Friday, March 22, 2019

Block Print Magic

Block Print Magic is a tutorial guide for designing and carving blocks for raised block printing and using them to execute finished projects. Written by Emily Louise Howard (aka the diggingest girl) and released 12th Feb 2019, it's 144 pages and available in ebook and paperback formats.

This is an upbeat and encouraging manual which presupposes no prior skills or familiarity with block carving or the printing process. The introduction covers tool and supplies. The section on tool maintenance and safety is very well done (buying the best tools you can afford and keeping them in good working shape are investments which will repay you many times over). There are good side by side comparisons of the results you can obtain with specific inks and papers.  All the terms and tools are pictured and defined in the text.

The next chapters move along to developing specific techniques and a skillset for the artist. The chapters cover designing, transfer, and carving blocks. There is a good subchapter on the nuts and bolts of actually inking and printing an image. There are project tutorials for each step in the process. These are presented in roughly ascending order of difficulty and build on the lessons from the previous chapters. Woven throughout the text is an appealing glimpse into the author's creative process and philosophy.

The ebook version includes an interactive table of contents. Both versions include a glossary, bibliography for further inspirational reading, and a resource list for sourcing supplies and tools. There is a lot of valuable info here for use in other crafts and processes. I will be using the info presented in my bookbinding for journals and papercrafting.

Really well done. There aren't a lot of recent books on printmaking and this is a keeper.

Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes

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