Art is all in the details, as one Royal Oak artist is showing. She uses a technique called block printing to create one-of-a-kind, handcrafted patterns.
Betsy Stecker, printmaker of Big Mitten Linocuts and owner and curator of Forested, a shop inside Ferndale’s Rustbelt Market, joined “Live In The D” co-host Tati Amare to talk about her business.
The printmaker defined block printing as the art of creating handcrafted prints from carved blocks. She says that she uses a wood carving gauge to eliminate any material that she wishes to conceal before printing the block. Once the block is finished, she rolls the ink onto the block and uses a lot of pressure to make the print. In addition, she says that her blocks are made of linoleum, which is made from linseed oil. This makes them very durable.
Betsy says her signature block is “Falling For Michigan,” which includes the indigenous tree leaves of Michigan. Another one of her popular blocks is the “Fall Whet Owl,” which is one of the smallest owl species in Michigan. She hand prints her unique patterns on tote bags, crossbody purses, cushions, and tees.
Forested is a thoughtfully curated collection of slow-made wear that celebrates nature. She says for her shop she seeks things handmade, Michigan-made, or made from recycled or reclaimed materials.
For a demonstration of block printing and for more information, watch the video above.