Monday, July 19, 2010

Soft Block Printmaking Workshop

I'm looking forward to next week's Soft Block Printmaking workshop (either a one-day workshop on Saturday for those who want to try this out for the first time, or a full weekend workshop for those who want to really plunge into all the things you can do with this medium).

If you have done linoleum or wood block printing before, this is a little different. Soft blocks are made of new materials created in recent years. They cut like butter, and their ease of cutting makes it a much more enjoyable process (for me, anyway). The ones I recommend are Speedball's Speedy Carve blocks – the pink ones in the stack below.
Speedball's Speedy Carve stamps are the pink ones

In addition, Speedball, a printing supplies company, invented safety cutters – called LinoZips – that are easier to hold and to manipulate, and that create beautiful curving lines with much more ease. Besides that, we're using water-soluble inks – so there's no solvent smell. Ain't technology wonderful? Each of these things has made the block printing process simpler and, for me, a lot more fun.
One of my Christmas cards – Angel of Peace © 2004 Karen Lynn Ingalls

The first day will be about getting your design on the block, and carving the block and printing it. For those who are interested in printing more than one color, we'll get started on different methods of doing that, too.

The second day, we'll continue with different methods of printing multiple colors, including hand coloring, reductive printing, and using a key block. We'll also do a little block printing on fabric, so be sure to bring things you'd like to print on (cotton shirts from consignment or thrift shops, pieces of old sheets (for experimentation and something special!), white dish towels, canvas tote bags, T-shirts, or...?

You can register online at the Calistoga Art Center's workshop page. If you'd like me to supply your materials, please give me a call to let me know in advance at (707) 942-0197.

One additional workshop is coming up this summer – Painting the Costumed Model! Stay tuned....

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