Tuesday, July 16, 2013
This linocut shows how I imagine the great white stork of European folklore, who carries babies to new parents. The stork is printed in teal ink on Japanese kozo (or mulberry) paper, 32 cm by 17.5 cm or 12.5" by 7". There are 4 prints in the edition.
The ancient stork-the-baby-bringer legend was made popular by Hans Christian Anderson's story called 'The Storks'. The stork is quite stylized, inspired by ancient Chinese art, and not an attempt to accurately portray Ciconia ciconia, the white stork, because - spoiler alert! - storks are not actually where babies come from. (The baby is a little more naturalistic and has very cute toes, if I do say so myself). This print definitely goes in the 'UnNatural History' category, with other mythical creatures.
As some of you know and some may have deduced, I'm printing the baby-carrying stork because I'm thinking about how to decorate a nursery. RJH and I are expecting a baby this winter!* I've been debating when to tell people, but I think it should be clear now, should you happen to see me, that something is afoot**, and am far enough along that risk has decreased a fair bit, so it seems like the right time. I'm doing pretty well. I haven't had morning sickness. My doctor is wonderfully relaxed and says the right things to put people at ease. (She told me half her patients are my age or older. She lets me have one large coffee a day, saying there's been no rigorous study showing any harm. She blamed my swollen feet on the weather, rather than my suspicion it was from eating salty Triskets and sun-dried tomatoes, saying, "The truth is, in this heat and humidity all pregnant women have swollen feet." So, I think she's great.) I confuse sonographers with my technical imaging questions, cause it's fascinating and the physics of ultrasounds is basically the physics of seismology, so I get it. I've had some discomfort from other symptoms. Why does no one every warn you about the leg cramps? It's always "weird food cravings" and never "violently awoken by Charley horse at 4 am". Also, I am thirsty all of the time which is weird for a girl whose mother called her 'the camel' who was rarely thirsty (or needed to pee). I was keeping a glass of water by my bedside until I realized Minouette thought this was a new, convenient bedtime cat watering station, so now I have a cat-proof bedside water bottle. Sleeping is a bit of a challenge and I'm finding the 'extreme heat alert' weather unpleasant. Me and the cat are hiding in the cool basement right now. Mainly, I feel like I've swallowed a large and unruly water balloon, which is flattening all the things I normally keep in my belly.
As you might imagine, I've responded by making things! So far, I've made 7 reversible fabric bibs (whales, mermaids, fortune cats, psychedelic blue squirrels, an urban scene, mushrooms, vintage cameras, constellations, flowers, numbers, cupcakes and elephants) and a block printed camera toy (because baby will want to be like Daddy I figure). I'm planning some fabric, block printed alphabet blocks too. I'll make duplicates for my shop, should you want any for your favorite wee one. I have other plans too, of course, but this is a good start.
* I'm pretty sure if he reads this he'll tell me I've buried the lede, but I'm not a newspaper man and like a little suspense.
**Though, luckily for me, all the summer clothing is light, and airy and not fitted, so it seems not everyone figures it out on sight.