As the title states, this new engraving started as a very successful image on a block, which after a month of engraving was destroyed in an accident, and then re-engraved, ultimately coming out even better!
My 1st engraving of the New Year! A strong powerful elephant, trunk raised up triumphantly, a great start to a brand 2016. This is a relief engraving on a 4 X 4 inch block of Resingrave, my usual material of choice. I decided to post the progress of the whole process on my Instagram account, from initial sketch to finished print.
My Instagram friends really got into it, sending tons of positive comments and feedback as I went along. The engraving process took about 3 weeks. I filmed a few short videos that showed some of the new techniques I was trying, such as "tinting" the sky, which is basically engraving a million completely straight lines so the image of the sky appears to have a grey color. Tons of work!
I was proofing the block one evening on our etching press, and somehow a small piece of plastic debris became sandwiched between the block and the blanket on the press. I rolled it through and "CRACK", the block was destroyed. The shear amount of pressure pushed that debris down onto the blocks surface and it broke apart a large section of the engraving.
So, after quickly going through the 7 stages of grieving, I decided to completely start over. Same image, new block, with the advantage of knowing what I liked and didn't like about the 1st block. I had a better plan of attack.
Another few weeks of engraving and CAREFULLY proofing the block and she was completed. The new engraving has much more finesse and some nicer shadow sections, two elements that the 1st one was lacking.
So, here she is! The title SHAKARA comes from a song by Fela Kuti, who I was listening too heavily all of that month. It's a Nigerian slang term that vaguely translates to "a braggarde". If you've never listened to Fela, please stop reading this blog and immediately find some online!
It was a little nerve racking having so many people on the internet watching the entire process of making this block, but I think the disaster really showed the reality that engraving a block can go wrong very quickly. Sometimes you over cut a line and you're stuck with a big white line in your composition. And other times your block explodes in a 2am printing session. Hahaha. I can laugh about it now but YOWZA I almost threw up when I heard that crack.
The finished print: SHAKARA. Image size is 4x4 inches on a 7.25 x7.25inch piece of German Zerkall paper. The edition size is 110 signed & numbered prints. They are still available on our Etsy page, either matted or just the print. Thanks for coming along for the ride.