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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Crow Mandala woodblock print

"Crow Mandala" 7.5" image on 10x13" Rives BFK paper. Available at my Etsy store.

This print turned out to be more challenging than I anticipated. The fine details of the feathers at the wingtips were very frustrating. The shina plywood I used kept chipping out in awkward places, leaving some birds without some of their flight feathers. By the third and final block I had a little better handle on how to work around the limitations of the material, but none of the blocks are without some small imperfections.

I started out being inspired by the crows in the neighborhood, but as I started carving I realized that the design owes a lot to all the circling vultures and raptors I saw while birding in Mexico.


At 2:21 AM, Blogger Jon said...

That's a cracking image, really striking and sharp. Nice work!

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Annie B said...

Nice woodblock print, Kris! Goodness, you've been busy. I know that old shina plywood chipping problem very well. I'm betting that this print taught you some ways to prevent it in the future, though - subtle things like the angle you hold the tool and how deeply you cut up close to the image. I had one really pain-in-the-neck block that I hated every minute carving, but that print was a turning point for me and shina plywood.
I love these birds circling.

At 4:51 PM, Blogger Kris Shanks said...

Annie, you couldn't be more right about this print being a learning experience. In fact, careful observation reveals the order in which I carved the three blocks - big to little crows.

At 7:49 AM, Blogger Jana Bouc said...

I love this image. It's got such movement and the shape of the silouhettes is striking.


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