2013 Year of the Snake

I've decided to mix it up. The calendar, I mean.

Following wasabipress tradition, I have been meditating on the upcoming zodiac animal for the year 2013. As it happens, as faithful followers of this extremely feeble and poorly neglected blog know, I am quite fond of snakes. However, this year I did something wierd and experimental and not like other years before at all.

It happened thusly: While visiting Oakland back in the spring, I heard from my good friend Jimmy, who is an outstanding designer in his own right, that he had a whole crapton of amazing Fabriano cotton rag paper that he was GIVING away to someone who might make good use of it. So I nabbed it and drove those babies all the way back to LA.

Now this isn't your ordinary, flick of the wrist, inkjet your fourteenth draft of your poetry chapbook kind of paper. This is top of the line Italian, fer goodness sakes, which meant that each sheet is a golden slab of semolina-like, cream-to-the-top of the jug, fall-into-a-lush-embrace-from-three-stories-above kind of paper. I didn't want to fuck it up.

As it happens, I was miraculously offered my third artist residency in September, this time in Red Wing, Minnesota and lo and behold, the campus included a resident letterpress studio, replete with metal type, a guillotine, and two flatbed cylinder presses, housed in the old granary. Swoon.

So when I packed up my usual frocks and notebooks and various gone for a month accoutrements, I included my carving tools, some tracing and carbon papers, water-based inks, a brayer, and a heavy box of linoleum blocks to the heap. And the paper. Which were still in their original box and the parent sheets were 39.5 x 28 inches, 285 gsm. What to do?

In the end I hand-tore twenty three giant sheets four times each, for a total of ninety-four pages to print linoblocks- ganged up four at a time. THAT took only two days, but worked beautifully. (insert sound of weary applause)

I was even armed with this beautiful tool bag for my carving implements, sewn by my amazing husband, Sam.

While I was technically in Redwing to work on the biography, I reasoned that one can't write ALL the live long day, and thus, to keep me moving and balanced, I spent my mornings drawing, first in pencils then transferring the images onto the blocks using carbon paper, then finishing the image with good ol' Sharpie pens. Then, I carved like a demon.

I got to know the Challenge proof press quite well after a few days of cranking out prints.
What I have produced this year is a set of twelve two-color linoleum prints and a single page calendar,
which can be procured either as a full set...
...or as individual prints.
The full set even comes with these adorable chipboard stands that my astonishingly talented husband designed.
So if you're still searching for your 2013 time measurement device or are celebrating your snake zodiac year, or have a proclivity for block prints, cats, sparrows, or diving women....this is the time to strike.
Whaddya know? My etsy store, wasabipress is right here.