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My First, um, butchered block
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Author:  Steve Sisney [ Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:21 am ]
Post subject:  My First, um, butchered block

well, in the main, i believe i've butchered this first block.

* clearly, the design is far too large for the block (10cm x 15cm)
* used a sketch i had pasted down before i bought YFP
* block is from a kinokuniya in San Francisco's Japantown
* tried looking over back of right hand (with right-handed hangitoh) to cut the lines
* sliced right through my design repeatedly
* probably cutting too deep in some places
* couldn't find much use for a bullnose or small flat chisel
* mostly used a narrow u-gouge
* found myself prying down, against, and _away_ from the design
(this _must_ be a bad idea, as it stresses the design area)
* had trouble keeping the u-gouge sharp
* cross grain cutting was treacherous, kept cracking the design
* the wood split and chipped through the design frequently
* couldn't see any way to cut the finer details
* tried to cut the registration with a 21mm flat chisel

i'm not sure i can get a good impression from it, but i'll try!
obviously, i have a long way to go…

any comments or suggestions would be most welcome.

Steve

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Author:  Steve Sisney [ Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My First, um, butchered block

the tools i used... attached.

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Author:  Steve Sisney [ Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My First, um, butchered block

another view of the carnage...

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Author:  Steve Sisney [ Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My First, um, butchered block

the gory details...

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Author:  Steve Sisney [ Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My First, um, butchered block

the block and design. i transferred it to tracing paper with a "brush" artist's pen, and pasted the tracing paper directly to the block.

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Author:  David Bull [ Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My First, um, butchered block

Somebody's having fun!

Can I toss in a couple of points? You have certainly taken on a fair challenge for a 'first' print - all those fine lines, especially involving small circular shapes. That's about the most difficult carving there is ...

In general, I think you are digging too deeply. When the lines are fairly close together, there is little danger of the paper sagging down between them at printing time, and there is thus no necessity to excavate quite so far down. You said you couldn't find much use for the flat chisel ... but this is exactly what it is used for. Score your outlines, use your u-gouges to scoop out some of the waste at a distance from the lines, then use the flat chisel to 'level off' the area up to the lines ...

Also, you do have a bit of an issue with sharpening! When the left-over wood has a lot of 'fuzzyness' along the length of a scooped out area, it's an indication of a dull tool. Do you have a little stone to rub the gouges over now and then?

But anyway, this one looks like a lot of fun! What's the plan for colour blocks?

Author:  Steve Sisney [ Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My First, um, butchered block

thanks so much for your "points" Bull-san.

i'll try to use the gouges, then the flat chisel to level out more shallow areas around the scoring on the next blocks.

i just picked up a medium (#1000) stone (pictured) with troughs for my u-gouges, but they don't fit perfectly. i'll do my best...

the only plan i have for color blocks is "red and green". maybe (pale) red octopus on a (pale) green field in alternating bokashi (green from the top of the field, red from the bottom of the octopus)?

i may carve out some void (un-printed?) motif in the field or the skin of the octopus. i thought i would sketch on my key block tests before deciding.

if i can salvage this design, i'd like it to look as "ukiyo-e" as possible.

Steve

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Author:  Steve Sisney [ Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My First, um, butchered block

this is a little more promising (pictured). i sharpened my tools, cleared everything but the design and registration, and tried to level things out. after washing it, i can see more clearly how jagged my lines are. i think i'll try some test prints before i start hacking at it again though.

Steve

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