When I first started Pomegranate, our signature style was Indian hand block prints. They began quit simply and have since progressed over time into high-end designs. The best thing about hand blocking? The prints can be anything you want them to be — it’s all about practice and using the right tools. I suggest beginning with a geometric shape that’s easy to carve and repeats nicely in a print.
For today’s tutorial, I chose to do a very uncomplicated version of a pomegranate. (Of course!) Don’t feel discouraged if you envision something in your mind, only to find that it turns out differently. As you can see in the photos, I originally planned to include leaves in my design but loved the print without them. I filed the leaves in my stamp drawer to use in another project that they better suit. There are only happy accidents in art — am I right!?
Begin with a carving block, then draw on your design with pencil and go over it with a sharpie.
I like to color in anywhere that I don’t want to cut; it helps to see the final hand block and will prevent you from carving the wrong sections accidentally. Everything in black is what will go onto the paper once inked — the rest is the negative space to be carved away. Carefully use the correct head of your cutter to carve your shape.
Next you will choose your ink. Here I just made a monotype print on card stock. You could print on almost anything, however — paper, tea towels, pillows, shirts, even your walls! I used a Speedball water-based ink that wouldn’t bleed on the paper and dries quickly. Roll the ink onto a flat surface with your brayer, then roll it onto your stamp. If you have areas that you don’t want the ink to touch but it is, simply carve those away.
And voila! A cute framed print in under one hour. I used a sharpie to draw in the seeds, but you could make another stamp for those as well. Like I said, it’s all about your vision.
Here are a few of our block-printed Pomegranate items. As you can see, once you get in the swing of it you can make really intricate designs!