10" X 13" woodcut
Here's Arnie! The first of my trio of hogs from Bagaduce Farm. I pulled five prints of him this morning, using my new water-soluble ink from Graphic Chemical & Ink Company in Chicago, a new roll of Japanese mulberry paper, a new German brayer (a roller used to spred the ink on the woodblock), a new Japanese bamboo-covered baren (a disk used to press the paper onto the inked woodblock), and an old sheet of glass that Tom raided from a picture frame to roll the ink out on (instead of a paper plate).
I'm quite pleased with all my new tools, but I still have lots of questions about how to use them. Take the paper, for instance. Should I cut or tear it? Which side of the paper should I print on--the smooth or the rough? How do I center the paper over the woodblock so that the margins are even? I tried a little bit of everything this morning. I ended up folding and then tearing the paper along the edge of a countertop. And I ended up using the rough side more than the smooth side of the paper. I still haven't mastered centering the paper over the woodblock. (You may have noticed that Arnie looks a little cock-eyed.) Perhaps that comes with practice. I'm sure to get that! Martha Stewart and Hillary Clinton await my carving tools, my woodblocks, my ink, and my paper. So, I'll be back!