridays. My goal is to stop spending too much time on social media, while continuing to share and stay in touch on a regular basis.

So far, the experience has been good. I’ve been a lot more productive. For Monday’s facebook post, I made a LIVE video, where I showed off a series of new linocuts.

You can watch a replay of the video here:

I also talk about the changes I have been making to my website. I’m making some big drastic changes that will make the site more up to date with modern technology. It’s going to take awhile, so please be patient while working on it.

If you are interested in supporting my work, and adding some of the linocut cards to you collection, below are some links to help you do it. Thanks again for your support and patience during this move.

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HANDPRINTEd NOTECARD UPDATE:

linocut notecard depicting bird carrying mail with message that says 'you've got mail' on traditional printmaking press

I’m not very smart. I shared my last post with only 10 notecards in my “inventory” . Your response has been overwhelming! I’m thrilled that so many of you love our USPS and want to send hand printed cards to your friends and family! I have heard that buying stamps is one of the best ways we can support the USPS (and your local artist!) I am in the cabin making cards right now. They will take a few days to cure, but I will ship them “hot off the press” by the end of this week. Thanks again everyone! You truly keep me going and give me purpose.

linocut block print on fabric depicting a bird carrying a letter with the words: you've got mail

Houston, we have a problem. I discovered a box full of fabric scraps, and got distracted printing on fabric. Any sewers/quilters with ideas of what I can do with these?!? This ink is machine washable!

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Thank You USPS

greeting card in mailbox

I’m an artist in a rural town. Even though my town is very supportive of the arts, there just aren’t enough people in the region to support a full time artist. A majority of my sales are through my website, and shipped from my local post office. During the pandemic, when all my in-person sales opportunities vanished overnight, my online sales and USPS have been my saving grace. I’ve been able to work from home and keep my head above water during this difficult time. Thanks to my wonderful patrons and the US Postal Service

While spending time in Mexico, i fell in love with the land, people and culture. I seriously considered moving there. The big reason I decided not to was; they did not have a postal infrastructure anything like ours in the United States. My business would not have the access to the rest of the world it does right now with the USPS.

Now that things are being slowed down, and the service is being scaled back to save money (or whatever), i’m starting to look at private delivery services. Since this is a small town, they don’t have an incentive to serve this community. The UPS store is open only 5 days a week; from 11-2pm — that is only a 3 hour window of time. There is always a wait, and the price is about twice as much as the USPS.

The disruption in postal service is adding stress to an already difficult time for my business. I know I’m not alone. I don’t like getting on a soapbox on this website, i’m not trying to make some politicial statement, or start any arguements (thats not why I’m here—i’m not in a political party—don’t want to be in one–please don’t go waving your policital party flag in my comments… i will delete them. I just want to share my support and appreciation for a non-political service of the US Government. Thank you postal workers for everything you do!

if you like this notecard, and want to support your favorite artist AND the USPS, by having it shipped…and again by mailing it to a friend(win-win-win), you can order it from the Printmaking section of my gallery, there is a selection of notecards, order some hand printed woodcut and linocut cards, then go to the USPS and get some stamps!
thank you for coming to my TED talk

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back in the print shop 3 July 2020

After a pottery intensive month (june) i found my way back into the print shop.

linocuts hanging in a rack with 'love one another' design
Love One Another – ink on paper

I printed some of my “Love One Another” prints. Most were on paper. A few of the artists at the Log Cabin Print Shop are textile artists. Watching them over the past year has inspired me to think outside ink on paper, and to print my design on fabric.

printing on fabric with linocut
using the press to print a design on fabric
animation of artist holding hand printed fabric
Print on fabric is fun!

Ok, i’ll tell the truth. I did not have a pottery free day. I DID also make these cream pitchers. What can i say? I might be a pottery addict!

greenware hand thrown pitchers
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30 June 2020 – printing ink and playing in mud

I spent the last day of June split between the clay studio and the printshop.

US Route 62 Linocut - with map in background
The finished block. Ready for ink!

I have been working on a special print for one of my US Route 62 neighbors who lives all the way over in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Us Route 62 linocut notecards in drying rack
The finished print. Hanging to dry

Today I got to put first ink on the block and then print an edition at the log cabin print shop.

pottery being underglazed
Pots in progress

After printing, I had some time to put some handles on mugs, put some glaze on bowls, and then throw a few cream pitchers and bowls

pottery forms on the wheel
Bowls and creamers just thrown from the wheel.