Thursday, May 31, 2012

Out, Crimson Spot!... Grimm's Blocks, Continued

How's about an update? I got a nice, over-sized box from McClain's today, which as you may suspect is the woodblock that I determined would take too long to carve before a fairytale deadline. So, since I don't have any singing birds or gouge-wielding gnomes, and since I am employing details from the larger design within the three smaller blocks, this means this block will probably find itself propped up in a lonely corner and pointedly ignored for most of the Summer. Poor shina plywood, custom cut and everything. 

The carving has gone pretty well*, so even with the need to print quite soon and frame quite soon, I think I may just be in good shape.

*I have yet to even skin my knuckles! GOODness. Gold star for the clumsy one! Maybe this is only because they're smaller blocks. If it's a larger one, I have a tendency to throw myself into it an unnecessary fashion. And then one wonders why one's shoulder or elbow hurts. Woodblock elbow: less sporty than tennis elbow, but still carries a certain cache. In, umm, very limited circles. And even then, the next person over is all, "Yeah, well at least you don't havestained glass shards underneath your skin." Psssh. Can you tell I'm crabby? Even my imagined tangents are irritable. 

ANYhoo. I spoke with several fine folk last weekend, as I paced and tried to puzzle out the new direction. My sister offered a suggestion, which while it didn't quite work, was still encouraging and helped me to carry it a bit further in my head. Mom offered the following: "Well. Simpler is better. It's sometimes harder to keep it simple." She slipped in variations of this about three times throughout the conversation, which I totally agree + it's not my forte + she clearly recognizes that. At least she didn't return to her position about my relying too much on words in designs -- which again, NOT that I disagree with her -- but it's just highly unlikely that I'll be able to wean myself from text with image. So. That said, good to listen to your Momma.

Mom has been cute about this project in that I checked additional Grimm's fairy tales out from the library when I was home, to make sure I read through all of the nine selected for the exhibit. This was the first thing she told me after I returned to my home here:

"I still have that book! And did you look on the inside cover? The library got that book before you were born!  I wondered if you had realized that! The first date stamp was a few months before!"

"Oh! How funny!" I didn't really know what to say after that, though it made her pretty happy.

"I think I'll just keep it out for awhile. Maybe I'll read a few of them."

Sure, fine, be my guest.

Next phone call: "Your sister renewed that book for me. I still haven't read any of the tales."

"Mom, don't feel obligated to read them because of this application. And if you want, I can just photocopy The White Snake and send it your way."

"Oh, that's okay. I think I have my old copy in the attic. Nancy who lived across the street from my house, we would both get books for Christmas and we'd sit together and read them by the Christmas tree! I think it's up there somewhere."

So sweet, and so comforting to think of her as a little girl, with her Christmas books. And to think that that Grimm's volume is probably still in the attic, most likely with some very old crayon scribbles in it.

Bowdlerized** versions, most likely. Which, honestly, I fall back and forth on this matter: intelligent children don't profit from receiving pablum texts ad. And, as Shirley Jackson would say, children are savages anyway (her lesser known book Life Among the Savages is a priceless tale of parenting~~). Violent tendencies are in all of us.

And yet...every time I review The White Snake and he kills his horse to feed some raven babies he just met, I'm outraged on several fronts. The brutality of slaying his horse, plus the weird decision-making that led to it... And actually this tale was flat-out ghastly to me in the way that Grimm's are usually: all the class depictions, how to get what's desired (or in positive light, the lower class character uses his wits to defy the established marry someone who tried to kill them repeatedly...oh, also less positive)... "I CAN NOT CONVEY HOW MUCH I HATE THIS STORY. I. HATE. IT." My hairdresser told me, after I ran through a synopsis.  

**Hey hey! Check out wikipedia -- the term originated from Thomas Bowdler, who created "The Family Shakespeare."

Well, crabby and meandering. Here are some snaps:

Three designs transferred in one hot day! Eau de Lacquer Thinner, anyone?

Okay and remember how the past several designs have transferred horribly?? BOOM! These came through fabulously. Fist pumping in the carport.

There's another design, the middle one, which I'll post later. It's the closest to simple and I think it's going to be really cool.

Blurry, but still textured.

Doom is Mood backwards.
Happy Friday, Folks! One last day of being my current age and then we have a birthday. Yeah, that could be another reason for the crabbiness~~ But the past year has brought lots of good changes, a long with several challenges. A life to savor, things to anticipate, it could be worse...

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