Hipster Cow Linocut Reduction Print

block print of a cow in flannel

Do you ever see cows in gray flannel in London?

I grew up on a farm, am addicted to regency romance, and live in a city full of hipsters. So, I’m reading Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, and there’s this scene where the ladies of Cranford dress a prized milk cow in flannel and the wry narrator asks, “Do you ever see cows in gray flannel in London?”  I had this flash of a hipster cow and it was such a humorous marriage of my worlds that I knew I had to make it a print.  That was over a year ago—having a baby sure slowed things down—but I am pleased to present the final print available for purchase on Etsy.

The print is a limited edition of 105; being a reduction, I couldn’t reprint if I wanted to.  For those of you who heard reduction and went, “Say what?” a reduction is where you carve your printing block, print a color, carve more of the block, and overprint the second color.  This is only a two-color print, but I’ve seen reduction prints with 17 colors!  Some printers call reduction printing print suicide because the process destroys your printing block and you can’t recover from mishaps.  For example, I actually printed 120 posters, but only 105 were up to my standards as far as ink coverage and registration.  If the posters that made it get damaged somehow, I’m screwed out of a lot of work.  A LOT OF WORK.

It makes me a bit nervous, but I’ve learned something from my Relics collection—an open edition is a ball and chain.  People keep buying the prints, so I keep reprinting the prints, and it keeps me from the projects I’d like to pursue next.  The collection is a great money maker, but I’m done; I want to move on.  I’ve been tempted on more than one occasion to destroy the blocks so I can’t reprint, but then I think of how those prints fund all my other projects and I stay my hand.


About sappling

When God created the world, he did it in six days and rested on the seventh. I always wished there was just one more day in the week, an eighth day just for me to pursue the thoughts in my head and translate them to the physical world. There are only seven days, however, so I steal my creative moments in between being a mom and my work binding books and making boxes for clients all over New York City. I love working with my hands, learning new things, and I'm here to share those lessons with you. There are only seven days in a week. Why not eight? Guess I'll ask when I get there.
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One Response to Hipster Cow Linocut Reduction Print

  1. Marci says:

    My friends, Glen and Marcia Nelson, actually believe limited runs are the way to go. They value their art in their collection even more because there are only a limited number in the world. Great piece!

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