Friday, July 18, 2014

It started with a thumbprint.....

WOW!  It's the middle of July!  How did that happen?  Time does indeed fly when you're enjoying every moment of it.  And this summer has been one of the most delightful in recent memory!

When the summer began, I told myself that it was going to be a summer of experimentation.  No idea or medium or color was off limits.  I also made time for some reading, which has been extremely beneficial!

One book I found was "Drawn to Stitch" by Gwen Hadley.  I've been doing quite a bit of free-form embroidery this summer and incorporating printmaking into it. One of the exercises in the book was to take things found in nature and magnify them - the author used various rock walls and markings found in her native U.K., but I thought a bit differently.  What's the first print most of us make in our lives?  It's an easy one - our fingerprints!

I took this thumbprint and magnified it, like so (I'm still in the process of darkening the whorls in Photoshop for some sun printing):

I then traced this design onto a basswood block - 

After inking and printing the block on my backpack press with Akua ink on a very thin unryu paper, mounting onto a vintage 1939 Wisconsin survey map and having the prints professionally matted by the wonderful folks at Gallery & Frame Shop here in Fond du Lac, this is the final print!  I call it "Tributary", because it reminds me of winding riverways.  You can find it in my shop on!  :)

I challenge you to take something in your house or backyard and enlarge it - you'll be surprised at the difference it makes!  It's like a whole new object, and it's really fun to play around to get different results. Hooray for experimentation!  :D