Back at it.

Now that I’m over the worst of a late winter cold, I’m back to work on the press. Part of it was prompted by a gathering at a pub of the mighty Ottawa Press Gang, a group that is growing mightier all the time. I had the privilege to meet three new members, which brings the Gangster count to about the lofty reaches of about 14, with seven press imprints declared, I think. Who’da thunk it! Well, godspeed the northern press….

And in that vein, I return to the vampire fable. There’s been a slight change in the design of the work, which will require a split run. The first 50 copies, earmarked for the Ottawa Press Gang collaboration, will be 12 pages, 8.5 in x 5.5 in., two colour with illustrations as planned. However, for the second 50, I will have to rearrange the type for taller pages, to print on Arches Text Wove, recently ordered from Wallack’s Art Supplies in Ottawa. This split run will, more or less, represent my departure from the use of commercial papers in favour of hand-made, mold-made or laid papers. This is also quite a frightening investment for every project now, so the apprenticeship pricing scheme will soon change as well.

So I cut my teeth on linoblocks for the vampire story yesterday. I inked up the press for the first time in ages, and proofed the initial trials on some of the block illustrations for The Vampire and the Seventh Daughter. You can see the results below.
While being inked up, I took a proof of the last type I set (before I ran out of ‘h’s — hrmphh). Having written the text, and looking back at it now five or six weeks on, I have some issues with it, but none so burning that I feel the need to reset. It may be that the act of editing the story down to accommodate the limited scope of my press, my type and my time has, as it were, sucked some of the blood out of it. Since it is in the folk tale tradition, there is some latitude. And I’ll try to infuse some plasma with illustrations. The prints are shown about full size


Here are the blocks as cut.

I liked the way this hand worked out, using the narrow black lines to define the thumb and shaded fingers. I might do a second cut to clean up in between the fingers.


So what’s with the extremities, you’re wondering. A Lever 2000 ad? No, once printed, hand inked red tooth marks will be added to the foot, wrist and neck. Part of the three-beat nature of the fable. This block is good to go.



I can’t say the same about this one. I can tell what it is, because I drew it. But others might have to take a second look or maybe four to figure it out. Perhaps back to the drawing board for a less complex neck.

dropcap.jpg And the drop cap ‘O’ for ‘Once upon a time….’ Needs a bit of cleaning up, but this will be the block used in the work. I took the liberty for the blog of swapping black out for red to give the idea of how it will look in the end. Bloody O! For the second taller edition, I will have to cut another one of these gory letters with a longer drip.

Explore posts in the same categories: Block Printing, Lino Cuts

One Comment on “Back at it.”

  1. Chris Says:

    Larry, i really like what you’re doing here. The hand really works…..great poise – and as you say, the variance in line adds tons of interest. And who can resist the bloody O. Asd my buddy Don says …. Chapeau!

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