Tunnelgatan - finally, the dinosaur!

If you've been following my work on Facebook or Instagram, you'd know that I started the dinosaur print quite a while ago. I've always been fascinated by the area close to Tunnelgatan, which is the name of the print and it literally translates to Tunnel Street. It's a street in Stockholm names after the Brunkeberg tunnel - the one behind the dinosaur in this design. I love how dramatic the stairs look and how the tunnel is mysterious and inviting.

Tunnelgatan is also associated with the murder of Olof Palme, Swedish Social Democratic politician, statesman and prime minister, which occurred at the tunnel mouth on Sveavägen street, and the killer fled up the stairs.

I took multiple reference pictures when passing by and started everything with a pencil sketch.

In retrospect it wasn't very smart to use the transfer paper. A lot of the details were gone and I had to re-draw the design directly onto the lino with a brush marker pen.

Here's how I carve with the Pfeil tools - my right hand gives most pressure while my left index finger guides the gouge and keeps it steady. If you keep your tools sharp, the linoleum should be quite nice to carve, especially if you do it in the sun like I did to keep the lino warm. 

The tool handle is flat on the bottom-side; this way they don't roll around on the table and you don't risk destroying the blade. The lino block is half-completed.

Completed! All prints are handmade and this is a limited edition of 9. The print is available in my shop here; I ship worldwide - in poster tubes to protect the delicate mulberry paper. 

Apart from that... my big project this year has been keeping me very busy. I ordered some product samples from different manufactures and will get the first batch of serving trays in the mail this week. This year will witness a dozen new products and I am very eager and nervous to see how they are received :)


Dead Astronaut Ex Libris, stamp

In my last post I wrote and put pictures about how I sketched for the custom dead astronaut Ex Libris stamp; in this one you'll see how I carved it - with my Pfeil gouges fresh from Switzerland, which are probably the best things I've bought in a while.

I transferred the design to a piece of Speedy Carve; the design measures just under 8 x 6 cm. I had to test the new gouges (the ones with mushroom-like handles) on a small piece of rubber (top left) first to get myself a little familiar with them, but their blade is so long, smooth and round to the touch, and they are very nice to hold. They are all wonderfully sharp and leaves perfectly clean cuts in the rubber. I'm pretty sure I'll abandon my old gouges once I save up some money to buy the Pfeil in more sizes/models.

I also color-coded the two small gouges (a V and a U) with marker pens. Look very nice too I think.

I had a woodcut-like effect in my head so I wanted to use the gouges as much as I could. I ended up only carving the name and the UFO (it's just too small) with the scalpel (white one). 

The stamp took me about 2 hours to carve - almost non-stop. Sketching took longer, which usually is the case with custom designs like this. I've not been happy with my new office chair, but I've just ordered a Mabef desk easel so hopefully it'll give my neck and back an easier time 

Here's the completed stamp! (And the Pfeil knives are just so beautiful, aren't they?)

Here's a bigger image with more details. It's one of my favorite works so far, and the whole communication with Franz, the sketching and carving was just so much fun.

If you'd like to order a custom Ex Libris stamp too, feel free to contact me using the form on the right :) I love commissions like this. 

Greetings from a dead astronaut far away! 

Dead Astronaut Ex Libris, Sketch

Here's what I've been drawing today - design for a custom stamp, commissioned by a sci-fi aficionado. Needless to say I enjoyed every second of it.

The customer, Franz, had in mind a dead astronaut looking in an airlock, with a barren moon-like planet and a UFO in the background. I designed this based on his idea.

If you would like to get a custom Ex Libris stamp like this one, use the contact form on the right. Or just say hello :)

There are some things I planned when I started and that I didn't include in the final design, including shattered glass on the airlock and a crack on the astronaut's helmet, but I'm very happy with how the design looks and I wouldn't want to change a thing. Luckily Franz, really trusted me and liked the design. 

I will post pictures of the stamp being made in my next blog post. 

Yay! :P