This post is so NOT a looking back and reflecting on the year that was one! I think there have already been rather a lot of them.
This is about my return to an old love…lino cut printing. I’ve been flirting for months…subscribing to linocut blogs like this and following a lady called Deb on IG. But I hadn’t committed. Even the IG encouragement to carve an image a day for December wasn’t enough to overcome my fear (let’s call it what it was) of having to start again. Again.
Eventually the siren call of standing in the shed with the mossies while my husband cut glass was too loud to ignore and I got out some old stamps and inks from 25 years ago for a no obligations linocut fling. This was enough and now I am re-hooked. I had no Christmas gifts to speak of but oodles of wrapping paper. I was thrilled that my cheap old Speedball carving set was good enough! And a few of the old jars of ink were usable. This had me satisfied-for a while. A day or so. Then I got more inks and discovered the magic of Ezy Carve. Oh dear Lord what an invention!!!!! The joy of carving this stuff is hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t gouged out flesh when cutting lino! I was wary of committing myself to one a day for #carvedecember but in the end I have carved a stamp for each day in my own fits and startsy way.
And OBVIOUSLY I have stamped some polymer. These are very preliminary efforts and I am keen to avoid a plastic look but have got lots of ideas simmering. Stay posted.
Trekkers may be familiar with the word pfaffing (and I know that technically it is not an F word but it is acoustically an F word and I would know. And it can be spelt faffing.). You pfaff when you fiddle around with a task rather than actually DO it. Barry gives us a great definition here! In the trekking context, the pfaffer may well be the person in the tent next to yours who is noisily carrying out an activity that seems to be relocating all the items from one lot of plastic bags into another lot of plastic bags in his/ her back pack. This is often done just as you are trying to sleep. One who is annoyed by a pfaffer may well someone whose back pack is less organised.
The are periods of time, sometimes long periods, where I feel like I am permanently pfaffing. Sometimes I can get out of this phase and sometimes I just have to go with the flow (another F word). It is in these often frustrating periods of pfaffing that I try to be grateful for furthering. The poet/ philosopher John O’Donohue refers to furthering in his Blessing on Waking. He talks about giving thanks each morning for the furthering that the new day will bring. Some days, when my activities don’t seem to have resulted in much finishing, I try to be grateful for furtherings!!
I am still faffing around with / furthering my textured discs that I wrote about here. Again I began with BTC 111 but this time systematically changed the amount of Magenta. I was reminded as I looked nervously at the raw discs, of Tory Hughes’ wise advice not to judge an outcome too soon. I was relieved that after the boot polish treatment, the discs hung together more. Well, to me they did. I mustn’t have been a sweet gelati mood! More of a distressed gelati frame of mind.
Here’s to pfaffing that furthers and even better, leads to flow!