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.