My First Linoleum Block Print (yay!)

My First Linoleum Block Print, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

My brother, dakokichidekalb, is an amazing artist. He has been making Japanese woodblock prints for years. After printing, he makes some into kites made of split bamboo. He is so knowledgeable about prints and the process that it was hard for me to try - because I knew it would never be as good as him. Well, I took some baby steps. Last week i cut the block, not worrying about the end result. Tonight I bough some good quality watercolor paper and started printing with sepia Versatex ink. Last night at The Maker's meeting I asked my brother how to make a print. I was so naive that I thought it was similar to craft stamping: just put the ink on turn over the block and presto! He set me straight and gave me some pointers on how to soak the paper, roll the ink properly, how to cushion the block with paper and then how to use a brayer to rub the ink into the paper. The first print (upper left) was too wet, the second was too dry, the third was inconsistent throughout, the fourth was pretty good for a novice. I got so excited I misnumbered them. Just like with flying my brother's kites, there is a childlike thrill of giving it your best shot, then lifting the paper to reveal the result. I couldn't wait to lift that paper - each time was filled with anticipation. I can see how this would be addictive: making one print after another in search of that elusive bit of perfection.
Now, I'm not saying my block was carved well - it wasn't and I'm not saying that my print was any good - it isn't; but what I am saying is that it is worth exploring. I think I'll be creating more prints in the future. Thanks, Al for introducing me to the printing world. I'm glad you are my brother.

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