Linocut cards

A week ago I encountered a small fly in the ointment of my life (a spanner in my works) when I managed to fracture my wrist playing in a football match. It’s a fairly straightforward break but I have to wear a cast for six weeks. My mobility’s a bit limited at present and using that hand too much (thankfully my non-dominant one) makes the wrist ache. It does seem to be getting a little better each day though.

Last week I had to finish a birthday card for one of my best friends. Luckily I’d done the preparation before I broke my arm.

I sketch all ideas for cards, jewellery and other bits of art in my ideas book – funnily enough, it was a gift from the person this card was for.

When the book is filled up, I will be scavenging the cover for beads and sequins!

I also stick in pictures of jewellery I like that I find in magazines.

For this card I’d decided to create a new linocut – a stamp hand-cut from a disk of linoleum (a kind of hard rubber). I based this one on a photograph of a butterfly I’d taken at a butterfly farm a couple of days earlier. Butterflies have special significance to the person this card was for.

The inspiration

This was the third linocut I’ve attempted. Here you can see the new linocut (butterfly), the first two (an acorn and a cat) and an uncarved disk blank.

Little linocuts. The disk blank is only a couple of inches across

They are carved using a selection of sharp, gouging tools. Yes, I did gouge my hand the first time I used them. I’ve since learnt to always carve away from myself. I stamp it several times as I go along, to check what the stamped image looks like until I’m happy with the finished result.

There are about three iterations on this page, plus the initial (wonky) sketch

Here’s the finished card. I stamped four butterflies using black ink onto pink card, cut them out and fixed them to the card using foam tape so they are slightly three dimensional, as if they had just landed on the card.

The finished card

I used the cat linocut to make a small range of card you can see here on my old blog.

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