Chocolate anyone? My art on a bar!

Sometimes we make connections in a community without knowing where it will go.

I’ve been making art prints and handmade cards for Mount Engadine Lodge in Kananaskis Country for several years, and for the last year or so, Le Chocolatier in Canmore has been selling my handmade greeting cards.

LINDA COTE-Engadine Chocolate Bars

My linocut artwork of the Lodge in winter is now featured on the first chocolate bar to be made specially for Mount Engadine Lodge.

A short while ago, I was included in an idea with both these companies to make a custom chocolate bar for Mount Engadine Lodge to sell at their wonderful backcountry location. I had created a special print for one of the Lodge’s long-serving staff members, and they thought it would look good on the chocolate bar wrapper, too!

“We thought that our house granola — which so many guests love and request the recipe for — and fine chocolate naturally go hand-in-hand,” said Shari-Lynn Williams. She and her  husband Chris  manage the Lodge and are the resident innkeepers. “It’s a great way for guests and visitors to take a taste of the lodge along with them, for hiking, snowshoeing, or even home after they are here.”

So, Le Chocolatier in Canmore combined their dark chocolate with Mount Engadine’s granola to come up with a recipe for the bar, and local designer Scott Manktelow designed the wrapper with my illustration. After several months, the Engadine Granola Goodness Bar is now available at the Lodge!

Here is my process here on how I created the artwork.

LINDA COTE-Engadine Winter

The Lodge looks stunning any time of year, but I particularly love this cozy view of it in the winter time. This photo provided by Mount Engadine Lodge was the starting point for the linocut print.

LINDA COTE-Carving the pieceI had done a summer greeting card for Mount Engadine Lodge (you can see my whole series of Engadine art here), and once the black block art was carved (upper right in this photo) I carved a second block for the blue sky and highlights in the snow (lower left).

LINDA COTE-Blue color jigThis type of printing — matching two different colors on one piece of art — requires a registration process to make sure it all lines up. I use a simple handmade “jig” from a wooden base and foam core that holds the block tightly into place. My paper is hole-punched, and the art is then printed in the same place with both colors.

LINDA COTE-Blue color inkFor this print, I created the blue color from several colors mixed together to give me a very light blue.

LINDA COTE-Blue block inkThe blue ink is rolled onto the block in a thin layer, and I will print this color first, then add the black outlines in the second step.

LINDA COTE-Blue drying

Here are the blue-only prints, hanging to dry in my studio. This process will take up to a week because I want to make sure that the ink is very dry before adding the second color (black).

LINDA COTE-Blue black inkThe black-inked block  is fitted into the jig so it will line up with the previous color of blue.

LINDA COTE-Black ink printedPulling back the print to reveal the two-color match that creates the final print.

LINDA COTE-2-color printThe final print goes back on the clothesline in my studio to dry. And, to wait for framing for the present for the staff person, and for scanning to add to the chocolate bar wrapper.

LINDA COTE-2 color black frame

The framed piece is a special print for a staff person at the Lodge because it’s the only one that exists as a two-color, signed and numbered print (1/1). If you wonder why you saw more prints hanging on the line, it’s because I keep one copy for my archives (called an artist proof), and I always make a few extra in case something does not go right with the hand-printing process and I ruin a print!

LINDA COTE-Engadine Chocolate BarThe final chocolate bar wrapper. Can I say; looking good (*grin*)? To get yours, visit Mount Engadine Lodge in person! I hear they are reopening this Friday, July 12 after being closed due to the Alberta floods that wiped out several sections of their access roads (you can read about this interesting journey on their Facebook page).

It’s a lovely drive — and a beautiful place to visit. And, you’ll be warmly greeted by Shari-Lynn and Chris, the innkeepers. And, maybe even a moose or two…


12 responses to “Chocolate anyone? My art on a bar!

  1. I really like your choice of color for the piece. Very nice. Unfortunately your blog post left me craving chocolate big time! LOL!

    • Haha! Thanks Deb! And, I know the chocolate craving feeling. So far I only have one bar as a sample (Engadine just opened today!) and I am dying to eat it!! I could now that I have a photo of it … Hmmmm

    • Thanks Jo-Ann. It’s not fancy, but the jig works really well! More details about that process on some of my other blogs about color prints, too. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I LOVE your blog. I think it is fantastic that you show how you create your amazing artwork. The chocolate wrapper design you made is beautiful. I can’t wait to see your next project. Thanks so much for sharing your talents with your readers. You are an inspiration!

    • That’s the trick, Catherine! I haven’t tried it!! I only have one “sample” and Mount Engadine is a 45 minute drive away, and they have all the bars! They were also closed for three weeks due to the recent floods in our area and just opened back up on Friday. I will definitely have to get up there now…you always sell a product better once you’ve tasted it! Haha.

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