This week my auspicious card deck, Mirrors of the Heart, has returned from the printer. It’s on thicker card stock with matte lamination. This time it’s black and white like the original linos. And, I’ve added a back to each card–a linocut of two birds. I’ve put the deck up in my etsy shop.
This week, after years of selling the original printings of the card deck I made in 1994, it sold out in my etsy shop. Mirrors of the Heart has been the most popular item I’ve ever made. And, as an artist who has sold a modest amount of work in my life, it’s been an amazing experience to send work across the continent and overseas. I’m now looking into getting the cards reprinted and will let you know how that goes.
Now all I’m left with are extra cards that do not make up complete decks. These are ones I set aside when I found printing glitches in other cards. I’ve been hand colouring some of these with non-toxic permanent markers. Here are some I’ve grouped in sets of 4 for my shop.
The 21 Heart Salute miniature cards are back from the printer. I’m very happy with the way they turned out.
Here’s photos of some of them. As I mentioned, I’ve put the deck in my etsy shop as well.
As I continue to reconsider some of the prints I made 20 to 40 years ago, I have realized that this work is part of a process of rescuing my younger self. As part of that, I have returned to a miniature card deck I made in 1995, a year after I made the larger deck, Mirrors of the Heart.
The 1995 deck is also on the theme of hearts. In making the card deck, I played with the phrase “21 gun salute” and turned it into A 21 Heart Salute. I then listed as many phrases that included the word heart I could think of and came up with 21 of my favourites. Some are phrases widely used like “heart felt” or “kind hearted.” And some I made up like “fountain of heart” or “heart song.”
I carved the deck out of a rubber-like material that was softer than linoleum but that produced clean edges. And I printed a few of these decks in 1995 with stamping ink that produced faint images. A few years ago, I reprinted them in violet but found I don’t have a complete set of these.
So I decided to hand print them properly, this time in red oil based relief printing ink. And I found I enjoyed this reminder of earlier printing. This, even though the actual burnishing of the blocks was always my least favourite part of the printing process. However, pulling the paper off the inked block was and still is a joy because of the surprise of seeing the image reproduced in reverse.
I’m including a photo of some of the 1 1/2″ x 3″ blocks and their prints laid out to dry. These are on my highly sophisticated drying area—a foam core board on the floor with part of my shell collection used to hold the prints from moving in the breeze.
The last week or so, I’ve scanned the prints, cropped the images and sent them to an online printer for reproduction. I’ll let you know how they turn out when I get them back. I plan to list them in my etsy shop.
From Mirrors of the Heart Card Deck. © 1994 Lily S. May
Finally, this week I did something I’ve been planning to do for a while. I created a page about the most popular art work I’ve done–my card deck, Mirrors of the Heart. It’s made of linocuts I created in 1994 and had offset printed. There are other images from the deck in the Mirrors category.
Like it or not, it’s Valentine’s Day. And because of that, I’m offering up some hearts from the card deck I made in 1994. Mirrors of the Heart grew out of my interest at that time in tarot cards. I thought of each card as being a quality that the heart, or at least my heart, desires. It’s an oracle deck, a deck for storytelling.
The deck has been the largest single project I’ve ever created. I remember feeling a strong sense of accomplishment in taking the deck from the stages of thought and intuition through to carving the 44 linocuts that comprise it.
Over time, I saw the card deck as a sort of unbound book. I’ve recently thought of this as I turn some of my old prints into booklets and send them out as mail art.
May the heart be with you and may you be graced by love.