How We Made: Fox and Chickadee Cards and Prints

How We Made: Fox and Chickadee Cards and Prints

November 02, 2021

Fall is fully underway, and when fall arrives, so do our Fox and Chickadee items.

These started as linocut prints which Madeleine created in October of 2020. The two animals are companion pieces to a set of four holiday designs. 

Papillon Press linocut chickadee christmas holiday cardChickadee linocut, 2020.

Each of the animals were hand-drawn, then transferred to the linoleum block using graphite and tracing paper. They were then carved with Pfeil woodcarving chisels. 

During the winter, carving linoleum can be more challenging, as the linoleum gets harder due to the lower temperatures. Madeleine uses a space heater in her studio to warm up the blocks and make for easier carving. 

Letterpress printed greeting card from linoleum block, 2020.

After carving is completed, we letterpress printed a bunch of these cards on some lovely 100% cotton paper from Neenah Cotton. After printing, we have to fold, trim, and package the cards for markets and retail display.

Papillon Press linocut chickadee christmas holiday card
Boxed set of Chickadee and Fox letterpress greeting cards, 2021.

After some time, linoleum tends to deteriorate due to the immense amount of pressure applied to the block during printing. Since we wanted to continue to print these cards, we digitized the designs by scanning them into Adobe Illustrator. We then sent the digital versions off to have magnesium dies made. These dies can endure thousands of prints if they're taken care of.

When we made these dies, we also made a couple that were a bit larger in size, to create some 6"x8" art prints. 

Papillon Press linocut chickadee fox christmas holiday card printChickadee and Fox art prints, 2021.

These are hand-block printed on handmade lokta paper from Nepal. Lokta paper is a strong but thin paper made from the inner bark of fibrous evergreen plants. These fibers grow back quickly, and roots are never damaged, and so these fibers are an entirely renewable resource!

Cards (singles and boxed sets) and prints are available at our website, or at any of our upcoming events. 




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