Most printmakers I know don’t actually retire their print blocks. They’ll reuse it, creating new editions by switching up inks or papers, adding color, adding papers with chine colle or overprinting it. There really isn’t a reason to get rid of your plates because you can always use them (they don’t really wear out, unless it is a collagraph).
Big time artists will create an edition then slash their block, meaning it can never be used again, adding value to the prints made from it. But I’m not a big time artist. Nonetheless…
Today though, I retired 30 blocks. You may remember the 30 Days of Art show that I participated in last year. I blogged about it throughout October as I made 30 prints in 30 days. This included making the 30 blocks. And I actually made 60 prints because I took a ghost each time. Oh, and a few embosses but those didn’t really turn out.
Anyway, today I retired the 30 blocks. I put holes in all of them so that I can hang them in the window at the cottage. They’ll look a lot better on a sunny day. And no, these are not “arty” black and white photographs with a touch of color. It’s just a really craptastic gray day here in the “lovely’” Pacific Northwest.