A couple of weeks ago, I was up in Cobourg visiting friends, eating lots of delicious food, and attending the Shelter Valley Folk Festival‘s Annual General Meeting. My awesome friend Lesley ((Who not only has a great and very funny blog but also is starting an excellent project called ‘Northumberland Small Time‘))had me over for brunch and crafternoon, and we took a quick trip over to The Black Lamb in Port Hope to pick up needle-felting supplies.
I’ve been meaning to buy some needle-felting supplies for a long time, but none of the wool stores in Toronto seem very well-stocked for that sort of thing; The Black Lamb, however, has plenty of great colours and supplies, and is pretty awesome for anyone working in wool.
I’ve only ever made one needle-felted object before – a little snow man, which I made at a Peterborough Hand-Weavers and Spinners Guild meeting – and I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, but it’s a pretty straightforward skill to pick up, at least for simple projects.
Anyway, I made a cute little owl – I think maybe it’s a barn owl. As they used to say in Brownies, ‘too-whit, too-woo!’
This is my Owl Linocut Print!
This pas Spring, I sat in on one of Harbourfront Centre’s School Visits workshops. This particular day, they were visiting the Museum of Inuit Art (a terrific, small museum full of great work, and which I’d totally encourage you to visit), and taking inspiration from the exhibits on display there to create their own linocuts.
I chose this guy as my inspiration (an owl sculpture by artist Joe Talirunili):
Then I tried to sketch out my own version of an owl (inspired by the Inuit carving, but differently cute), and transferred the image to the linoblock (you press your drawing against the block, rub vigorously on the back of the drawing, and the pencil lead leaves an impression in reverse that you can then re-trace):
Then you cut it out with a carving tool; I hadn’t done anything like this since I was in high school, so was re-learning how to carve the rubbery lino as I went.
Once you’re done carving, you use a brayer and ink to ink the linoblock, and then press it onto paper very carefully. I don’t have any photos of that part, since I needed both hands. In the end, I was pretty happy with the end product, and I’d love to get some more materials and work with this medium again.