Monday, December 17, 2007

Carnac the Magnificent

Carnac the Magnificent - 3" x 3" two-color reduction woodblock print

I thought I'd revisit Johnny Carson since he was recently named the number one television icon. Here for your consideration is Johnny as Carnac the Magnificent.

(Carnac holds the sealed envelope up to his turban)
CARNAC: Sis boom bah.
ED McMAHON: Sis boom bah?
(Carnac rips the envelope open and removes the card)
CARNAC (reading): Describe the sound made when a sheep explodes.
This print is a two-color reduction (or suicide) print. It is so named because in this process multiple colors are printed from a single block (usually there is a separate block for each color). The block is carved, one color is printed, then more of the block is carved away, then another color is printed, and so on. Once you carve away more of the block and begin printing the next color, there is no going back. So you have to be careful in the layout and planning stage.

A few prints with only the first color printed.

Inking the block with the second color after more carving.

The second stage of the block.

A finished print pulled from the block.

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