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printing from pebbles

Spooner’s Cove at Montana De Oro is a pile of beauteous pebbles inclining into the sea between incredible rock formations. The best way to enjoy it is by lying down and looking closely and the little rocks and gems. My favorite is jade. Sprawled out on the  beach together, our family passes rocks around and deposits all the standouts in a bottle. Since our last trip we’ve kept a bowl of them on the coffee table as an object of contemplation.


When Kevin Carman told Cam he wanted to make calling cards, it’s no surprise to me that the pebbles came to mind. Kevin is a mosaic artist among other things and has meticulously and soulfully evaluated many rocks.


We decided to press the rocks into printmaking paper. Kevin laid them out and glued them to a linoleum block.


We put the block on the bed of the Vandercook and decided not to use ink or paint. The test run on a remnant of a John Charles Shippey woodblock print was very encouraging.

We used Stonehenge fawn and Rives BFK gray. Cam set type and printed the text on the C&P Pilot. In the end we opted for no ink at all and left the shading to the play of light around the impression.

Art City is deep.