LAUREN BELTRAMO
LAUREN BELTRAMO

Journal

Thoughts & things about design, travel, and lettering.

Life is Short so Block Print!

One of my all time favorite episode of Dr. Who introduces the creepiest villains of all time (the Weeping Angels) and delivers these gems:

Life is short and you are hot/
Life is long and you are hot

I'll save the emotional trauma of that episode for another day, but basically a man says the first phrase to a young woman in his youth and then the second phrase decades later on his death bed to the same young woman (but how!? time travel!) The romance and beauty of the writing were a perfect jumping off point for a new project. 

From the very start I knew I wanted to carve essentially one piece and then print it differently for each phrase. At first I was thinking of perhaps cut paper on top of the print, or masking out the word "short" as I was printing. I had quite a lot of fun carving out my first stamp for my candle project last year (*groan* yes, the candles again!) and was ready for a bit of a challenge - but not too much of a challenge! To help myself out I decided to use a modified version of House Industries' Studio Slant Script. It has some nice sharp corners that translated really well into this medium. I of course butchered it in the process, but it's the thought that counts?

A wonderful visit to the Charleston Artist Supply & Craftsman yielded a rainbow array of fluorescent block printing inks. After some slight mishaps (it's going to print in reverse - duh!) I decided on magenta, orange, and yellow for the first print; and yellow, blue and silver for the second. I probably should've researched more thoroughly the proper technique but I plopped a generous helping onto some foil paper, got a nice even coat on my roller, and got down to work. One tidbit that DID manage to stuck with me after college when I took screen printing is that more is not better. It takes a nice even coat of paint to get a nice screen print, and glopping it on will only make your outlines plodgy (new word! #winwednesday) and actually thin the paint where you want it the most . The same rule applied to block printing. I still got a little overeager on some prints, but all in all not too shabby! 

After I was finished with my first print it was time to rinse + repeat. I love using water soluble inks because the mess literally washes away! 

For my second set of prints I decided to paint "long" over the word "short" in metallic copper ink. For some reason I didn't photograph the process, but check out the final result here