Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Tower of Giraffes


Well, I still have no functioning laptop of my own, but RJH has been kind enough to create a profile for me on his laptop and I'm getting better at using it.*

This linocut shows a tower of giraffes. The collective noun for a group of giraffes is a "tower" of course. The first thing you might notice about a giraffe is its towering neck, and a collection of giraffes tower over most things. The typography I designed for the words represents their meaning; "tower" mimics the shape of a tower complete with a turret-shaped 't' and the delicate, tall, thin letters of 'Giraffes' mimic the animals, right down to the horns-like ossicones on the dot of the 'i'. In fact, the crenellations (the battlement, or cut-out bits of the parapet) of the turret-t also echo the shape of the ossicones.**

These linoleum block printed giraffes are printed in brown ink with black and orange words on Japanese kozo, or mulberry paper. Each print is 9.25" by 12.5" or 23.5 cm by 31.7 cm in dimension. There are 8 prints in the edition.

giraffes detail

I love how each giraffe has such personality! The one in the middle looks a bit goofy; the one on the right is a snob; the one on the left wonders what it did to get saddled with the other two. Am I right?

I also love the weird and wonderful terms of venery - the collective nouns for groups of animals (and other things). Some are evocative, some strange and obscure. This is the sixth in a series of such prints.

Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to carve "Giraffes", backwards, when it is so hot I think my brain might be slightly melted, without getting confused about which consonants to double? Let's face it, I might like words, but my spelling is atrocious. In fact, I wanted to put two t's in atrocious, but my spell-checker won't let me. RJH says double consonants are my kryptonite. Reynardin gleefully remembers my high school "writting" folder. I may know where you can get yourself a "Girraffes" print to go with your "Butterfflies". *head desk* I have a new motto (which has two t's - I checked): spell twice, carve once.

*I've used all sorts of machines (PC, UNIX, LiNUX, various Apple, and a few more or less handmade approximations of these), and like most physicists I know, I'm a PC person, not a Mac person. There is no reason for a Mac to give me trouble if I can program a data logger in machine code, and yet, I find them anti-intuitive, to the great amusement of several friends. First of all, I had to learn all the shortcuts (without using CTRL) and then I had to ask about right-clicking when there is no right-hand mouse button at all and generally I find it hard to tell what it's up to. I want to know what a machine is doing, and I'm not very patient... but I'm getting better. Plus, I like my bilingual keyboard. It was a pain to try and list this print in French without any é on the keyboard.

**I managed to use crenellations and ossicones in a single sentence. In fact, I just did it again. Think the sesquipedalian police will get me?


Amanda said...

To me, they are saying (from left to right, with attitude): "really??!?" (sarcastically, not enthusiastically) "Right! Right?" "WHATever!"

minouette said...

Ha! I love it.