Grow Up, Step Up

21 Jul



I’ve been working on a series of tiny reduction relief prints and last week I printed the first colour. Today I began cutting the second colour from the blocks. This is called the reduction or ‘suicide’ method as you systematically destroy the block leaving no room for error. I was chatting to an experienced etcher today who said he found the reduction method too terrifying. I guess I may be a masochist! It’s a risky business as I don’t work from detailed designs, I do a rough initial drawing straight onto the block and then cut instinctively so I won’t know if it works out until I print the next colour. The temptation is to cut away too much; you can always cut away a bit more once you’ve done a proof print, but you can’t add anything back.


The imagery has been inspired by a visit I made to the Berlin Holocaust Memorial a couple of winters ago. It’s not a slavish copy but an interpretation of what I saw and how I felt about it. My inspiration was strengthened this evening when Husb and I went to the cinema to see ‘Woman In Gold‘, an extraordinary and moving film. My generation grew up with parents and grandparents who had been involved in massive world wars and the aftermath hung over our childhoods. As that generation of elders that fought World War 2 is dying out, there is a terrifying rise of xenophobia across Europe and the responsibility of remembering the horrors of industrial scale murder falls onto the shoulders of we Baby Boomers. We’ve had a privileged existence and now it’s time to grow up, step up and do the right thing. We stand on the shoulders of giants, we mustn’t forget what they fought and suffered for.


8 Responses to “Grow Up, Step Up”

  1. Kelly July 23, 2015 at 10:24 #

    This is really interesting to those of us who have not tried carving linotype yet. Thanks for the photos.

    • Rosie Scribblah July 23, 2015 at 10:30 #

      You’re very welcome. I’m using softcut rather than lino. I haven’t used it before but it’s giving me a very expressionist cut which is what I wanted and the first colour has printed very well. Onto the next!

  2. Alli Farkas July 22, 2015 at 21:30 #

    The blocks look quite interesting so far. Reminded me of the only time I did a reduction cut–in linoleum–of a self-portrait. I had printed the first version in solid black as a separate piece. Then on fresh paper I began a colored version which looked somewhat like a novelty and had none of the power of the black version. I don’t think I cared enough at the time to be terrified by all the cutting back steps, maybe because I already had the black one that I really liked. Will await your progress.

  3. Sharon Mann July 21, 2015 at 23:38 #

    Thank you for your post today. My father, died recently at 92. He was a WW11 Marine. We are now becoming the elders and need to pass on the wisdom and the voice of our parents generation. I’m looking forward to seeing your latest prints.

    • Rosie Scribblah July 22, 2015 at 07:27 #

      Thank you, Sharon. They protected us from so much, it’s hard to fathom how much they did for us. I will be cutting the rest of the blocks today and I might try some proof prints tomorrow.

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