Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Print Blocks

When I was in design school, taking a textile class, a fellow student brought in a an old carved wood print block. It was a piece of wood with a hand carved design, used to stamp/print designs onto fabric. I was fascinated and quickly added that to my mental list of things to watch for in antique stores, thrift shops, etc.

Turns out they're not so easy to find. But, one day, I hit the jackpot! I was visiting one of my favorite stores, Arte International, and they had a huge table piled high and overflowing with print blocks. My husband, daughter, and I looked through all of them, trying to find our favorites. It wasn't easy! They had so many beautiful designs and they were so intricate and ornate...much more so than the one I'd originally seen years ago.

It's amazing to me that people can carve such intricate designs into wood. They're beautiful! Here are the ones we decided on. You can click on the pictures for a closer look.

I love the flowing dresses on these ladies/angels...


A bird...


A heart...when you enlarge this one, notice the bits of blue ink left in some of the crevices...


This is my biggest one and probably my favorite. It's about 6"x8". I guess it's a paisley design but it looks a lot like a chili pepper! So pretty!...


This one is my daughter's. She loves it!...


Being the budget shoppers that we are, and even though they were only around $5 each, we narrowed our favorites down to just a few. We probably should have bought a carload of them though as I may have been able to make quite a profit...turns out they usually sell for around $50-$150 or more...each! I bought these several years ago and I went back to the store recently, in hopes of finding more, but they're all gone. I did find one in an antique store a couple of months ago but the pattern was very open and unattractive and the price was about $70.

I feel lucky to have found such beautiful print blocks and enjoy looking at them everyday. I have most of them arranged along the top of my mantel. Of course, I'll keep my eyes open for more.

3 comments:

KarenB said...

I have never seen anything like these before! They are wonderful! I'm so glad you posted them. Very, very cool.

Karen

KarenB said...

I actually saw some of these today at Anthropologie in Corona! They weren't NEARLY as pretty as yours.

jomamma said...

Those are awesome! I've been looking for something like this to make my own custom note cards. You would probably want to keep these in their Antique state and not mess up the old dye that still shows and is part of the appeal. I've been experimenting with swatches of knitting using them as 'stamps' but it's not working so well. Or at least as well as I'd like.