This week I have been working on my print of Niobium for the Periodic Table of the Elements Project. I started by making a sketch on tracing paper. The sketch is based on the Greek myth of Niobe whom the element Niobium is named after. Niobe was the queen of Thebes. She boasted of her fourteen children to the goddess Leto and as a result, Apollo killed her seven sons and Artemis killed her seven daughters. In her grief, Niobe wept and turned to stone.
Niobium - sketch 1

I scanned the pencil sketch in Photoshop and applied the stamp filter, then inverted the darks and lights. This helped to bulk up the lines in my drawing, making them more suitable for transferring to wood for carving. It also gave me an idea of what the image might look like printed.

Niobium - sketch 2

I further experimented by adding some color. I also tweaked the drawing, added the element symbols, and the kento.

Niobium - final sketch

I lightly taped some extremely thin paper to a piece of bond paper. I ran this sheet through my HP printer without any trouble. I then used rice paste to attach this thin paper printout face down to the wood block (this was done in order to reverse the image so the final print will be oriented correctly). The paper is thin enough that I can see the drawing through the paper. I had tried carving through copy paper before and this was rather messy, but carving through the thin paper was quite easy. I should have a test print soon.