Last week I had a workshop on Wood Cut Print. I have always looked at wood cut prints and thought of them as too “planned” almost and I think this is why I have dismissed working in this area so far in my practice. However I went into the workshop with an open mind. I didn’t really have anything planned for the workshop (again!) so I decided to just use some of my images I had taken of Found Objects as a source to draw from (again!). I think already the photo’s I have taken of Found Objects so far have proven beneficial towards my project (especially for inspiration and sources for drawing from!). Once I had drew onto the wood I then had to cut out areas I did not want to print – this was the hard part ! Using what was very similar to lino cutters I removed certain areas of the wood. It was quite difficult (which is what I expected) and parts of the wood splintered at times which was pretty frustrating – especially when removing detailed sections ! The first wood cut we all produced in the workshop was just to print in black and white so we didn't have to think about removing specific areas at different print stages.
This is how my print turned out. This is the second black and white print I produced – the first pint had areas towards the bottom which I didn’t really like so I removed. (This is one of the good things about woodcut – you can remove areas that don’t print as well as you thought they would !) I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I was surprised that I could produce a woodcut print that actually appealed to me as examples I have seen before (even though they have been really well done technically etc), I have never really been fond of. This is not how I would normally display this work – I just tacked it up in my studio onto here as there’s not much space ! I actually think it’s quite interesting displayed on this newsprint – however I would have to do something else with the display to make it work !
So after we had produced our one colour print we were told we were going to be producing a second woodcut – but this time using 3 colours so there would be different stages of cutting the wood out / printing. I always find it a bit confusing when it comes to layers so I found this a bit daunting at first however I knew the print would probably be more interesting than just a one colour print so I was pretty keen to produce a 3 colour one !
We were given another piece of wood and again I just used my photo’s of found objects to draw from. Obviously for the first print I didn’t cut too much out. I wanted the first print to include a textured background so I only cut this part out roughly. One I had produced a few prints using the first and lightest colour I then cut out more of the wood thinking about the areas I wanted to have a darker colour. I then made my second prints over the first prints using the second darker colour. I then had to think about what areas I wanted to be the darkest and then cut out the sections of wood taking this into consideration. The darkest colour (3rd print) was then printed over the others. The colours we used were not really the ideal colours I wanted to use. However I considered this workshop as a learning process and I wasn’t too concerned about the final outcome (although I did want a half decent print !).
This was one of the final prints I produced. I had quite a bit of trouble with certain areas of the background. It was supposed to be the first lightest colour however even though I had cut pretty deep into the background the second and third colours were still printing in some areas. Pete explained to me this may be because the board was slightly warped – pretty frustrating ! This was the reason why my board often had trouble getting through the press as well ! I don’t really like the colour prints – I much prefer the black and white. I don’t know whether it’s just because of the colours used or because the black and white is just more simple but in my opinion more interesting !
Because my print was quite abstract I thought it would be interesting to print over one of the other prints but the opposite way. This worked out pretty well and I really like the results – although the colours aren’t really what I’d normally go for !
I tried this technique on some of the other prints as well – with a few of them just resulting in them being two colour prints. I think wood cut is something I may return to but I would have to plan out what it is I wanted to do in advance first !