Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Woodcut Workshop Rolls On

Tonight was the third meeting for the current woodcut class in Belmar.  Still only two students showing up out of the three who signed up and paid, but those who are coming have been working hard.

Both of my students have been able to make use of my provided tools during class times, but both have been using alternative tools at home in between our meetings.  Linda has gotten the furthest into her first block using a variety of x-acto type tools, which I know work because my college students have had to rely on such things over the years.  I can't afford to provide imported tools to every student in a college class during class time and I never let people take my tools home to keep working.  I still make use of some here and there myself.  She came in with a very specific idea she wanted to do, and had a detailed block drawing at the start of our second meeting.  Since our last meeting she had used her tools to cut a lot of the image, and even pulled a few pencil rubbings to check the progress of her value balance.  What she needed tonight was to get my opinion on a few areas she was unsure of, and use of the better tools to do a few delicate areas.  Working efficiently, she felt ready to see how it would print, so I showed her how to pull a proof, using water based ink so it would dry quickly, well before our next class.

She was extremely pleased with the result.  I'll have a better image of it next time when it's finished and properly inked and printed. First inkings are always low quality, and water based ink is fairly inferior to oil, but this gives her the best take on what she's got so far and what she needs to do before our next meeting to make it better.

Meanwhile, Mary Ellen came in with a long way to go on her mermaid print.  Tried working with a really cheap set of tools, the kind that come in a large package for several dollars, and didn't get too far.  The tools I provide the class let her do some better things.  Showed her some pages from a Masereel novel that included mermaids and undersea scenes- not to get her to copy, but just for some inspiration.

She wasn't going to be printing anything tonight, but she got to watch me demonstrate the process.  Maybe she'll be ready to try it next time.

We have one more meeting to go, two weeks from tonight.  At that point both will be printing something, and maybe even working on ideas for a second piece.


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