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 :)


Reeled In, New Linocut with Four Swedish Fishes

It took a while to complete this print - I was moving studios, and in a length pursuit in finding the perfect paper to print on, one that both looks great and is easy to tear into the cut/tear into the sizes I usually work with.

Luckily, everything was sorted out and I have two new linocuts to show you, Reeled In and Trotty. I'll put some pictures of the making of the first one now, and then make another post about the bird print.

This print features four Swedish fishes: abborre (European pirch), alaska pollock/torskfisk (a kind of cod), sjurygg (lumpfish or lumpsucker) and gädda (pike). It started - as usual - with a pencil sketch. I've been quite happy with this A4-sized lino and I've been sketching on printer paper. I transferred the outline to the lino with carbon paper, then started drawing the details with markers.

Onto carving. I've been making the stamps during weekdays and carving linoleum over the weekend, so this usually happens on our coffee table.

Our fluffy friend has taken a special interest in this linocut.

After a few morning's carving, the fish completed is ready for proofing. I am rolling on a generous layer of the Caligo oil-based ink to get a nice rich black especially on the sjurygg. Look at the velvety ink!

Here's the first proof. I marked the places that need a little tweaking. This is A4 printer paper. 

Printing the final edition on handmade mulberry paper. It's very light but has strong fibers and beautiful texture. 

This metal postcard mobile has been very helpful for drying prints! I taped little paper pads on the toothy clamps to protect the printing paper. 

A close-up on the pike. 

So, here's the completed print! Blogger has been doing bad things to my photos' white balance and brightness and I've been thinking about building a Wordpress site that incorporates my portfolio site and this blog. If only there was 48 hours in a day! :)

Anyway, this is a limited edition of 10, all hand-printed and signed at the bottom with the edition number. You can purchase it in my shop; and in my next post I'll share the process of Trotty, a smaller print with a white wagtail.

I also post a lot of photos of what goes on behind my work on my Facebook and Instagram, so head over and perhaps say hello! :P


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