The Maldon Easter Quilt, Art and Craft Show is coming up this weekend. Although I admire quilts and quilters, quilting is one thing I have never tried. I particularly like crazy patchwork, and have done a couple of small pieces in the past, which I enjoyed. With that in mind, and in keeping with my fascination for all things vintage, I decided to do a couple of prints incorporating both themes.
The pincushion shoe is done from a sketch from a photo and is a woodcut on MDF – not as ‘crisp’ as I would have liked. The crazy patchwork design is etched into a flattened milk carton with an embossing tool. The ridges formed by the folds add to the patchwork effect. The colours were achieved by simply using red, blue and yellow ink on the same roller. Both prints, first the background and then the woodcut, were hand pulled using a barren.
Me being me, I decided to cut another woodblock, this time of a vintage sewing machine. The block is cut from Masonite, harder and ‘nicer’ to cut than the MDF. Considering it was an off-cut found in the woodpile, and no doubt had absorbed at least some moisture, I was quite pleased with the way it worked.
Using the same background block, but with more muted colours and ‘haphazard’ roller method, it has come out as quite a different print from the first one.
Whenever I cut a new block, I can’t resist playing, trying a few different ways of printing it. To be expected, I suppose, when quite a lot of time goes into making a block, whether wood or milk carton, and I’m not all that keen on editioning prints. The eras are out of sync, but I decided to print the sewing machine block over a vintage magazine page. I’m guessing the machine is from the early 1900s. The magazine is from 1944. Not an accurate marriage. However, the machine I first learned to sew with was an old Singer wind-the handle model, and that was in the early sixties. My grandmother was still using her old treadle machine long after electric models came in. So, perhaps the time differences aren’t that important, after all.