Multi-color prints on letterpress

wood type and print on old letterpress 'Showcard' machineRecently we drove to an outlet mall in Illinois to get my “new” Showcard Press. That is, we arranged to meet the seller at the mall parking lot, pulled around the back, carried/lugged the press from one truck bed to the other, exchanged cash and some history about the press, then each drove away. Continue reading

Happy New Year with 1st leather journal

Leather bound journal, cover paper is woodcut print on handmade paper. Measures about 9 x 11 x 1 in.

Leather bound, woodcut-printed handmade papered cover. Measures about 9 x 11 x 1 in


First leather binding since the NYC class in November. Soooo glad I remembered all the details, except this one is not without errors. Good news is I learned some new things not to do. Like do NOT pare down the whole piece of leather for spine! I pared it so thin that all the sewn signatures can be seen through the leather. Oh well. Anyway, leather is buckskin, darkened with a bit of linseed oil, and it’s full of cast off prints on handmade paper, grid paper, and pretty awesome for writing/drawing in. Looking forward to making more.

Mount Horeb Area Spring Art Tour this Fri, Sat, Sun!

Weekend Schedule for Sue:

1 of 5 new cards available this weekend

Friday: Cutting 2 new blocks. Printing a new (Dexter) tee by end of day.

Saturday: Cutting and printing 2 new reduction relief blocks.

Sunday: 1st of 2 blocks should be nearing completion.

5 new card designs

Both hard and soft cover versions of CLUCK: From Jungle Fowl to City Chicks is also available.

The Mount Horeb Spring Art Tour

Now in it’s 5th year, the Spring Art Tour features 21 artists who will open their studios to the public for 3 days in June. This year the open studio event is June 10, 11, 12 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), 10-5 daily.

Open daily 10-5

The progression of a large pull toy

small pull-toy pigSo, I’ve been wanting to do a big woodcut for some time. At the Frogman’s workshop this summer, we cut on birch plywood−first time for me, so I thought (when buying the 4’x8′ sheet once home), “why not use the whole sheet?.” So I cut a 4×8 hog−the model being one of my full-grown feeder pigs. And how great would it be to do a big pulltoy with this big print on one side? It would be perfect for a piece for our 3rd-year grad student show. So, here’s the progression (click any image to see it larger):

1.) Carving the woodblock: a 4ft x 8ft sheet of birch plywood. Here, I’m cutting with a reciprocating carver (as opposed to a rotary−it moves back and forth−it’s an electric gauge). Definitely saved my hands, wrists and forearms…. Almost no pain cutting the entire block, with alternating between the reciprocating carver and the hand-tool gouges:
Sue Medaris carves a 4x8ft sheet of plywood

2.) And here’s the cutout shape upon which the print would go. I was going to use a jigsaw, but J says: “No, you have to use a Rotozip.” “But how do you know? The wood girl said use a jigsaw and she’s a woodworker!” I stupidly asked/retorted. Argument ensued. J went and got the Rotozip out and showed me. He was right. It rocked!! And more, I could  cut it out myself and do an ok job. Super (pretty super) fast. Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah! Cut out 2 shapes out of OSB, screwed in 2×4’s in-between the 2 (to give it some depth), then cardboard was stapled all around the edge of the whole shape (to enclose it, make it look as if it was a thick, solid wooden cutout−like the little wooden pulltoys). Here’s the cutout, with Zuzu for scale:

small dog poses in front of 8ft long pulltoy pig cutout

Zuzu and the cutout shape. Those are training wheels btw.

3.) Here’s the finished, 4x8ft woodcut block (broom for scale):
The woodcut block (4x8ft) of hog.

And a closeup of the face:
close-up of face of 4x8ft woodcut block

small pile of feedsacks

Used, empty feedsacks

4.) Once block carving is finished, it’s time to print. I have an awesome Takach roller, which helps immensely (a good quality, large roller), although I gotta say, inking the damn thing was a pain. Think about it (I didn’t, really, beforehand), you have to roll over the whole 4ft x 8ft sheet, without actually stepping on it/in the ink, meanwhile getting a consistent layer of ink over the whole thing. All I can say is that it’s a good thing I’m tall with long arms, and that I didn’t thoroughly think this through ahead of time (I don’t tend to trully consider the potential problems of a thing until I’m in it, which I think is my way of not talking myself out of something−I vaguely consider/imagine how it’ll happen and just mentally “ok” the process). Oh, and the paper. I couldn’t find any 4ft wide paper in a roll, so in keeping with my previous collaged work, I printed on feed sacks−not really the ideal printing surface. But the thing I loved about the final print was that the feedsacks showed through the overlaying hog print. Here are the printed sections on feedsack sections (top) and practice prints on big sheets of tracing paper below that:

4x8ft prints of hog

Feedsack-printed sections at top, tracing paper prints below that.

5.) Pulltoy shape is sealed somewhat with white paint/Kilz, and pull-rope prepared (J, the knot expert did that beautiful woven loop at end), getting ready for the prints to be applied:
white-painted, pig-shaped pull toy.

6.) Gluing the feedsack prints to the cutout shape with acrylic medium:
print of hog head applied to white pulltoy shape

7.) Printed side finished! Rope aged (dipped in bucket of water, black ink, acrylic paint), and attached with chain and hook eyes. Wheeled the thing out to the road, with little dogs pattering beside me and then posing. Such good little terriers:

little terriers pose in front of 8ft long pull-toy pig

"Market Weight Pull-Toy" • woodcut prints and paint on feedsacks; wood, cardboard, training wheels, rope (hog side)

8.) On the other side, I wanted to do the cuts of the hog, when butchering–I love making things educational. I didn’t have time to cut the blocks and print all the words, so I painted in a graphic style (as if it was printed) with somewhat-transparent acrylics, again on top of feedsacks:

8ft pulltoy pig with pork cuts painted on side

"Market Weight Pull-Toy" • woodcut prints and paint on feedsacks; wood, cardboard, training wheels, rope (pork-cuts side)

You can see this piece for a few days still, at our 3rd-year graduate student show: Triple Crown at the UW Art Lofts in Madison, WI.

Corn King t-shirts at Spring Art Tour

Corn King t-shirts now available!

Corn King printed on t-shirts by S.V. Medaris

The" Corn King," woodcut prints onto children's tees (front is character, back is text). Click on image to enlarge.

For those of you who expressed interest in the Corn King shirts at the Consumption reception (noting that I didn’t have prices on them–doh!!–my fault for running out of time before the reception), they will be available at the Spring Art Tour this upcoming weekend, at my studio (see S.V. Medaris at the M.H. Spring Art Tour site, #10 on the Google map). More info about tour, maps, etc. at: Mount Horeb Area Spring Art Tour.

I will be printing some t-shirts on Friday, June 11th on the etching press, around noon.

shirts and prints hang drying from line

Corn King t-shirts and prints hang drying from lines next to the Takach etching press in S.V. Medaris' studio.

If you have an old shirt you want the Corn King printed on, bring it along. $10 for printing on your shirt, $20 for a printed shirt on one of my tees (a variety are available–a few in each size). You can place an order for a tee in your size if I don’t have what you need–tees, tanks, long-sleeve…. If ordering a custom shirt, turnaround time is 1-2 weeks (depending on t-shirt availability).

mustard-colored, long-sleeve tee with "Corn King" by S.V. Medaris printed on it.

Long sleeve tee–a few are available at the Spring Art Tour this weekend at the farm/studio of S.V. Medaris

Also, some other blocks are available for printing on shirts, such as “pork cuts” (a couple tees and an apron available).