This is carved linoleum, it is used in printing. This artist, Oida Touchon (ouidatouchon.com), used the mums in her garden to inspire this block. Once she completed her carving, she covered it with inks and made a print. Sounds easy – sort of. The final print of this mum had four colors, which meant she created four different versions of this block – one for each color. She created a registry mark to make sure her four blocks aligned at the same point, thus ensuring her print would be consistent.
What an incredible process to go through to get a single print. For centuries that was the process used by printers to make things in color. Now we just snap a picture on our phone and print it on the color printer. So much easier, yet that doesn’t mean is it better.
I am grateful for the artists who are practicing, preserving, and passing on the techniques of old. They are the caretakers and teachers sharing lessons and examples of beauty that can never be mass produced. In this world of fast food, downloadable images and insta-anything, it is a relief to know that artists across the globe are working to preserve our creative heritage. Hooray for the creative ones carving into linoleum in their studio, painstakingly sharing their creative ideas with the world…one stroke at a time!