It was Pink Palace Crafts Fair weekend in Memphis this past weekend. Elmore has been a demonstrator for several years, splitting logs, chopping with his axe and adze, and making bowls. I've managed to slide in on his coat-tails (mostly because there's lots of space around his booth -- no one else wants to be too close to the flying wood chips), so I'm demonstrating printmaking now.
Ed Weston, a fellow Meeman Center classmate and participant in my dad's New Testament Greek group, was kind enough to give me this tiny press that had been kicking around his attic. Since my press is 1500 pounds, I can't just up and bring it to the crafts fair. This tiny one is perfect to show kids how prints are made. I loved watching their amazed faces as I peeled a tiny print off the tiny block. You can see the scale of the press from the mechanical pencil in the foreground. (It was probably originally for making ladies' social cards. It came with a form for three rows of type plus some cursive letters.)
In between questions and chatting (I see lots of old friends out there -- it's a fair I've been attending since childhood, and many Memphians also go without fail), I mostly worked on this new block. This is the first proof, and I'm continuing to do a bit of carving and cleaning up on it. It's the next installment of my series on womanhood. Anne Apple, one of the ministers at Idlewild, was kind enough to model for me on a recent Sunday.
Another reason I enjoy the crafts fair is that it was where I first met Elmore -- I walked into his booth and started chatting, and we had our first date later that weekend. So we always have a low-key celebration and take an anniversary photo out there. This was our ninth anniversary of that first meeting.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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