Printed Embroidery

art, corvallis, embroidery, Prints

A few days ago I made a post about my collection of vintage printing blocks, with a teaser about a new project I used them for.

typecut embroidery.06It’s probably pretty self-explanatory–I used them as embroidery patterns. By taking them through my Challenge proof press with carbon paper, I printed them on unbleached linen, then embroidered the images.

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Printmaking and embroidery are two mediums I don’t often get to combine. Somehow using antique printing blocks as a base for a similarly antiquated medium like embroidery seems kind of right.

typecut embroidery.02These are each in either 3″ or 5″ hoops.

typecut embroidery.03And right now, they’re all available for sale at the Corvallis Art Center’s Art Shop!

typecut embroidery.07Bonus Oregonian tree embroidery:
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Type Cuts

art, corvallis, embroidery, Prints

On the shelf above my workbench there’s a box.

DSC_0602That box contains my collection of type cuts–also known as printing blocks, or letterpress cuts. They’re images etched into wood or lead, meant to be printed alongside letterpress type.

Christy Turner type cut collection

It’s an eclectic mix of images that I’ve hand picked for one reason or another. These are a few of my favorites:

Turner typecut collection.01

Turner typecut collection.02

This one is a simplified line etching of a traditional platen press–the kind of printing press used for traditional letterpress printing.

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As a Pacific Northwest native, I do love trees.

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And crabs.

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By far my strangest cut is this one–it’s about 3″ across, and was presumably used for creating dental records. Can you even imagine something as mundane as dental records being hand printed?

Turner typecut collection.06

But this one is my favorite. Surrounded by intricate images of elk and horses and trees and other oddities, this pointing hand is the jewel of my collection. It looks like metal but it’s not–this is my only wood etched type cut, carved from a single piece of wood rather than from lead (or lead mounted on a wood base).

The hand itself is probably recognizable–this design, called a manicule, has become popular in modern graphic design. They were originally used to draw attention to important text in documents and books dating back to the 12th century, a common form of marginalia on some of the earliest letterpress printed materials.

Given its history and delicate line quality, it’s hard not to love. I mean look at the individual carved lines–so much information in such sparse, elegant detail. This is what you think of when you think traditional woodcut design.

I recently used a few of my favorite cuts for a somewhat eclectic project, which I’ll explain in a later post. For now, here’s a teaser:
typecut embroidery.06

Happy Friday!

Mountain Woodcut

art, corvallis, work in progress

The theme the past couple of weeks has been mountains!2014-09-09 21.49.36 Mainly because of the beautiful places in the Pacific Northwest. This is a phone picture from a recent camping trip in the Opal Creek wilderness, and I have a lot more fairly similar pictures from places in and around the Willamette Valley.2014-09-20 17.44.36 HDR Having looked at these views (and bad cell phone pictures of them) most of my life, I decided I needed to learn to draw mountains and trees–a more daunting task than it sounds, trust me. First I did a smaller woodcut, about 3″ x 5″, shown here. But even with my micro Flexcut tools, which are seriously the most awesome woodcarving tools ever made, I can’t get much detail or texture in such a small block.2014-09-09 20.16.34So I decided to try a bigger block.

2014-09-10 20.49.54This is a roughly 2′ x 3′ hunk of plywood that’s been hanging around my studio for about four years. I don’t remember where the hell it came from, or what I originally intended to do with it, but it’s relatively unwarped and has a pretty sweet grain, so I’m guess I’m going to carve it. This is way bigger than I usually work, so we’ll see how it goes. It’s worth noting that this block won’t actually fit in my cylinder press–I’ll have to print it by hand with a baren when it’s finished, but that’s okay. I never expected to actually own a printing press, so I made sure to learn how to hand press before I graduated from school, thinking that would be my only option in the future.

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Here’s the finished drawing. The foreground/background differentiation doesn’t look great, but I’m hoping I can smooth some of that out with the carving, making it a little more gradated. Unfortunately the carving process has been slow, in part due to a strained neck muscle and partly because of my dedicated studio cat, Rosie. Apparently my woodblock is a really good place to sit.

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But fall weather is the best for printmaking in my opinion (and the best weather for anything else, period) so here’s hoping I’m able to get some serious carving in this week.



Mixed Media Art Magazine, Issue 14

art, bookbinding, bookmaking, embroidery, Prints, publication

In other recent publication news, I’ve recently been featured in Mixed Media Art Magazine, an international online publication about–you guessed it–mixed media art and artists.

Since I work in a pretty wide variety of intertwined mediums, it’s hard to consider myself anything except a mixed media artist. So being chosen to feature in an art magazine specifically devoted to mixed media–which is often sort of overlooked–is a big deal for me. And you guys, this magazine is beautiful. I feel honored to be published in it.

I’m in issue 14, available here. Go check it out!

MMAM 14 cover

Pacific Northwest Alphabet Book

art, bookbinding, bookmaking, exhibition, Prints, work in progress

A while back I was invited to donate a piece of art for a fundraiser in March. Because the submission deadline is actually in February, I’ve been working hard to finish a new book before the due date–an alphabet book of Pacific Northwest animals.

Thanks to the internet I was able to find an animal for every letter, which proved more difficult than I’d initially thought. Then I sketched each one, carved them onto woodblocks, and printed them onto sekishu paper, a process that took about two weeks altogether.

Photo Jan 28, 6 15 08 PM

My chaotic but excellent workspace.Photo Jan 26, 2 09 16 PM

The Challenge proof press. It was actually nice outside when I started printing this weekend, so I got to open up my garage door and get some sunshine.Photo Jan 26, 2 09 22 PM Look at all them prints.Photo Jan 28, 6 37 04 PM A is for anemone! And weirdly enough so is Z in this series, because the only Z animal I could find was another type of anemone.Photo Jan 28, 7 25 07 PMEven though the most time consuming part of the process is finished, I still have to trim these prints, mount them to the pages of the book, make the covers and sew the book itself. So here’s hoping I can get all that done before my deadline.