linocut, Printmaking

Marking The Date

The image above is of the inside cover, long since detached from the bible it once belonged to. The names list the births and marriages of my ancesters on my fathers side of the family in various straggly but elegant scripts, with the ink fading to brown with age, dating back to mid nineteenth century. A link to the past.

Many people have taken advantage of the digitising of public records to discover their heritage – indeed it is big business these days, and we are no exception as my lovely sister has spent many a long evening trawling the records to piece together this side of our family history (and an excellent job she has done too – although the process is much easier than it used to be, there is still a good amount of detective work to be done.)  This is not a post setting out my own ancestry – I don’t think there’s anything intersting enough to warrant a full post – but if anyone is interested, I have descended from a long line of offal butchers and tripe dressers!

I have had that image hanging around now for a few months (a recent discovery for the Skinners) and decided to make a print of it.

I decided to use one of the entries and produce a careful lino block. I use blue carbon paper to transfer the image from an inkjet print to the lino.

And used a combination of scalpel (10A blade) and fine lino tool.

I originally took this shot to record the drop of blood – just a small prick (!) as I thought it was apt to be spilling one’s blood in the recording of one’s blood, but was struck by the asemic qualities of this abbeviated ‘th’

I made an artistic judgement to alter the composition of the words – originally, the word ‘born’ followed on the same line as ‘Skinner’ and I thought that this made for a more pleasing arrangement.

Lino is an excellent material to work with. It changes as you handle and use it, especially when it is inked up for the first time…

I did a couple of test prints (on the nipping press) before using the last few sheets of hand-made paper I produced last year.

The first proper pull is always the most exciting. The paper is super absorbent and required that the block was well inked. It also needed a lot of pressure too.

These were taken after I had cleaned up whilst the prints were hanging up to dry.

I am very pleased with these. Probably more than any prints I have done so far.

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3 thoughts on “Marking The Date

  1. Absolutely fantastic. Theres something nice in the idea of the new blood reprinting the old blood. Perhaps you should add to the history for future Skinners.

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