IN NOVEMBER 2006, Flora's son Joel discovered in his garage attic a large box of his father's original woodcuts and copper engravings, dating from around 1940 to 1960. The 15 or so blocks and plates appeared to be well-preserved, and included several works for which prints had not previously been found.

 
Captain Tooker (1946)
woodcut (plywood)
 Vintage print
(titled, signed and dated) found in archives

One month later, Flora biographer Irwin Chusid brought three large woodcuts (Railroad Town, 1951; Serenade, ca. 1947; and Captain Tooker, 1946), and three copper plates (Trio, 1947; An Air of Panic, 1943; and an untitled work, ca. 1950) to the studios of YEE-HAW INDUSTRIAL LETTERPRESS, in Knoxville TN. He spent several days working with owners Kevin Bradley and Julie Belcher and printmaker Bryan Baker determining the durability of the blocks for print production. They were found to be in excellent condition.

Three dozen archival-quality trial proofs of the woodcuts were printed (in various colors, on two different papers), numbered and stamped. At the University of Tennessee, which has one of the finest printmaking programs in the U.S., faculty member Jessica Meyer produced test lithographs of the copper plates.

Plans are underway for Jim Flora Art LLC and Yee-Haw to produce numbered editions of the woodcuts and plates. The woodcut trial proofs are not yet officially being offered for sale, but inquiries are welcome.

Snapshots from the printing sessions are below. The prints look WAY better than these snapshots might indicate.

  
Bryan Baker places Railroad Town block on press bed and makes position and height adjustments. The block is inked. First three prints were red, before we switched to darker shades. Bryan and Kevin Bradley inspect the block for ink distribution and debris.


  
First print of Railroad Town. Thumbs up! Purple ink applied to block.


  
Bryan holds up black ink print. Positioning Captain Tooker block for press. Removing debris from inked Serenade block.


  
Bryan pulls the first Serenade print. Serenade print. Serenade prints racked. Eighteen numbered "trial proof" prints were produced of this work.

 

All images © Jim Flora Art LLC, except where noted. All rights reserved.