Sunday, September 16, 2012

Reductive Woodcut

I attended a WPA sponsored reductive woodcut workshop on Saturday, taught by the fabulous Lynne Hubner. I used Baltic Birch, of which I have a ton. The birch is 1/8" thick and has slightly rough sides with one side a little less rough than the other. Lynne uses 3/8" cabinet grade BB which was maybe slightly less rough. I bought my BB from Fine Lumber in case you're local.

Before I was into Tesla,
I had a thing for Lincoln.
I transferred my image to the least rough side with carbon paper, marked my paper size on the block (my block was larger by at least 3/4" all around), and put in registration marks. After all that, I applied a shellac and denatured alcohol solution (70:30 I think. I left my notes at the studio...). After drying, I lightly sanded it then applied another thin layer of shellac, then sanded again. I trimmed my paper to size and marked registration on the back of all sheets of paper. Now time to carve out my whites. 

Here is a pic of my plate and my print of the first color. I printed this first color on the entire edition, being careful to line my registration marks up on the back of the paper to the marks that were on the block. Next step is to carve out the areas on the block that correspond where I want the light blue to remain, then I'll ink again with my next color and print each paper again with the darker color. (If I've lost you, when I print my second color and post about it, I bet you'll get it...) I should note that we didn't use any blankets but instead used a piece of mat board to protect the roller when printing the block.

Paper and Ink
We used Rives lightweight. Lynne often uses mulberry paper and she held up a sample print with the same inks on the different papers. You'd be surprised how the mulberry holds colors vs. the Rives. Lynne uses litho ink. The ink is smoother and has more pigment in it than relief ink. Lynne mixed about 2 Tbs of transparent base, a pea sized amount of sets well, and a touch of pigment to get her colors. She tested a palette knife scrape of ink on paper to gauge how the color might look printed. (I used Akua intaglio because it's what I own. Investing in different ink at this stage isn't appealing. It worked fine with Akua. I didn't use any transparent base in this ink mixture, but will for my next color.)

I need to work on getting another Tesla finished so that's what I'll be doing at the start of the week. Hopefully I'll post color #2 of this woodblock for y'all before the week is out. 

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