Enduring Thistle lino print and hand bound journal by Soma Acharya InkTorrents Graphics @ InkTorrents.com

Printing And Bookbinding – Enduring Thistle

Enduring Thistle lino print and Thistle hand bound journal by Soma Acharya InkTorrents Graphics @ InkTorrents.com

 

Hi Everyone! As a heatwave has taken over where I live, I am hiding inside, working away.  Last weekend, I set up my printing press and pulled a couple of thistle prints.  Then I remembered that I carved this block last year and I never got around to writing about the prints or the books I made from them.   I would love to share them today along with another tip on block carving.

 

 

 

Scottish Thistle photo by Soma Acharya InkTorrents Graphics @ InkTorrents.com

 

My love affair with thistle is very old.  It is certainly not a fashionable flower and it can be a bane for the lands, but I LOVE the color of the flowers.

On our many roadtrips through Scotland, I looked forward to spotting and photographing them on walking trails.  I found quite a few variants of this flower in different areas.   I took this photo by the mountainside, bracing myself against 40 – 50 mph wind gusts.  Considering the effort it took me to take this photo, I feel I brought a bit of Scottish spirit back with me!

 

 

 

Scottish Thistle watercolor painting in sketchbook by Soma Acharya InkTorrents Graphics @ InkTorrents.com

 

The fuchsia and purple are undeniably vibrant and beautiful enough, not only for me to seek out and photograph them, but paint them afterwards as well.   This one is from the sketchbook I was keeping while traveling there.

 

 

 

Enduring Thistle lino print and Thistle hand bound journal by Soma Acharya InkTorrents Graphics @ InkTorrents.com

 

It was beyond time that I made a block print with these flowers.

 

A couple of notes here about my carving prep

 

Both printing and carving are messy business.  I purchase packing paper for lining my table.  That way the paper catches all the shavings during carving and cleanup is a lot easier.  I use a drafting brush to clean the board while carving. 

I also keep my strop right beside me to keep the tools sharp.  Not only can a dull blade slip and cut your finger, it can also slip in the wrong direction and spoil the carving.  I hone my tools as soon as I feel them catching on the board.  Also, it is much easier to keep a blade sharp by honing than having to sharpen a dull blade. 

 

 


 

Block Print Tips Page

 

These little bits of notes tend get lost very easily, just like little pieces of paper.   So I created a new page where I will add them on as I share them here.  I also added the page on the sidebar for easy access.  I hope you find it helpful.

 

 


 

 

 

I had a clear idea how I wanted to draw the stem and the leaves, but the flowers were not so easy.  After a few iterations, I really liked the stylized version of the petals I drew.

 

 

 

Enduring Thistle lino print and Thistle hand bound journal by Soma Acharya InkTorrents Graphics @ InkTorrents.com

 

 

I always pull at least one print on Japanese rice paper.  The texture of the paper gives the print a slight unevenness, making it look very delicate. 

 

 

Please click on the image thumbnails to see the photos –

 

 

Notice the difference between the crisp print of the Fairy Lantern on the heavy paper and the textured print on the rice paper.  

 

 

 

Enduring Thistle lino print and Thistle hand bound journal by Soma Acharya InkTorrents Graphics @ InkTorrents.com

 

 

I use a small press to pull my prints on heavy paper.   Of course I had to make a journal for myself using one of the prints.

 

 

 

Enduring Thistle lino print and Thistle hand bound journal by Soma Acharya InkTorrents Graphics @ InkTorrents.com

 

I am working on a set of wildflower prints.  I started with the Golden Fairy Lantern print.  I knew the thistle would be the very next one, and I have at least two more in mind.  I am using these two journals I made for my studies.  I desperately need to make a few more for note-keeping.

 

 

Here are the everyday journals with the Enduring Thistle prints on the cover.   Please click on the image thumbnails to see the detail photos –

 

 

The journals are available in my shop.

 

 

 

Enduring Thistle lino print and Thistle hand bound journal by Soma Acharya InkTorrents Graphics @ InkTorrents.com

 

Thistles may not be grand, but they are definitely tough, wild, and have a strong aptitude for survival.  Naming this print Enduring Thistle seemed just perfect. 

I have succumbed to the magic of the thistle. 

Until next time,
-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please consider paying a visit to some of them.

 

 

 

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Tioga Pass June 2024 photo by Soma Acharya Ink Torrents Graphics @ InkTorrents.com

Little Stories – Summer Play

Tioga Pass June 2024 photo by Soma Acharya InkTorrents Graphics @ InkTorrents.com

 

I went away for a few days to the Sierra Mountains at the high elevation that I love so much.   Now that I am back at home, it is strictly playing and planning indoors for me now.   As I was doing just that, I thought I share with you another set of b&w photos, along with a few other things I have been playing with – paint making, quilting, bookmaking and photography.

 

 

Simple 365 – Set 11

 


Here is another set of Simple365 photos.   For those of you who are new here – A few years ago,  I took one b&w photo per day of simple little things around me for a year.   I have been sharing those photos here every now and then.  These were taken during July and August of that year. 

Please Click on the image thumbnails to see the photos and read the captions.

 

 

I created a page with all the previously shared photos from Simple365.  I continue to add photos to that page as I share them here.  That way I can relive the journey through the year via black and white photos, like in an old photo album.

 

 

InkTorrents Graphics shop @ InkTorrents.com

 

Since I share mostly artwork and photos on this website, one thing you probably don’t know about me is that there was a time when I wrote software for most of my waking hours.  I loved it and I still do.

This is the month when I worked on the computer almost non-stop while drinking countless mugs of coffee and poring over code and art photos.  Tech and art side by side.  My shop went live that month.  Since then, I have added my handmade journals to the shop and sold quite a few, which has been a dream come true.

 

 

Paint Making

 


 

Making Lake Pigment by Soma Acharya InkTorrents Graphics @ InkTorrents.com

 

This is only a very small subset of pigments I made last year from things found in the garden.  I am planning on turning them into paint this year.  I need to get a respirator first since I don’t want any of this powder to get into my lungs.  I can’t wait to share more with you.

 

 

Quilt Making

 


 

Iris tulip English Garden Flower quilt pattern by Soma Acharya InkTorrents Graphics @ InkTorrents.com

 

I design paper piecing quilt patterns from the ground up, not using quilting software, but a vector drawing program.  I don’t have a design wall, so I create the layout using a software/app as well. 

 

 

Iris tulip English Garden Flower quilt pattern by Soma Acharya InkTorrents Graphics @ InkTorrents.com

 

I have finished making all the blocks for this quilt.  Now with the finished layout, I can start cutting the rest of the  fabric for sewing.

 

 

Notebooks and Journals

 


 

Old style handmade NAT leather notebook by Soma Acharya InkTorrents Graphics @ InkTorrents.com

 

My husband is studying for his pilot license, and he loves using paper for his notes.  So, I made this notebook for him in the style of old leather books, but with new NAT / vegan leather.  I saved the trim for him to use as a bookmark.

More books are in the making as I write this.

 

 

Photography

 


 

My Cat Tavish photo by Soma Acharya InkTorrents Graphics @ InkTorrents.com

 

When I am out and about, my DSLR camera is my perpetual companion.   A few years ago, I switched over to using non-zoom lenses, which are incidentally manual focus only.  It’s a bit old fashioned compared to the modern age of auto-focus zoom lenses, but it suits my style of photography. 

 

 

My Cat Tavish photo by Soma Acharya InkTorrents Graphics @ InkTorrents.com

 

I find black and white photography to be highly expressive.  As the color is stripped off the scene, it becomes all about light and shadow. 

I wanted to try out my recently acquired new lenses.   Tavish is the only cat who sits quietly enough for me to take his photos.   I took two portrait-style photos of him.  I couldn’t decide which one to share since they show two completely different sides of his personality – curious and quiet.  So I am sharing both.

 

Although I miss being outside, looking through the Simple365 photos made me want to play with new ideas, plan for the next road trip, and spend extra time with the kitties.   So that is exactly what I will be doing until autumn calls me out to play again.

I hope your summer is going well!

Until next time,
-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please consider paying a visit to some of them.

 

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