How Much Wood Could a Woodcutter Cut if a Woodcutter Could Cut Movie Icons Into Wood?

I was recently contacted by Loren Kantor, a cinephile and writer living in Los Angeles who just happens to be a woodcutter in his spare time. He wanted to share some of his woodcuts, many of which are movie-themed. Several feature silent comedians and classic crime movie stars. This is a woodcutter after my own heart. His work is really cool, clearly the result of someone who cares about his craft. And when people put that kind of time into awesome movie-related stuff, I think it’s worth sharing. How much wood could a woodcutter cut if a woodcutter could cut movie icons into wood?

You can find all of his work at Woodcuttingfool. It’s well worth the visit. In the meantime, here are some of his (and my) favorite movie-themed woodcuts.

The French Connection

Buster Keaton

Marlon Brando

 

Edward G. Robinson

James Cagney

Harold Lloyd

Steve Buscemi

And one more, unrelated to film but certainly related to Los Angeles, and one of my favorite writers- Charles Bukowski.

I asked Loren to walk me through the process a bit. Here’s what he said:

The process involves finding a photo or old film image to work with. From the photo I make a pencil sketch which I then transfer to a linoleum block. I carve the block with a woodcutting blade. The areas I carve do not print; the areas I leave do print. The carving process takes 40-60 hours. Once the image is carved I clean the block, cover the block with ink and place acid-free, archival paper atop the block. I use a small “baren” (a Japanese hand tool) to press the paper with equal pressure all around. From each block the yield is typically 30-40 prints until the block starts to degrade. Each print is slightly different depending on spread of ink and the pressure from the baren.

11 Comments

Filed under Movies

11 responses to “How Much Wood Could a Woodcutter Cut if a Woodcutter Could Cut Movie Icons Into Wood?

  1. That is really freaking cool. Brando looks almost like Leatherface in that woodcut.

  2. Wow! The Robinson one is awesome! Is there a place we can actually buy those prints?
    Not related to this post I’ve wrote a little piece on your Greatest French Films it’s up today on Le Mot du Cinephiliaque: http://cinephiliaque.blogspot.ca/2012/08/thoughts-and-reactions-on-john-larues.html
    And I stole your banner of the post because I find it cool!

  3. Amazing. What an excellent talent to have.

  4. WOW, these are cool! Some people have so much talents! I have a co-worker who could carve pumpkins like nobody’s business, he always carve people who have died that year every Halloween, but he’s retired now.

  5. They a brill. I am jealous of anyone with the time and patience to do this sort of thing… let alone the talent.

  6. ilovethatfilm

    I’d love to see a version of Heath Ledger’s Joker.

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