June 12, 2010

Handcarved ATC and Gardening in June

Here are some pictures of my garden now. 
 The fennel and kale have taken off nicely.  There is an onion in the foreground and in the very back are calendula flowers that Catherine planted.

These are our broccoli plants that I bought at the farmers market in Arcata.
I havested some radishes, garlic and chives out of the garden.  I used them in some potato salad that we are going to have on a picnic in the redwoods later today.
I have been doing some hand carved linoleum stamps.  The face on the left is my attempt at carving Abby Sutherland's face.  I think she is a hero and example to all teenagers.  She is a hero because she dreamed and worked hard to make her dreams come true. Her dream didn't come out of some experts idea of what a teenager had the right to dream about.  She was prepared and didn't take unnecessary risk.  When it was time to throw in the towel she did.  I totally admire her and her parents.  Here boat was well equipped and it had five water tight chambers. She also had a crew monitoring her and keep up with her.  I am glad that we live in a place where we are allowed to dream big and the freedom to pursue our dreams, provided we have the money and means to do so.
    I haven't finished carving her face yet. The picture is from the point of view that she is looking in the sun.. 
    Last night I decided to cut my Japanese carving tools down.  I should have done it before now, but I didn't want to ruin them. They were to precious, more so than I guess my hand was trying to manipulate it to cut at a 30 degree angle. You can see in the picture how the man is carving with them. Also if you go to the link it has an article about how to use them and the other hand to control the cut. Well I cut off a half an inch and they are still too long, so I am going to sand them down till they are right.  I will say they are much better now than they were and I really started enjoying carving a lot more than I have in the past.
   The board that all the tools and stamp are sitting on is called a bench hook  I am going to modify that so that the cut out at the top is closer to the center.  You can wedge your linoleum block in the cut out and then you are free to use your hands to guide the blade.  Right now because I am doing ATC size blocks the bench hook makes the carving too far away to carve with out hurting my back.
    I am thinking about doing the SKETCHBOOK PROJECT. I was considering the theme Face In The Crowd. It would be a book of my lino-cut faces. When I thought about seriously doing this I thought I have to cut my tools down...and it wasn't such a big deal anymore.
    I wonder if anyone visiting my blog has joined or thought of joining this?  If so what is your theme and will you be blogging about it?