Sunday, May 11, 2014

Machine #15

Machine #15, Woodblock print, © William Evertson 2014

This latest print, titled Machine #15 after the "magic square" in the bottom center began as a tribute to the seals used to annotate traditional moku hanga prints. The seals we often see on woodcuts are used as an artists or publishers signature; they can also indicate titles dates, the printer, carver, poems or other declarations.

Seals_© William Evertson

The idea of the declaration, annotation or poem as a footnote to a piece has intrigued me. The tiny but beautifully carved and thoughtfully placed seals often help add balance to a work. Over the years I've carved many seals as a tangential thought or an addition to a signature on a piece and I thought it would be interesting to carve a piece where they were the focus.

Detail of seal stamps

The keys on the machine/ typewriter have my previously carved image seals individually applied. I made small woodblock enlargements of several to use in the upper areas of the piece.

Overall the piece has a slightly different look than some of my recent work. A bit simpler design; more graphic and less dense as the emphasis is on the smaller elements. The small pictographs have their basis in the mythologies and folklore that I often mine for elements of intersections among differing cultures and our contemporary globalized and internet connected world.

A carved woodblock and the beginning of building a gradient. 

Machine #15 is printed in an edition of 15 with 3 AP.  The carving was completed in April of this year and printed in early May. The print is 15.5" x 29.5" on washi. Seven large blocks are used along with eight smaller pictograph blocks. Fifteen of my small one inch diameter seal stamps were added after the the main printing of the blocks.