Last New Blockhead Image

This is a variation on the Blockhead theme but constructed horizontally. Rather than using a sgrafitto technique on the walls of the piece, I used old Lino Blocks to make impressions on the wet clay before using the slabs to make the pieces. I didn’t have a specific use in mind but the pieces could definitely be used for flower arrangements (with a wire support) or for fruit etc. centerpiece.

These pieces are a lot more spontaneous to make. I don’t have to carefully make and choose particularly shaped images to fit the edges anad planes of the piece but instead make a slab that has a particular texture/set of images that can be used almost like a decorated/patterned fabric.

 @17” wide

@17” wide

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 This is a cut and paste created by John Polak so that we would have a horizontal image to use for the Pottery Trail.

This is a cut and paste created by John Polak so that we would have a horizontal image to use for the Pottery Trail.

New Birds & Laundry plate

This plate came out of the last firing, photographed by John Polak. This plate combines sgraffito technique for the rim, glaze and underglaze painting for the imagery. I’ve used a bigger variety in color and shape.

 Birds and Laundry plate, porcelain, sgraffito, glaze, 14.5” x 1.5”

Birds and Laundry plate, porcelain, sgraffito, glaze, 14.5” x 1.5”

More etc.

Here is another example of both of our works together that wil be used for upcoming publicity for the Pottery Trail

 Fran’s piece is @ 13” high

Fran’s piece is @ 13” high

 another possible choice for publicity

another possible choice for publicity

Even More New Photographed Work

Here are more pieces from the “Blockhead” series. A particular type of development is happening, mentioned in the last posting: taller pieces, all black and white, more eccentric shapes, and more variety in body types, more variety in line quality.

 tallest of the blockhead vase, 12”

tallest of the blockhead vase, 12”

More New Photographed Work

As promised, here are some images from our most recent photograph session with John Polak:

 This may have been the first “Blockheads” piece. I had already begun making the prints and I wanted to try out the same imagery on some clay pieces. The approach is different regarding prints vs clay - the clay is always loser and more spontaneous.

This may have been the first “Blockheads” piece. I had already begun making the prints and I wanted to try out the same imagery on some clay pieces. The approach is different regarding prints vs clay - the clay is always loser and more spontaneous.

 This may be the second “Blockheads” vase. The changes that begin to happen are that the vases become more complicated in form and there continues to be experimentation regarding the best color to black and white ratio. The images are still very loose.

This may be the second “Blockheads” vase. The changes that begin to happen are that the vases become more complicated in form and there continues to be experimentation regarding the best color to black and white ratio. The images are still very loose.

 This piece becomes a complete black and white piece and there is a lot more variety in the shape of the piece and the types anad sizes of images used on the surface.

This piece becomes a complete black and white piece and there is a lot more variety in the shape of the piece and the types anad sizes of images used on the surface.

New Photo Session with John Polak

Fran and I had some new work photographed by John Polak yesterday. As always it was a great experience - chatting about news, the summer etc. but also being able to see our work through the eyes of a professional. I will be adding photos little by little on this site, spreading out the images.

I chose to have the Blockhead ceramics photographed. Fran had a new plate photographed. Some of the photos were intended for the upcoming publicity associated with the Pottery Trail. We usually have two of our pieces positioned next to each other either in real space or a cut and paste in a horizontal and vertical format.

One of the images was our traditional “two cups” shot in which two of our cups are juxtaposed as an example of what happens in the studio. I was surprised at how well this worked. We usually use this image for our own sales and publicity.

 Two cups. Fran’s in on the left if there was any doubt

Two cups. Fran’s in on the left if there was any doubt

 The other combination. It is interesting to see similarities of forms in our work. The shape of the yellow lips and the marks of the landscape are almost identical.

The other combination. It is interesting to see similarities of forms in our work. The shape of the yellow lips and the marks of the landscape are almost identical.

Last (final?) Version of latest Blockheads

 Latest version of the next Blockheads. I am getting the registration I want in this print but I notice that some of the earlier prints in the series were more easily read and understood with less activity. I am beginning a new print in oil ink and will see if I can can color/accuracy of registration/ less activity to come together. Some similar information: edition of @ twelve and 12" x 16".

Latest version of the next Blockheads. I am getting the registration I want in this print but I notice that some of the earlier prints in the series were more easily read and understood with less activity. I am beginning a new print in oil ink and will see if I can can color/accuracy of registration/ less activity to come together. Some similar information: edition of @ twelve and 12" x 16".

Odd view of Drying Prints

 Taken this morning in the Office room - an under-view of a laundry line of drying prints. I used Caligo inks on these prints and have at least five layers/passes on each, consequently these are taking forever to dry completely. They will remain in this situation until they aren't tacky to the touch anymore. Don't know when that will be but currently they are out of the way and I can ignore them.  The prints don't stain or smear when touched but they "stick" together when stacked on top of each other, making a very scary noise when separated. This happens even with a separator sheet in between each print.

Taken this morning in the Office room - an under-view of a laundry line of drying prints. I used Caligo inks on these prints and have at least five layers/passes on each, consequently these are taking forever to dry completely. They will remain in this situation until they aren't tacky to the touch anymore. Don't know when that will be but currently they are out of the way and I can ignore them.

The prints don't stain or smear when touched but they "stick" together when stacked on top of each other, making a very scary noise when separated. This happens even with a separator sheet in between each print.

Finished Ceramic Pediment

 This is an image of the finished ceramic pediment on our bathroom edition.  The change from the last image posted here is the dramatic wooden framing.   It has been fun to live with this piece.  It was a good experience for many reasons.  This isn't the first time we made a piece that required a lot of attention to math and calculating shrinkage but it was very satisfying, when the piece was completed to know that it "fit" the required size.  We also hemmed and hawed about whether we should glaze the piece or not.  One piece cannot do everything so we are both glad that we opted for "subtle" rather than a dramatic color, surface or contrast of color.  One thing that is worth thinking about is scale.  While the images seem big up close, they are very small and detailed when seen from a distance.  making greater allowances for the Size vs. Distance relationship may be considered differently the next time around.  The most "telling" part of all of this will be Winter.  We will watch the piece carefully to see how it weathers.  We do live in New England.  The generous overhang should alleviate almost any problem - it prevents any rain from coming in - but one can never tell.

This is an image of the finished ceramic pediment on our bathroom edition.  The change from the last image posted here is the dramatic wooden framing. 

It has been fun to live with this piece.  It was a good experience for many reasons.  This isn't the first time we made a piece that required a lot of attention to math and calculating shrinkage but it was very satisfying, when the piece was completed to know that it "fit" the required size.  We also hemmed and hawed about whether we should glaze the piece or not.  One piece cannot do everything so we are both glad that we opted for "subtle" rather than a dramatic color, surface or contrast of color.  One thing that is worth thinking about is scale.  While the images seem big up close, they are very small and detailed when seen from a distance.  making greater allowances for the Size vs. Distance relationship may be considered differently the next time around.

The most "telling" part of all of this will be Winter.  We will watch the piece carefully to see how it weathers.  We do live in New England.  The generous overhang should alleviate almost any problem - it prevents any rain from coming in - but one can never tell.

The Next Layer

This is the next layer of the linocut.  I think that I will add one more color to this, either yellow, red or orange....we'll see.  I think that color will be the last layer.

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Work in Progress

Here is another Blockheads print in progress. Only two colors have been printed. There may be as many as three more. It also is 12” x 16”. I continue to use Caligo inks and am happy with the results but they take forever to dry.

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NEW PORCELAIN PEDIMENT

 This is an early morning photo of a new porcelain pediment that was just installed yesterday on our new addition.  The piece is carved porcelain, @ 7 ft at the base.  Decorative and functional wood trim will be applied to the border shortly.  We thought about all types of finishes for the piece such as multi-colored images to Wedgwood figure/ground solutions and settled on simple bas-relief. One nice thing about the piece is how it is very subtle.  It is on the second floor, pretty high up.  It is integrated nicely with the house without calling too much attention to itself.  The imagery comes from Francine's work: the laundry line, boat, flowers, ceramics, piled rocks and, of course, busy birds.   The piece will look different in every season.  I think it will be most dramatic when the sun is lower (winter) and in fall and spring.  With the sun being so high in the summer, a lot of shadow falls over the piece from the generous overhang.   We will post other pictures at different times of year to see if this is true.  It was enormously fun to do.  We will see how it lasts through our weather.

This is an early morning photo of a new porcelain pediment that was just installed yesterday on our new addition.  The piece is carved porcelain, @ 7 ft at the base.  Decorative and functional wood trim will be applied to the border shortly.  We thought about all types of finishes for the piece such as multi-colored images to Wedgwood figure/ground solutions and settled on simple bas-relief. One nice thing about the piece is how it is very subtle.  It is on the second floor, pretty high up.  It is integrated nicely with the house without calling too much attention to itself.

The imagery comes from Francine's work: the laundry line, boat, flowers, ceramics, piled rocks and, of course, busy birds.

 The piece will look different in every season.  I think it will be most dramatic when the sun is lower (winter) and in fall and spring.  With the sun being so high in the summer, a lot of shadow falls over the piece from the generous overhang. 

We will post other pictures at different times of year to see if this is true.  It was enormously fun to do.  We will see how it lasts through our weather.

New Linocut

This is the third Linocut in the Blockheads series.  It is crisper and cleaner than the others in the series.  I am getting better at registration.  The color scheme here also is a little more nuanced.  There are five separate colors. I cut a block for a fifth color but it seemed like too much information.  The print is 12" x 16" on Masa paper. I'm not certain how large the edition will be - I have to look at them all carefully - but it will probably be at least 10 prints.

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Work in Progress

I have been working on two pieces for a while, a waste block linoleum cut (  the next in the blockheads series) and another "Studies" of imaginary vases linocut.  

The reduction linocut, Blockheads,  is very close to finished.  I just cut the block for the last color.  I have been waiting for the ink to dry between each printing and the drying has taken longer than expected. The last Blockheads linocut still remained tacky for a while even after it had been completed for at least a week.  This type of slow progress is very different from the more immediate results that comes from monoprints.  I know I do not like the lack of production but I have enjoyed learning in the waste block process - my technical skills are growing with each new print.

The other print I am working on is a one-color vase study and it is almost completed.  The images included in this blog are definitely works in progress.  I shot this image early in the morning with the block covered with tools and crumbs.  This print should be completed soon.

One interesting technical observation is that the two linoleums are from different companies.   One is harder, the other softer to cut.  I'm still thinking about the advantages of one verses the other.  The blockheads are on an inch high block that most easily works with the letter press at Zea MAys where I print them.  The thinner block is printed at home the old-fashioned rubbing by hand method that seems to be more reliable than using a studio press.  The mounted blocks are expensive but easier to print multi colors.  The unmounted blocks are more difficult to register for more than one color.

 it is interesting to compare the initial sharpie marker drawing with the actual cut 

it is interesting to compare the initial sharpie marker drawing with the actual cut 

 another look at this block.  This piece, like the first "Studies" is 18" x 24"   

another look at this block.  This piece, like the first "Studies" is 18" x 24"

 

Vessel Studies

This is a mixed media "Vessel Studies" drawing. It has a number of layers using inks and acrylics.

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New Linocut

 This is my latest linocut entitled "24 Studies of Vases and Flowers".  It is 18" x 24" , printed in an edition of ten.   

This is my latest linocut entitled "24 Studies of Vases and Flowers".  It is 18" x 24" , printed in an edition of ten.