We antique and art dealers thrive on a network of kind souls called pickers.
These people delve into the nooks and crannies that those of us with shops could never find and are content to sell to us without wringing every last dollar out of the equation.
We could not exist without them.
A wonderful picker friend of mine found a bunch of old printing blocks in an estate sale near Julian somewhere.
He kept a few choice ones for himself and I bought the rest for a very reasonable sum.
Then he prepared some soy based ink and inked up the woodblocks, that look to me like they were made in the 1930's or early 1940's.
Now mind you, these were just test prints so I was not looking for perfection.
Some were under inked and some were over inked and some were just perfect.
We could always improve them but I initially wanted to just see what they depicted.
It is always a wondrous feeling to pull the paper off of a block and observe the birth of an image.
Doubly fun when the original block is pushing ninety years of age.
|Tunnel View - needs a bit more ink, is that skunk cabbage in the foreground?|
I really like this next one even though it got slightly over inked. It reminds me of Birger Sandzen's work in a way.
|Redwoods and ferns|
|Monarchs of the Forest|
|Giant Redwoods of California|
I really like them all but especially the one on the bottom. What is that, a Packard? They are all pretty cool. The General Sherman tree print also comes without the car in another print I have not pictured. All look like early tourist advertising.
I put the images into the Google reverse image search to see if they are in the global image bank but no luck with any of them. So the identity of their creator is eluding me, for now.
I paid Dixon for the paper and ink. My good friend and mentor donated his time. It was so nice of him to help me.
A couple of people stopped by and really liked them. The Gateway to the sun ripe fruits got a lot of nice comments. I am thinking of producing a little folio of them on nice paper with deckled and hand torn edges and selling them at an affordable price. Let me know if any of you are interested and we will pull some for you and tighten them up.
Nice little grouping of California advertising history.