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 melkolstad.com! :)
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