Thursday, August 16, 2007


blackspot3, originally uploaded by Rymann.

My blackspot sneakers have definitely seen better days. They are currently "dry day only" shoes. This spring I discovered a crack in the left sole right over the ball of my foot. This after walking across a recently rained on parking lot (i.e. very wet sock).

I didn't think I'd had them that long or worn them that much. Both of which are probably incorrect. I contacted the manufacturer with my complaint. "Maybe its a design flaw" I groveled. "Probably not" was the reply. They recommended a "professional" repair. If that was unsuccessful, they'd replace them.

The cobbler looked over the shoe and with a grimace somewhat resembling a grin followed by a short inhale sucking sound. You know, when you tell someone, ssssss (sucking sound), this isn't likely going to work. Then, pointed me to an enormous $10 tube of shoe goo. I mean really, who needs that much shoe goo. Make a $2 tube and I can buy two for a big job.

So, now they're dry day shoes. The soles are definitely worn now. It may be time to move on.


hands3, originally uploaded by Rymann.

Got a cheap sketch book so I'm not intimidated or scared of placing a blemish in a fancy moleskine. So, now I'm drawing more. Hands are difficult.

I think this one turned out the best. It worked out nice that the final version appeared to be drawing my initial, aborted attempt. That was totally unintentional.

These ones weren't right. The bottom one was too fat and at the last second I messed up the wrist on the top one. I also wanted to try getting more contrast in terms of values with cross-hatching.

These two were looking pretty good. I just didn't like the how the fingers curled underneath turned out. That part didn't feel right. I framed the one I felt was better.

Stamp Making

final, originally uploaded by Rymann.

Here's my first attempt carving a stamp on something other than an eraser using something other than an X-acto knife. The top image is the final product. Progress shots are included below.

1. O.K. so I gathered together all my supplies: Speedball lino cutter, Soft-Kut, cutting mat, pencil, and mirror image (reduced to planned size). Note: If you draw onto your cutting medium, be it eraser, lino, whatever, you would want to create a mirror image of what you wanted to stamp. However, I didn't think through the transfer process. If you transfer an image, you want the image to be oriented as you would like the stamp, because when you transfer it, it will be a mirror image. I hadn't thought that through prior to starting.

2. For a great visual tutorial on stamp carving look at inky squid's flickr set. I basically colored all the lines in my image with graphite. I used a sketch pencil, but I think any pencil would work. These are the parts of the image that will be transfered. I leave the lines and cut out the empty space. Some people may prefer to do it differently. Once all the lines are covered, place the image (face down) on your cutting medium. Then use a bone folder or spoon (this is what I did) and burnish (rub) the back of the entire image. I honestly did not expect this to work. I sort of half-heartedly rubbed the back of the image and it still worked great. I had considered an acetone transfer but that just seemed to messy for this application.

3. This is a test stamp following the initial carving. I actually liked the "woodcut" look of this, but had plans for something cleaner. So, I kept carving. Because the soft-kut is so flexible, you have to be careful not to press too hard as this will result in lots of the deeper cuts coming through. I place a flat object on the back to get some nice, even pressure.

4. Here is my sheet of test stamps. The process goes a little something like this. Cut, cut, cut...pause...cut. Stamp. Cut, cut, cut...pause...cut. Stamp. And on until you have the look you want.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Last Batch

Last Batch, originally uploaded by Rymann.

Well, I think this will be the last batch of zines to go out (except for those of you have already made arrangements and some swaps that are in the works). I might see if any of the distros would consider selling it. Thanks to everyone who contacted me and all the great feedback. I really appreciate it.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

mini excavator

mini excavator, originally uploaded by Rymann.

I've been making too many excuses lately. In my defense though, I have been preoccupied with my zine. Diane at the craftypod recently posted some wonderfully kind words about my zine. Check out the craftypod podcast. Its so full of useful and interesting information.

Anyone in the Portland area? Hope to see you at the Portland Zine Symposium.