Art in the 21st century is about concept and craftsmanship. In these images
a group of trees from Rockport, a place visited, and a statement about the natural environment versus humankind's toll on the earth evolved from that concept.
Printmaking is about process and experimentation. Woodblock printing is one of the oldest forms of global visual communication, it is a simple craft that translates natural processes, opening contemporary discourse and ideas for aesthetic utilitarianism.
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A r e l i e f is made by removing the area not printed and the wood that is left on the surface is the part that prints onto the paper with ink, making a positive image.
2 separate same sized wood blocks are made for this project. One wood block is the tree and the other one; the leaves. Birch wood was used because it is soft.
Prints made from the original wood block, print backwards. An image of the trees was transferred onto the surface of the wood block using graphite coated paper.
Pushing carving tools across the surface of the wood, the design lines were sculpted using a small and large U and occasionally a V shaped steel blade gouge. Cutting away and following with the grain of the wood makes it easy.
Paper is measured and torn so that it has a deckle edge. Each sheet is trimmed to the same size. Measurements are marked on a frame so the paper and wood block do not wiggle with each run through the press. Registering in the same spot, the image morphs together.
Soaking the paper, example 3, creates a texture when printed and allows for ink absorption.
Adjusting the caliper of the etching press makes the pressure just right for the paper and woodblock to be printed.
Less is more ink, a little goes a long way.
Mixing the ink color with a putty knife and brayer and applying the ink to the surface of the wood, the tree wood block, is printed. #1 is an example of a 1 plate printing.
On print #2, leaves were printed first and then the tree block (#1) was printed. The two carvings printed in relief is 2 color because each of the blocks were printed with a different color of ink.
The prints are dried and numbered and signed.