This week I went to the Dick Blick location in Venice Beach. it’s a really nice store with the usual assortment of art supplies that I simply can’t live without.
Surprisingly I managed to walk away with only one item, a clear carving block for printmaking. The Richeson Clear Carve Linoleum professes to carve like butter and because it is clear you can simply place it over the picture you are carving.
To be honest, I found it the same difficulty to carve as regular linoleum which is to say, it does take effort to move through and you have to be careful turning the block as you carve to ensure you are always carving away from yourself. As for simply placing it over the picture you are carving, the depth of the block makes it difficult to ensure that you are always following the lines. You have to tape the block to the paper you are working on to ensure that it stays in place. I really think that if you are looking for something that really does carve like butter, you are much better off sticking with speedy carve blocks in pink or white.
Since I was set on carving the beetle I decided to get out a woodblock and my woodcarving tools. I won’t be able to print this until we are finally settled in our new house, but it is always fun to have a block to carve. The shina plywood I use carves as easily as the clear carve, although I think it might be time to think about having my tools sharpened.
If you have any questions about printmaking in general, or the products I use in particular, please ask them in the comments! I’m happy to help and if I can’t help you I have a few friends I can ask.