Does coffee figure into your morning ritual? It sure does in mine. A friend of mine, Joan, even has a cappuccino machine so she can make her own lattes in the morning.
I have been gathering inspiring coffee art images for a while (a great excuse to buy lattes, which are rather a treat for me!). These three beauties came from Communitea Cafe, our local tea/coffe house. I think they have the best latte in town, and their baristas are talented, too!
It all starts with a sketch. I use my drawing as reference for when I am carving the block. In this linocut print, I will carve the brown of the coffee first, print all the brown prints, then go back into the same block and carve out the design in black. This is called a ‘reduction’ print because the block is reduced with each color.
Pulling the brown print off the block. I’m using my trusty handmade jig to make sure the two layers line up.
Here are the brown prints drying. For each latte, I used a Q-Tip to pull the ink off the block on the inside of the cup to give the feel of foam in the coffee. For this reason, each print’s liquid coffee is slightly different.
For the next layer (black) I wanted to add a bit of design interest. I decided on graduated lines in the background, which meant I needed to measure and use a ruler to cut the straight lines. I usually work more ‘free-form’ than this, but I like the effect!
Here is the black block, sitting in the jig, waiting for the paper.
The brown paper gets over-laid with black, creating the form of the cup and textured background.
This shows layer one (brown), the black only pull, plus the two merged together on the final print.
Black and brown prints, part way through hand-printing the final artwork.
It’s interesting to see all four steps in one place!
And, what does the artist do once the prints are finished and drying on the line? Relax and have a coffee of course!