My Favorite Tool: MOO Carve

I often value recommendations on tools and resources from other artists, and once I find the “one” I love, I become a loyal fan and never look back!

These MOO Carve Professional Carving Blocks are one of those things. 

moo carve block printing block

It’s my absolute favorite carving blocks to use for my block printing practice both professionally and for fun!

Let me back up a little and tell you how I got started with block printing first.

I took an amazing e-course, Design, Carve, Print, by Jen Hewett in the winter of 2015 and got immediately hooked.

block printed tea towel teapot coffee pot tea cup design
My first fabric block printing project in the winter of 2015.

I love the process of block printing. It engages your creativity in many different ways through the entire course of production, from drawing on paper to carving the block to designing and printing on fabric.

Before I learned how to block print on fabric, I tried  linocut once after buying a beautiful linocut piece at a farmer’s market and loved how it looked.

But the linocut block was very difficult for me to carve as a beginner, and I got really discouraged…

I just made a very small design because it was so hard to carve... but that meant I had to carve out all the background... linocut fail.
My first and only linocut project. It was very hard to carve, and I didn’t enjoy working with the oil-based ink, either. So messy!!

After taking Jen’s course, I learned about MOO Carve, and it totally changed my block printing world!

It’s a little thicker than the block printing blocks you get from other companies (about 1/2 inch thick). Their material is very similar to rubber eraser, and it cuts like butter! I like how easy it is on my hands and how quickly I can carve my designs.

block printing on fabric xoxo valentines design
Valentine’s XOXO design for knitters/crocheters. February 2016.

One drawback of using a softer material is, if you’re not paying attention, it is pretty easy to cut through parts you aren’t supposed to. I’ve also broken off parts of my block (especially smaller details) while washing… Oops.

(If this happens, you can try to fix it with the super glue or “modify” your design a bit around your mistakes… It’s an opportunity for creative problem solving! :))

Other than a few mishaps here and there, all of my blocks have fared pretty well after making hundreds (yes, hundreds…) of prints!!

moo carve block printing blocks and tools
Some of the fall/winter designs from last year. I use the Speedball lino cutter and baren.

It’s been almost a year and a half since I took my bock printing class. I was making block printed products to sell for a while but decided to cut back on that this year as I was afraid my passion was dying…

For now, I mainly block print for fun. You can see my most recent printing and sewing project in this post.

I’ve also been enjoying teaching others how to create their own beautiful block printed fabrics since this spring!

IGIMO-class-photo-collage-050216_1200px
Teaching block printing is so much fun 🙂

I use MOO Carve blocks for the classes I teach as well, and many of my students are surprised to learn how easy it is to work with the material!

It’s a little pricier than some other brands,’ but it’s well worth it to me. I usually buy them from Blick online store or Amazon depending on what else I’m buying.

If you’re a print maker, give it a try and let me know how you like it!

Enjoy creating!

xo Yuko

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

 

 

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