I completed this woodcut about two weeks ago as a birthday gift for my mom. The motif is based on a design her grandfather created. Juan Cleo Valenzuela was a skilled leather crafter and saddle maker in California.
The piece I used for inspiration is a small wall hanging, about 6″ by 9″.
I found this work fascinating to study up close. The detail in some areas is so minute and I was interested in the way he created tone and texture using stamps, cuts and burnishing. I have heard woodcut artists talk about how they can sometimes recognize who made a particular print by the cuts, like recognizing an individual’s handwriting. Certainly someone who studies this type of leather work would see something similar.
What’s next? A color version! I have carved three color blocks to print with the black line work on top, creating an image with blue, yellow, pink, green and orange.
Next week I will launch my new online shop. The black and white version and color version of this print will be my first two offerings! If you want one stay tuned. I will announce here and create a link to the shop page.