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
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.