my oldest child, 7, heretofore to be referred to as mr. o, strolled into my studio and made his way right over to a carving tool and speedy-carve block on my desk. picking up the carver with the confidence of a master, he dug right into the block. i stopped what i was doing in order to harness his momentum and interest. if i were to wait 5 minutes, he could be knee-deep into Lego work and it could be hard to get him back.
i suggested he use a pencil (then traced over with a sharpie) to make a simple line drawing. he opted for a motor vehicle at a light. this being his first block print project, I also suggested he carve the line, rather than the negative space. he decided that adding his name in the corner would be a nice touch. he didn’t much mind that a print would read backwards. we often try to speak backwards, so really it was all the better to him.
ready to print! we rolled out a dab of pewter block printing ink onto a glass baking dish – fancy! mr. o patiently rolled the ink back and forth with the brayer until it was just right – you know it’s ready with the sound of the brayer across the ink sounds like velcro. i did my very best to not be a control freak as mr. o rolled a (mostly) even layer of ink on the block. next, the paper is placed on the block, and using a wooden spoon as our baren to apply pressure on the paper and (hopefully — ok, i helped a little here!) make a nice inked print.
the end result: a very limited edition. cute!
my five year old, let’s call him ‘loo, REALLY wants to make one too, though he is not quite ready for the carving tool. i’m thinking their vday cards will involve some type of peewee-friendly print making, so do stay tuned…