Which came first: the chicken or the egg?

It seems I am continuing with my theme of chicken prints, but this time, it’s a card.

LINDA COTE-Egg1Like rabbits, chicks are associated with springtime and Easter because early pagans believed the young birds represented fertility and new life.

Eggs and chicks have been associated with the Christian holiday of Easter as well, because of the symbol of new life they represented.

I had previously done rabbit-themed cards for Easter, but wanted to come up with a new Easter card this year. In my studio, I had a stash of custom yellow ink left over from printmaking my Russell the rooster print. Because I am a little bit stingy with art supplies, I came up with an idea for using this color in a new card. It wasn’t all economics that drove the idea, as I was intending to do a new Easter-themed card this year, but sometimes reusing something you have on hand really works.

Here’s how I created my new “Eggs and Chicks” card.

LINDA COTE-Egg block

The eggs are carved out of one block of lino, and the yellow ink is rolled on the glass.

LINDA COTE-inking egg block

Next I apply the ink to the eggs…

LINDA COTE-egg block and card

… and lay the card stock on the inked block. And voila! Eggs!

LINDA COTE-egg card hanging

Many cards are printed with yellow and hung to dry on my studio clothesline.

LINDA COTE-chick blocks

Next, I carve the little chicks out of lino. These guys are pretty tiny, so it’s almost like making a stamp. This is what they look like after printing, and I’ve washed them up for next time. The black ink stains the block, but won’t affect the next run of cards.

LINDA COTE-Eggs and Chicks Card

The “Eggs and Chicks” card hanging on the wire to dry.

LINDA COTE-EggsandChicksHere is the final card. The hand-printed card is all white (I’ve added the grey for the background to show the shape of the card). The cards will be signed by me, and the watermark will not show.

6 responses to “Which came first: the chicken or the egg?

  1. The chickies sure have personality. Do you find the lino blocks wear out after a certain number of printings, or are they super long lasting? (I’m going to keep picking your brain for ideas, you know!!! LOL!)

    • Hi Deb – of course, pick my brains! True lino will disintegrate a little bit over time mostly due to washing it. So, if you have a design you want to print repeatedly I would suggest getting the lino that is more like rubber.

      There are several types on the market. Speedball products (Speedy-cut & Speedy-carve) are fairly easy to get, sometimes even at Michaels craft stores. It can tend to crumble a little so you have to play with it to see if you like it.

      Also, in Calgary, Mona Lisa art supplies carries these and a couple others that are nice in their printmaking section. I also order online from Aboveground Art Supplies in Toronto (https://www.abovegroundartsupplies.com/sagro/storefront/store.php?mode=browsecategory&category=717) and like either the Richeson brand or the Softoleum.

      Mostly it’s a personal preference, but these more rubber-ized lino blocks (made for printmaking) will hold up to washing if you wash your block right after printing, and before the ink has dried. Hope that helps!

      • Thank you for all the info. It is a very interesting art form. Funny how I never would have played with printing if I hadn’t seen your rooster post. Thanks again for getting me started on this.

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