Man vs. Machine

Idiosyncrasy, Illustrated

I occassionally give demonstrations of my printing process. The demo usually goes something like this:

(1) I tie my apron strings.

(2) I roll ink onto one of my hand-carved linoleum blocks after giving it a scrub with a retired toothbrush.

(3) I sit down in my beat-up chair to change my flip flops or winter boots or bare feet for my Very Special Clogs that my mother purchased for me in 1992 (a great year for clogs).

(4) I take a blank prayer flag from my stack and place it on a catalog on a newspaper on a piece of cardboard on a hand-knotted Nepalese rug on the blue-painted plywood that is my studio floor (a lucky configuration).

(5) Using my trademark Pinkie Anchors, I carefully center the inked block face-down on the flag.

(6) I exchange a glance with my guest as I set foot onto the block and begin a mostly coordinated dance with myself. I pump my weight up and down in key spots. I probably grunt and sigh. I place my trademark Booster Block on the main block in a few choice places and pump some more. My guest may be viewing the demo through his hand at this point.


(7) I remove the linoleum block to reveal a bold and glistening print of something subversive like a plate of chocolate chip cookies.

After an awkward silence, my guest says a variation of, "Dude. I think you need a printing press or something."