Blocking Out Boredom

Block printing is a skill I’ve (Rashmeet) only recently acquired, but have instantly fallen in love with! My very first lino stamp was a lateral view of the brain (because why not!) made at one of the DIYversity Project open houses. There was something so soothing about carving the lino and watching the tiny slivers of discarded lino collect (but mostly make a mess) on the table and floor beneath. That is why I was excited to see that Mary Calarco and her son have been experimenting with block printing during COVID-19!

Beautiful block print inspired by a trip to Mexico exploring the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System.
Beautiful block print inspired by a trip to Mexico exploring the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System.

Mary Calarco’s artwork pulls inspiration from repeating patterns and unusual forms found in nature. She combines painting, block printing, sewing, and most recently, rug hooking.

COVID-19 inspired block print bookmark.
COVID-19 inspired block print bookmark.

In response to what Mary has been creating during quarantine, she replied, “My son is usually at school when I’m making art at home. But the pandemic has allowed us to work together on a number of projects over the last three months, one of them being block printing. After we did some research on the corona virus, he carved out a shape using softoleum to make bookmarks. In terms of my own work, the nationwide closures have allowed me far more time to work on labour intensive pieces like rug hooking.”

A ravishing rug hooking!
A ravishing rug hooking!

To see more of Mary’s art you can visit her website: www.marycalarco.com and make sure you check out the work she has for sale here: https://mary-calarco.myshopify.com/!

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