#CarveDecember

As the year winds to a close it has become a tradition for me to get involved in Carve December. This is an instagram challenge planned by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, an amazing artist and author of Carve, Stamp, Play. I share her book as a resource in my blockprinting classes.

Why another challenge? I really believe that these challenges have moved my work forward. Last year I participated in this challenge and since then I have started teaching in-person blockprinting classes. Other challenges this year, the 100 Day project and Inktober, both pushed my style forward. I am excited for what has yet to bubble up there. So, I think challenges can be hard, but also so good. You can’t help but see progress with a daily art-making practice.

For this year’s #CarveDecember Julie has provided some prompts for the month. So far I am going along with them; that is a first for me, usually I follow my own whims. I want to try to make two-color stamps, but of course that means I have to make more than one stamp. Some days that just might not be possible. I am also interested in trying a stamp that connects to itself to make a larger image. That requires some careful measuring… we will see what the month brings.

For now, here are my stamps from the first few days. Please follow me on Instagram for the daily updates!

Celebrating Halloween - Phases of the Moon Blockprinting Class

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This coming Friday I am going to be teaching a new blockprinting class in Salem, MA. Salem is a hub for Halloween festivities throughout the month of October and there are many super fun things to do there. My friend Ana Campos, owner of Circle of Stitches, asked if I would teach a class that might fit with the Halloween theme at her shop this month. We came up with the idea of a class where students will make stamps to capture 5 phases of the moon.

In this class, students will make three stamps with an option for a fourth. I will demo a choice for a new moon or a full moon-or both. You can see the difference in the photo to the right.

I will offer printing in silver or white on black paper or black onto white paper. We will get to use a gelli plate as a large stamp pad for the white and silver paints-fun! The finished print will be something suitable for framing. Plus, students will bring the stamps home and can make more prints as they wish. These can be printed on dishtowels and light cotton fabric (using fabric paint for wash-ability) as well as many types of papers.

Should be a fun night! If you are interested register at Circle of Stitches directly.

 Sample with the new moon in the center, silver on black mixed media paper

Sample with the new moon in the center, silver on black mixed media paper

Upcoming class Aug 11 - Sign up today!

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I am going to be teaching my popular blockprinting class at the Newburyport Art Association on August 11 9:30-11:30. In this class, students will make at least two stamps: one using my provided sample images and one with a design of their own creation. 

The way I structure this class is to start with some sample designs to help students get comfortable with the tools, but not overwhelmed with a design that is too intricate. Then, once students are familiar with the tools, we work together to design a larger stamp. I have resource materials that students can use to sketch out a few ideas. We can discuss the intricacies of each student's design and learn from one another. Everyone who has attended this class leaves feeling excited about what they have made and happy to have learned a new skill! 

I provide all materials for students, but if you are interested in buying your own tools to use at home, I do have an Amazon Idea List set up with my recommended tools. 

A note, if you or a friend has ever wanted to try a class like this, Newburyport Art Association is offering this class at a great price, so this is a really great time to give it a try! Please sign up for the class today!

Two Upcoming Classes- Bookbinding June 18 and Blockprinting August 11

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June 18 Bookbinding: In this class we will make two type of books. The first pamphlet book will help students get familiar with the tools - needles, an awl, and binding a pamphlet stitch. The second project (pictured) will teach students to make a personalized journal using an old hardcover book and a long stitch binding style. All materials are included. Register here!

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August 11 Blockprinting: I am excited to share that I will be teaching my 2-hour Introduction to Block Printing at the Newburyport Art Association this on August 11, 9:30-11:30am. Sounds like a fun morning before heading to the beach, right?  NAA is publicizing this class now on their site here. Their pricing is super affordable, so this is a great opportunity to give this class a try.