Thursday, April 14, 2011

A new adventure.....

Hi everyone!

I am so excited to share my new adventure with everyone. After nearly two years (yikes!) of being a part of with my gourmet basket business, Blue Bird Baskets, I decided to shift my focus a little into something new - art!

To be clear, I am by no means an artist. If anything, I would categorize myself as a creative person with too many ideas and not enough technical knowledge. In high school I ended up taking AP Art on a whim, and that experience has always stuck with me. In particular, I had the chance to learn about woodblock prints, both Western and Japanese styles.

Japanese woodblock prints first became popular in both China and Japan as early as the sixth century B.C., but it was not until the 1600s in Japan that the process was used as a viable means for mass-printing of religious materials. It is similar to Western forms of woodcut, but they used water-based inks instead, and this gives them their unique appearance with vivid colors and incredible transparency. One of the most famous images of Japanese woodcut is this one, titled "Tsunami" from the artist Hokusai.

In Europe, woodcut is one of the oldest techniques for printing, and was developed about 1400. As in Japan, the technique was inexpensive, which led to an explosion of lower standard prints. It was not until German artists in 1475 that the woodcut developed into its more sophisticated and the more widely recognized form that we know today. One of the most well-known German woodcut masters is Albrecht Dürer. Here is one of his works that shows the incredible detail he was able to achieve. It is called, fittingly "Rhinoceros."

What is appealing about these for me is that once you make each block - however painstaking the process is - you can make a print of it many times. That is somehow more rewarding for me than having a "one of a kind" piece of work. I like to think that art should be shared with many people, and printmaking is just the vehicle to do that.

So all of that is to say that I will be dusting off my skills and beginning to create a line of homemade prints to sell on my new Etsy shop. In the meantime, though I've still got two mirrors for sale from my adventures in oyster land last summer after the oil spill. Read all about it here and here and here.

Here's to a new adventure!