I love Mary Azarian, Vermont woodcut artist and book illustrator!
Mary Azarian moved to a small hill farm in northern Vermont in 1963. She and her partner farmed with horses and oxen, kept chickens, a milk cow and sheep, made maple syrup and raised three sons as well as a large vegetable and flower garden. These years on the farm became the basis for the subjects she has chosen to depict in her woodcut prints.
In 1969, she started Farmhouse Press and began producing woodcut prints, first printing by hand and eventually printing on a 19th century Vandercook proof press. Her initial prints were done in black and white, but she soon began experimenting with adding color. Trained as a painter as well as a printmaker, she developed a non-traditional technique of adding the color with water based paints rather than with individual color blocks.
This allows each print to be unique and the color to be varied. Most of the prints produced at Farmhouse Press are printed by the artist on the Vandercook proof press, but in some cases a block may prove difficult to print properly and is printed by a small print shop in Barre, Vermont. These prints will be designated by an asterisk (*). Each print is individually hand painted by Mary Azarian.
Recently, she has returned to hand printing black and white woodcuts on Japanese paper. The quality of hand rubbing can never be duplicated on a press. In addition to producing prints, Mary Azarian has illustrated over 40 books. She continues to illustrate picture books and a collection of note cards reproduced from original woodcuts.
Learn more at www.maryazarian.com
Jenny, we *are* kindred spirits; I too love Mary Azarian and have all her books. Thanks for the informative post about her, her web link and hooray that she is making woodblocks again. I’m currently flushing goats with grain for breeding, selling apples, homeschooling (new) and making soaps and candles for upcoming historical shows. I’d give anything to sit down with a Mary Azarian book, a cup of herbal tea and a nap! (:
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