After doing a two sided wood spirit of faces I wanted to get a little creative. I found some old clip art of the Kraken, a mythical sea monster that looks like an enormous octopus and who drags ships to their doom. I intend to wrap a wooden block with the critter. The bulk of the body is on the front and two tentacles reach up to the word Kraken on the reverse.
I want this to be a low relief so the word and the monster will stand proud of the background and be rounded over to appear dimensional. I’ve posted the full process here since I’m still so early in my learning curve.
This isn’t perfect but about as good as I can get it at my current skill level. I don’t think I’m going to try this style of carving again, not liking it as much as low relief on a flat surface.
The journey to the end:
I continued lowering the background some more and then began to round off the tentacles and other features. I had a screw up when working on the letters. The letter E cracked in half and the top popped off as I tried carving out the interior spaces…. So all the letters are now gone. Once I finish rounding it off and smooth everything I’ll stain the kraken green and oil the wood.
Just for fun I tried printing on a t-shirt. Not exactly perfect but I learned a lot. Need to tack the shirt more firmly so it doesn’t have wrinkles. Need to hold shirt down so when I lift the block it doesn’t try to come with it. AND finally I need a more solid surface to apply pressure. I doubt I’ll do more woodblock on shirts as I’m shifting to linocut but I wanted to try to do Krampus for my own wearing pleasure.
This is a two sided woodblock that will probably be displayed on a rotating stand once complete. The flip side is a skull with a decorative headband.
I love Krampus. Under my pen name I wrote a book about him (shameless plug: GET IT HERE). He’s the anti-Santa who delivers punishment to the bad children instead of toys and treats.
I had this idea for a Krampus wood spirit and then saw someone’s image of a two sided wood spirit and was intrigued. I originally intended Krampus on one side and Santa on the reverse. My wife saw the Santa sketch and asked why I was being so cheery and not taking my normal macabre approach to everything – so I made Santa as a skull with a beard: Dead Santa.