Advent Cards

Framed Messiah 1There is a story behind this piece.  For Christmas this year, I decided to create my own Advent cards.  I like sharing things that are made by my own hands rather than bought in a store.

For the very first time, I used the Linocut technique.  For my carving block, I selected the Speedball Speedy-Carve Block.  As the marketing suggests, this particular block is exceedingly easy to carve.  It is similar in consistency to a pink eraser.

Here is the block with my drawing of the Infant Jesus suspended on roses and emanating a halo.

Advent Card drawingThe next picture shows the block carved and ready for ink.

Advent Card linocutHere is the block, fully loaded with ink.  (The red substance was acrylic paint.  It did not print as well as the gold block printing ink, so I abandoned it.)

Advent Card with inkFor the next couple of hours, I produced a ton of prints.  I found that 3/4 of the prints looked great.  Due to the effects of chaos on ink, a small number of prints came out too light, too heavy, or too unclear.  Apparently, the key to good prints is making a lot of them.

Advent Cards drying 2

Advent Card drying3For the card prints, I let the upper and bottom of the block “bleed” off the paper.  My intention with the oversize block was to produce a few full-size prints.

Advent Cards drying 1

Here is a high-res scan of the “card version.”  I like how the printing process introduces some variation and unpredictability in the texture of my lines and spotting.

Advent card

At some point during the printing process, it occurred to me that the full-size piece would make the perfect gift for someone very special to me.  The colors and the imagery are just right for her.  I started to brainstorm about how to frame it….

Framed Messiah 2

For the matte, I rolled on the same gold metallic ink, then sprayed a translucent golden glitter sealer.  I used the same translucent spray on the black frame.

I’m quite happy with the final result.  My Christmas needs are filled, but I do intend to make some more prints using other colors of ink and paper.  I also can’t wait to carve another block!

2 thoughts on “Advent Cards

  1. Can’t believe this is your first linocut Dean, it’s so accomplished. Your work really lends itself to this technique, I hope we see some more linocuts from you in 2014!

    • Thank you, Phil! It feels good to have encouragement with a new experiment. I’ve gotten good feedback from the recipients of the cards and full-size print as well, so I will definitely be utilizing this technique again!!

Comments are closed.