Carve it out!

Exploring the Craft of Block Making and Printing.

Just when I started carving a block, I realized that this skill of carving the positives and negatives is what life is all about. It’s tough, it’s tedious, it’s confusing, it’s a game-changer at times with the smallest error; but it’s fun, it’s joyous and most importantly it’s an experience.


The joy of carving your own block and printing it on a 200gsm thick paper or a 15 square inch fabric book is pure joy and immense satisfaction.


A Dopamine hit maybe!


I remember trying my hands on carving a block in a linoleum sheet during my university days back in January 2018. It was an open event hosted by an undergrad student of architecture as a part of our college fest. I had fun carving random shapes on that linoleum sheet which was quite satisfying in a way, just to scoop out the soft rubber like material using those carving tools.

Maybe a dopamine hit!


Few months later a friend in Mumbai asked me to accompany her for a block making & printing workshop at an organization in Kamala mills, Lower Parel. With a blink of an eye, I said yes and went along for that fun session. It was then when I actually understood and learnt the skill of carving a block from the very skilled craftsmen who has been practicing it for years now. The craftsmen were professionals in block carving and block printing both. The immense joy of learning something from the right person is priceless and unforgettable. The first hand learning experience from the professionals in the field is a rare opportunity, which I got. Since then I have been exploring the craft in various materials like linoleum, rubber sheets, wood etc. and designing my own blocks.

The immense joy of learning something from the right person is priceless and unforgettable.


World Architecture Day & my 'Architecture series'


On the occasion of World Architecture Day which is celebrated on first Monday of every October, I decided to release my very recent blocks I carved and printed with: The ‘Architecture series’. This series is a dedication to the legendary Modernists & Master Architects Le Corbusier and Balkrishna Doshi. During a conference in 1996, at the International Union of Architects Congress held in Barcelona, Spain, the organization decided to celebrate World Architecture Day on the same day as the UN-Habitat’s World Habitat Day to commemorate the dedication and commitment of the architects towards the societies, environment and cities.

Presenting the 'Architecture series' of my Handcrafted blocks on the occasion of World Architecture day 2020 and also giving a kickstart to the Inktober 2020 series.


Block 1: VYOMASURA: Chronicles of Delusion

(since Feb 2016) CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India

Exhibition of sculptures by Vyom made in collaboration with STEEL CONCEPT curated by Shyam Patel & Prayas Abhinav. The Public Art Exhibition Series has been initiated by CEPT University and Hutheesing Visual Art Centre to promote talented artists and designers working in the realm of public art. (https://cept.ac.in/)


P.s. you all might have come across this phenomenal sculpture in a really popular series on Amazon Prime video's Made in Heaven. Just a glimpse of it though.



Block 2: MODULAR MAN BY LE CORBUSIER

The Modulor marks an important advancement in the history of architecture because it makes us take notice of the bodily disconnect caused by industry and its constant attempts at standardization, efforts that speak to our desire to find common ground and to bring everyone to it.

(source: https://www.archdaily.com/)


Le Corbusier's Modulor man is a visual bridge between two antagonistic scales of metric and imperial systems, based on the height of man with an arm raised above.



Block 3: THE OPEN HAND BY LE CORBUSIER

One of the most dynamic examples of modern planned cities in India happens to be Chandigarh, design by the master Architect and a modernist Le Corbusier. The Open hand sculpture is 26 meters high at the Capitol Complex of Chandigarh, sector 1. It is a symbolic representation of universal acceptance to various thoughts and ideas.

(For more information about the monument you can hit this lnk: https://www.chandigarhcity.com/)


Le Corbusier designed this open hand monument to indicate peace and unity.


All you need to know!


All you need for carving and printing your own blocks are firstly the below mentioned materials & tools (they are easily available on amazon.com) secondly some basic lessons and most importantly lots of love, patience and practice.

Image source: https://mymodernmet.com/

Image source: https://in.pinterest.com/


Material details: Linoleum sheet/Rubber sheet, Carving tools in steel/stainless steel, Color pigments oil/water based, Paint Rollers and Set of Brushes.


Hit me up if you want to learn the skill and know more. The feedback form is right below!

Thanks and Love,

Rutuja <3



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am Rutuja, Creative Head

@therutleestrings

A Design Consultant,

Researcher &

Design Educator