Woodblock workshop with Umberto Giovannini 20th March

“If I clench my buttocks, plant my feet firmly on the floor, and lock my upper body, I can transfer all my body weight onto the tip of my carving tool. It’s like a dance. That way I can carve for eight hours and not get tired.”

Wow! That was the most memorable quote from a happy Sunday in East London Printmakers at a master workshop conducted by Umberto Giovannini. That technique works for him, though I tried this technique and ended up sliding off the chair. Evidently my buttocks were not performing properly…

Look how he holds his carving knife practically upside down with the glove protecting the back of his fingers. Also he tends to push the tool into the wood sideways, and sway his upper torso while carving. The difference in holding the knives was very frustrating for me and I abandoned it for my usual forward push with the Japanese style tool in the palm of my hand and the left hand rotating the block so that I wouldn’t have to do that dancing…

Here he is inking up multiple blocks and printing them on the Albion press. He showed us a simple registration system of affixing the printing paper to the anchored blocks that mark the placement of the block itself on the bed.

Oh, I forgot to take pictures of the glorious multicoloured outcomes, but it was a fun and informative day. To see more of his work please go to http://www.umbertogiovannini.it/inglese/printmaking-uk.html though his latest works about London  are not uploaded there yet. Fantastic luminous coloured imagery in these two prints, Peckham and Liverpool street.

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