One day I decided that I wanted to learn how to carve wooden letters. After realizing that I lack absolutely all skills in carving, especially wood, I was advised to start with linoleum. Let’s take a moment to understand what level carver I am. Tree branch skewers for campfire marshmallow roasting, potato stamps and soap stamps back in elementary school. That’s it. I’ve never even seen a linocut demo.
With that being the case, I took it a step even further back. My very first attempt at carving a letter is this rubber ampersand (pictured above). It went quite well I think. Cutting rubber is like a hot knife through butter. I’m so ready to graduate to linoleum.
This project is my attempt at finishing a complete alphabet in linoleum by March 31st. This project is purely an experiment of learning how to carve letter forms. It’s about developing my hand skills, technique through repetition, focus, and dedication. Most importantly, this is about having loads of fun because using my hands to create is what I live for.
Now, the part that you may be wondering. What typeface have I chosen? I wanted a nice condensed, clean lined font. Since this project has a mild letterpress printing gone wacky essence, I chose Champion Gothic by Hoefler & Frere-Jones. Lightweight was chosen from my deep rooted affection for it’s lovely ampersand. Most of all, I just wanted to carve one of my hands down favorite fonts and this one fits my vision.
When this project wraps up in April, I plan to print all characters as a poster. If the print looks somewhat decent and you’ve enjoyed this experiment, just let me know and I’ll make sure to print one for you. Thanks for taking an interest in my little Letter March project. I’m excited to get carving!
As of right now, I have all 10 fingers.