More linos…

Listening to rebroadcast of the Cluck: From Jungle Fowl to City Chicks interview on Larry Meiller’s show (archives) that Susan Troller and I did earlier in the year, meanwhile drawing carcass for segment of Tunnel of Mortality that is upcoming solo show in June atArtisan Gallery.

Oh yeah, and my first reduction tees! (hint to you tee printing folks: if the lino is cut out in a shape, you can just line up color #2 by matching the outside contours of the block shape to the outside edges of the print shape) Just did 2 prototypes (pink thermal shown) to see if it would work…. It did!

plucked chicken drawing in foreground, reduction prints, etc in background

Plucked lino measures about 30in. high. “Wallpaper” in background is lino on canvas duck cloth about 8ft wide, pigs are reductions on drill cloth, included in panels for ‘Tunnel’ installation

“Pig, Hog, Bacon” (the book)

relief printed, red cloth-bound, hard-cover book, closed

Relief-printed cover (on red, book-cloth-wrapped boards). 4 3/8in x 3 3/8in x 1in. Click to enlarge.

This book was created for Monumental in Miniature Books II. Photos of all of the books are on Flickr. Every artist sent in an edition of 5 to the organizer, and soon, these (plus many, many other artists’ editions of 5) will be divided up into 5 different collections. Some of these collections will then be curated for traveling exhibitions all over the world. The rules were simply to create an edition of 5 books (or more–artist keeps any additional book) that were no larger than 5in x 4in x 1in, and could be in any printmaking medium.

Pig, Hog, Bacon is actually an edition of 13 (which means I have 8 books currently), and the story visually follows the life cycle of a feeder pig.

long accordion-fold book unfolded

Accordion book unfolds flat to 42in. Click image to enlarge

It measures 4 3/8in x 3 3/8in x 1in, and is a 4-color reduction relief (linoleum) print on the one side, backed by a 1-color bacon print on the other. The cover is hard boards, wrapped in relief-printed red book cloth. Old feedsack twine is used to tie it together.

Click any image to enlarge:

accordion book folded backwards into star shape


In the beginning, there are piglets.

reduction relief print of pigs

Feeder Pigs: usually weighing 50lbs, purchased by one farmer from another for the purpose of raising the pigs for slaughter.

reduction relief print of pigs

That's a Hampshire pig

reduction relief of market weight hog

A hog weighs over 120lbs. A Market Weight Hog--like the one you see here-- weighs ideally 230-280lbs and is ready for market.

linoleum prints of bacon

Back print is covered in bacon.

colophon of accordion fold book

The colophon

Pigs, 1st day

Picked up our feeder pigs yesterday from a wonderful farm, Monson Showpigs up in Richland Center. They sell show pigs and more, almost year-round. Absolutely beautiful animals, and the pigs are really people-friendly. You can tell they’ve been handled from the beginning and are used to people. The Monson’s Hampshire boar, Pioneer was the model for Some Pig.

Here are our 4 little pigs on their first day out on pasture–sleeping in their pig hut in the morn, and then adventuring out in the brush later in day. The red one is a purebred Duroc gilt. The 2 black ones are Hampshire/Duroc barrows. The white one is a Yorkshire/Hampshire barrow.

4 pigs sleep in a row

These feeder pigs were born 1st week in March, so they're about 3 months old here. They weigh about 50lbs each.

Reddish brown pig looks out from bush

This is the lone female in the bunch. A Duroc gilt. Click photo to enlarge--a total cutie.

Color litho “Sus scrofa” finished…

Sus scrofa, color litho of fat wild hybrid hog

"Sus scrofa" • color lithograph • 18" x 18" • editioned

First color litho done. This is the first in the Bestiary: A Study Guide to Animal Taxonomy.

This fat little guy was the lone male in my group of 8 pigs I raised 2 summers ago. He and 3 of his sisters were from a herd of a wild-type hybrids bred by a neighboring farmer. The farmer breeds these hogs to survive out on a huge pasture, with little supplemental corn. They’re typically very thin, lean, and survive on whatever they can find out on pasture. Well, when we brought them home to our little pasture to be raised with 4 little pink piglets (typical, white, hybrid–probably Yorkshire, Landrace, Hampshire crosses), they made themselves at home. Since they were older, they quickly showed the little pink piglets how to cool off in the mudhole, where to find the waterer, where to bed down, etc. They were great older siblings to the pinkies.

One thing drastically changed for these wild guys when they moved to our place–they suddenly had free-choice hog feed (corn and soybean mix) from a huge feeder, open 24/7. They ate ravenously. Never before had they had access to this type/quantity of food. They began to swell as the weeks went by. They didn’t really grow up, but rather, out. They became enormously fat, and this guy here in the litho, swelled up like a watermelon. I thought he would burst. the little pink piglets however, grew like typical, white, yorkshire-cross hybrid American hogs–up and long and lean. They grew to enormous proportions–long, gently arching backs–looking like walking mountains from the side.

These wild guys ate very messily, food flying everywhere as they would grab a mouthful of feed, then whip their head out to look for predators–that part of their behavior stayed the same–they were always looking out for potential danger. When they whipped their heads up and out of the feeder, the grain literally flew out of their mouths and through the air as they munched with mouths open (as pigs will do).

Well, fall came, and they went off to the butcher. When we got the meat back, the white hogs’ meat was lean, and huge cuts (porkchops the size of dinner plates and all that), while the wild hybrid’s meat was heavily marbled and the cuts were tiny. The porkchops were actually cute–tiny little things–looking like baby porkchops. The bacon was the opposite of what you’d want in bacon–it was white, with a light marbling of meat!

So, they aren’t the best hogs to raise when you have free-choice feed available if you want lots of meat. But, if it’s lard you want, these are the hogs for you!

The series is inspired by my Zoology 335 class (Animal/Human Behavior with Patricia McConnell). More in this Animal Taxonomy series will be produced throughout the rest of this year, and then printed in artist’s book form (the Bestiary) as well as separate, framed prints.