Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Soft Block Printmaking Workshop

I always loved block printing – whether linoleum block or wood block, its characteristics appealed to me. But the actual process of cutting the block was just too darn hard (literally!). Years later, I learned that my frustrated attempt to cut a lino block would have been easier if I'd let it soften in the hot sun first. Now artists use heat guns and heating pads to make it workable. Still, cutting is a challenge, and it's easy to slip and cut yourself instead of the block.

Imagine my pleasure when I discovered soft blocks! They're basically eraser material – and they cut so easily that the process became a pleasure for me. The cutters are relatively new, too – I use safety cutters that are much easier to manipulate, and that create lovely curves with an ease you couldn't get before.

The pleasure I found in creating block prints with these (then) new materials is what I'm sharing this weekend in my Soft Block Printmaking Weekend workshop. I've written more about the materials at my teaching blog, Napa Valley Art Camp, and there's more information here on my Art Workshops page.

Angel of Peace © 2004 Karen Lynn Ingalls

Here's one of my Christmas cards from a few years back, created with a soft block.

We'll be printing cards, art prints, and fabric, learning different methods for printing with one or more colors, and having a great time – I am looking forward to it!

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