Saturday, July 25

Linocut: Snowman for Holiday Cards

I'd come into possession of a very old book called The Volume Library, meant to be a compendium of all current knowledge--the cover is carved with scrolls that read Education, Commerce, Fine Arts, Dictionary, Atlas, &c.--as of 1927. I believe they released several issues of this Volume Library. There is a lot of information in here, much of it very interesting, only a little is slightly racist (as we were less enlightened 80 years ago), and a lot of it is freakin' random. Many things are left out and many others are baffling as to why they were included.

On the left is a linoleum carving I'd done based on an illustration (right) which appeared in the Volume Library, that of school children constructing a snowman based on a model I'd never seen before, that is, the scooped foundation rather than another rounded boulder of snow. The illustration accompanied some simple piano music that a parent or teacher might perform with children as a leisure activity. Nowadays I imagine similar children block the world out with a Nintendo DS rather than patiently learn and perform songs in tidy groups.

I used this linocut to print out a couple dozen cards at the end of 2006, as a kind of non-denominational holiday greetings to all of my family and friends. Some of us are hardcore, fundamentalist, conservative religious types, and others of us have somewhat strayed from that path to varying distances. Regardless, based on the premise that we all find something enjoyable about winter, I handcrafted an illustration to share with everyone and trusted that no one would be too offended. I've kept the linocut stamp block but haven't issued new cards yet or anything. I suppose I could, since I have a lot of new friends who haven't received the old run, and I could certainly dress up the cards to look fundamentally different from the structure of the old card, just with the same featured image on front. Plus, now that I'm married, I would have that much more family to send it to. Maybe I'll print a new release around November and hope to have them all done and mailed by the end of the year!

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