Now that we’re in our new home on 5th Avenue South, we’re tackling projects we just dreamed about. . . and one of those dreams was to get the shop router up and running, a Wesel, probably from the first half of the 20th century. Bec, who leads daily tours of the shop and our history, and is ever-inquisitive and handy, took on the challenge of sourcing router bits and test-cutting various wood surfaces, before she dove into re-carving a favorite block from the collection that none of us have ever seen in person!
The collie block, one of a series of farm animal blocks that are part of the shop’s collection, mysteriously disappeared from the shop before any of us ever worked here. We had two prints made from the original block to work from, and Bec very carefully traced that original design, transferred it to a block, routed out most of the large open areas of the block, and then meticulously went over every edge again, by hand, to clean up all the details and make sure each edge prints cleanly and neatly.
In the above photo, you can see the marks Bec made on the collie’s face: Xs as visual cues that mark the areas to keep. It’s a very useful thing to do, especially with such detailed design. Once the carving is complete, what you have left is what gets inked and printed.