Block Printing at the Library

H block printOn Saturday afternoon, I went to a  block printing class at our library. The class was taught by Liz and Gabe from Hoofprint Workshop in Chicago. They brought their portable press, made from a car jack (!!!) and had small 3×4 inch blocks for each of us to carve. The class was advertised as a holiday card printmaking class, but Liz made it clear we could carve whatever we wanted. I decided, since I cannot draw (and because I have a little bit of PTSD from a previous printmaking class I tried and promptly dropped out of–a story for another time…or a therapist), that I would do a candy cane striped H. I wanted  something with simple lines so I could practice making deep, thick stripes and shallow thin ones and getting comfortable with the tool. I was the first one done cutting my block (most people had more intricate designs) so I inked and printed my block. My first print was okay, but you could barely see the thinnest lines so I worked the rest of the class widening those lines and fussing with the other lines. In the end, the one above was my best impression. It’s more challenging than it looks to get the right amount of ink and the right amount of pressure on the press. Practice, practice, practice!  printing press from car jackThat’s Liz above working the car jack press. I’m obsessed with how genius it is…and Dad, do we have a spare car jack?

I have two linoleum blocks in my craft cupboard and now I have the confidence to tackle them and an idea that involves a little bit more drawing skills than our monogram…wish me luck!

For a better picture of the car jack press and a great article about Hoofprint Workshop, go here. Their workshop is in an old funeral home!!

And, for more Adventures at the Library posts, go here.

Thanks to the Forest Park Public Library for hosting another awesome event and to Liz and Gabe of Hoofprint for sharing their expertise with us!

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3 thoughts on “Block Printing at the Library

  1. kittehluvs says:

    I love printmaking. I took a class in college – it was a HARD class but I loved it. I wish I could find a class near me. Love your candy cane H btw.

    • kimberly ah says:

      Thank you! It was fun. If you can’t find a class, I would suggest just buying a linoleum block and the Speedball tool and giving it a try on your own. According to Liz & Gabe, you can ink up your block and burnish it onto paper with the back of a wooden spoon if you don’t have a printing press…I’m going to give it a try with my supplies here. 🙂

  2. […] not perfection: I get too wrapped up in doing things well the first time. When I went to the printmaking class at the library last year, I threw it all out the window. I didn’t care if other people had […]

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