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Retro Motel block print

Retro Motel block print
Retro Motel block print

If you travel to West Texas, specifically to Big Bend National Park, you may recognize this sign... it's the Marathon Motel sign, which is glorious to behold both day and night. This motel holds a special place in my heart because it represents the beginning of most of my Big Bend trips! It's the perfect place to stay (I usually camp- they have a camping area and clean bathrooms with showers) before getting up in the morning to start the day in the park. The sign evokes nostalgia and a yearning for the open road.

Side note: I was camping here on my very first visit to Big Bend when I shot a photo of a jackrabbit by our tents- a photo I went on to use as the reference for my jackrabbit carving!

Printed on heavyweight, acid-free watercolor paper, with hand torn edges, the print is 11 inches wide and 14 inches tall. I use water-based inks, so they are susceptible to moisture over a long period of time (see framing options). The unusual size is something I love about it, but it does pose more of a challenge when considering how to frame it or hang it compared to a standard size. Below are some suggestions!

I print this design on a warm white paper, perfect for showing the colors of the flashing TV sign!

FRAME-LESS display: As shown in the photos, you can hang the print free of framing and it looks really cool. I chose a vintage skirt (or trouser) hanger I found on Etsy. In humid climates, there might be slight curling at the bottom of the print, so if you order with the intention of displaying it this way, I will send some archival tape, and a piece of archival museum board to affix on the back of the bottom to weight it down a bit and to prevent side curling. ** these prints are made with water-based ink, so putting them in a bathroom, kitchen, or hanging in a very humid area or climate will spell doom for the image.

FRAMING: The paper is approx 11x14, but may have to be trimmed slightly if you choose not to mat it and put it directly into a standard 11x14 size frame. An easy way to see the fit is to place the glass from the frame on the back of the print and see if there's need to trim.

If you have the funds, and the patience, professional framing would be beautiful. It would require custom matting and frame due to the unique size, but ultimately would make this print last for a very, very long time. 

Mailed flat via USPS Priority shipping

What is block printing?

I use a soft, rubbery block to carve the relief of the design I want to print. What's carved away becomes the negative space, where ink is not going to make an impression on paper. I use water-based ink and you can feel the raised markings- it's very tactile. For now I do not have a press, I use body weight and a baren to press the design onto the paper. I kind of love doing work that I could still do without electricity! 

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