drypoint and monoprint
H. Kurzke, drypoint and monoprint, 1/1, “arches”

Still no progress with my print to enter into the show. I am suffering from a lesser known but just as severe form of writer’s block: printmaker’s block.

In interviews with artist’s the question of how they overcome the blank paper and lack of ideas is often asked. Arrogant as I can sometimes be, I always had thought it didn’t effect me. Indeed I have not experienced this before. It is not like I do not have any ideas – I have plenty new ideas and fill pages of my diary and sketchbook with reminders of these seemingly so wonderful things to do. Problem is just that even if all these would be brilliant, and I could make them come to life all today, this would still not answer the question what to send to Japan. The approaching deadline (my personal save line was actually last weekend) doesn’t make it easier. Graaaah!

Up until now I just never had to deliver something specific on a deadline. So when I thought I didn’t have a problem with creative blocks, it was just a matter of not encountering such a deadline before. And truth is: I do not have any concepts in place to deal with it. I am currently just spirralling down into doing nothing at all, it seems.

Well, to give myself a break, I bought art materials, and then allowed myself to play a little with it. I already showed you some pictures of the kitchen lino woman with hat, here are two scans now.

litho print woman with hat
H. Kurzke, Lithographic print, woman with hat

I also tried a little more drypoint in combination with a monoprint, an idea I had during my print workshop in April (seen on top). The monoprint (all that is not black) took an amazing and crazy lot of time. Essentially it took me a full day to just make two prints.

my worktable while making the monoprint. With the paint tubes on the table and rags and brushes and rollers I felt really like a “proper” artist

In the past week, I had the crazy idea to indeed make a kitchen lino print for Japan (by now I have given up on that idea), and thus experimented a little more systematically. Here is the inked up kitchen foil for a sample page, experimenting with different pens and resists (the frame and the word “sampler” were made with a brush dipped in melted butter). If you take a closer look you will notice that I cannot write mirror skript quite as well as I would like to…

sampler alu
preparing a kitchen litho sample print

And here is the print in my sketchbook. Silly me is delighted beyond sensibility about the coincidence that the kitchen lino book has exactly the same format as my sketchbook.

sampler book
look, my sketchbook and my printing paper has the same format as the book!

Also I have been thinking and experimenting with expanding my product line for Büchertiger Supplies. I now added Fil Au Chinois professional bookbinding thread. Fil Au Chinois is the line of lush linen thread (lin cable) made for sewing leather which I like to use for exposed bindings. That thread is beautiful but too strong for conservational and professional use. I still have some small bits of German Bookbinding Thread which I intent to keep in my inventory (but it will take a while until I restock).

Fil Au Chinois bookbinding thread
new bookbinding thread now available at Büchertiger Supplies

And today a sample of Jute thread reached me. I am wondering and going to experiment whether it will serve well for binding on cords. It is completely natural, I love the colours it comes in and the rough look it has, and – not least – the tin!

yummy jute twine

2 replies on “Printmaker’s Block, Litho and Ink Experiments, and Twine Trials”

  1. I find, personally, that in situations like this it is not exactly a “block,” but more a kind of fear that sets in. No idea seems good enough, and everything made seems terrible. And the closer it gets to the deadline, the worse it gets. I suspect there might be a little of this going on here. The only thing that seems to help is to, as much as possible, forget why you are doing it. Pretend you are only doing it for yourself. I’m speaking for myself, but I know that the quickest way to kill the productivity in a project is if I’m doing it for a specific person or show — especially if I’m feeling a bit insecure! — and I allow myself to think about who will be seeing (and judging) it. It’s like a kind of performance anxiety. At any rate, good luck!

    The new thread sounds interesting. You know I love the threads in your shop! And I’m glad to hear that the German ones will still be available… 🙂

    1. Hello Ellen,

      thank you for your comment. I hope you are right, and this will be over soon. I don’t know…

      Glad you like the sound of new threads 🙂 When I wrote about keeping the German thread, I was anyway just referring to the bookbinding thread which, in both cases: the French and the German, doesn’t come in colours.
      I believe you have the German Wachsmaschinenzwirn, not the Buchbindezwirn in your personal collection.
      The coloured thread will be kept in the inventory too, of course, and is not even low on stock right now.

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