A new series of New Zealand cards by Wolfkamp and Stone is being launched at the Winter Gift Fair in Christchurch, June 2014. Published by Live Wires NZ Ltd are six ‘Printmaker’ cards on beautiful art stock paper with a de-bossed border. The four shown here are (above) ‘Arohanui‘ NZ pied stilts, ‘Everything is Ka Pai‘ NZ fantail and teacup (below) ‘Congratulations‘ NZ Morepork or Ruru and ‘Kia Kaha‘, NZ native woodpigeon or kereru. There is also ‘Tu Meke’ extinct NZ Moa and ‘Sweet As’ still life with a pavlova.
I was going for a woodblock or linocut look but do not have a printing press so thought I would give scraperboard a go. I’d never used it before so didn’t know you needed specialist tools to scrap back the black layer on the boards to expose the white. Below is a range of tools I used before a friend told me about the scraperboard tools (above) which I bought halfway through the project. Below shows the difference the tools make on the scraperboard. The kiwi at the bottom was my first effort using the antique tool thingy (send me an email if you know what this is). As you can see the result is quite crude but thought it had a certain rustic charm so used these earlier efforts for the final cards. Also scraperboard is not cheap so was loath to waste it. The top image shows how many motifs I could cram onto an A4 sized board.
After scanning the finished scraperboards I coloured the designs in Photoshop, creating simple screen layers that would look similar to a linocut. I had another idea too, clear cutting the scraperboard motifs and giving them an embossed effect in photoshop and placing them on solid coloured backgrounds. These four cards include the two above; ‘Little Things‘ NZ rock wren and tomtit saying “It’s the little thing that really matter” (from the Trinity Roots song I’d heard on the radio) and ‘Oh Boy‘ NZ kiwi chick. The others in this series include ‘Aroha‘ NZ kiwi chick on a pink background with bunting saying ‘Aroha’ and ‘I Do!‘ two NZ fantails on a wedding cake saying “I Do!”. I felt there was a need for good occasional cards (new baby, wedding congratulations etc) for a New Zealand audience. I hope these hit the spot!